Steelers, Haley starting off old school

August, 21, 2012
By Jamison Hensley |

Has Todd Haley or Art Rooney II been calling the plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers this preseason?

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette pointed out that the Steelers have run the ball 58.6 percent of the time in their first two preseason games. That's 75 runs (including Ben Roethlisberger's don't-do-that-again bootleg Sunday) and 53 pass plays.

This could have been a subtle message to former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who stood on the Heinz Field sideline Sunday as the coordinator for the Colts. Arians, who didn't listen to Rooney's mandate to run the ball more a couple of years ago, watched the Steelers open up Sunday's preseason game with five straight runs.

"I think in the first two preseason games, coach Haley wanted to go out there and create that identity and run the football," quarterback Charlie Batch said.

The most-asked question in Steelers training camp -- well, beside the "When will Mike Wallace show up" one -- is what will Haley's offense look like. If you're one to jump to conclusions, you're thinking the Steelers are going to their old-school roots of running the ball. But I just don't see the Steelers reverting back to a run-heavy offense. There's too much talent in the passing game, starting with Roethlisberger.

When the regular season starts, the Steelers will throw the ball a lot, although they will run the ball more than they did under Arians. Last season, the Steelers only ran the ball 42 percent of the time. I believe Haley when he talked about wanting the offense to be versatile. It will also be easier for the Steelers to call more passing plays once Wallace returns to the team.