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New Steelers offensive coordinator Haley is eager for new start

Todd Haley’s return to Pittsburgh, as the team’s latest offensive coordinator, will be watched closely for a number of reasons.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin Met With Hue Jackson Before Reportedly Deciding on Todd Haley for Offensive Coordinator


Like the alleged Todd Haley hiring for the Steelers‘ offensive coordinator position or not, one thing that can – and should – be said is Mike Tomlin did his research.

NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora, one of the first reporters to formally link Haley to the Steelers’ open position, tweeted Monday Tomlin had met with former Raiders head coach Hue Jackson before news broke today of the reported offer to Haley.


The same Jackson recently fired by Oakland after openly criticizing his team after a Week 17 loss to San Diego – a game the Raiders needed to win for a shot at the playoffs.

Was Jackson a candidate? Perhaps he was, just as much as former Colts coach Jim Caldwell. Tomlin had met with Caldwell, who was recently dispatched by Indianapolis. Along with Haley’s interview, the men Tomlin met with (whether they were formal interviews or the men were realistic candidates for the job remains to be seen) were head coaches at the start of the 2011 season, and all of them have offensive backgrounds.

It begs the question, what exactly was he looking for in that candidate?

One plausible answer is he wanted those candidates to give him their impression of what they themselves wanted in an offensive coordinator.

There’s only one report of an offer being made, and that is to Haley, per Mark Carmen of AM 610 in Kansas City. Caldwell’s meeting with Tomlin may not have been an interview, but sources confirmed the two met face-to-face. Caldwell left town without a contract offer, though. The news of Jackson’s meeting with Tomlin over the weekend suggests Tomlin was beating the street for information from recently employed offensive minds.

Maybe the whole thing was a big face-to-face background check on Haley from some of their collective peers in the AFC. It’s hard not to respect that mentality.

Either way, despite disagreements with the supposed hire of Haley, it seems Tomlin put in the sweat effort to find the right leader for the position.

It’s a long wait until we’ll see the results of what seems to be a new direction for the Steelers offense, but until then, let’s hope Tomlin puts the same effort into researching the issues he’ll have on the defensive line this upcoming year.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

Steelers Found Their Offensive Coordinator, Now, What is Their Plan?

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With confirmation that Todd Haley is at the Steelers South Side facility today and will be named the team’s offensive coordinator, Phase I of the modification of the Steelers offense is complete: they found their leader.

Now, there are plenty of broader picture issues that Haley and Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin will need to prepare for come minicamp, which is just three months away.

This list is far from all-inclusive, but much of the offensive transformation will be based on these three concepts:

Managing the relationship with QB Ben Roethlisberger

The adage “no one man is bigger than the team” is true, but it is with the exception of the franchise quarterback. It’s particularly applicable in this case, as Roethlisberger and former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians are good friends and there’s little chance that won’t be in the back of Roethlisberger’s mind when Haley works with him. Ben is a professional, and will no doubt follow the coach’s instructions, but his willingness to do that – and way more importantly, his ability to deal with issues behind closed doors, away from the young players on the team – will be essential if this relationship is to work at a high level.

Haley must take on a willingness to meet Roethlisberger on a 60-40 basis. Good leaders have the humility to be able to recognize he or she is not more important than all of the people s/he is leading. In order to win the hearts and minds of the offense, he must get Roethlisberger to buy into the direction he’s leading them. Therefore, he must know when to fight, when to concede and how to keep Ben engaged.

Haley certainly can do that, but if he fails, it will halt the progress of this talented offensive group.

Staying committed to the run

A commitment to the running game is not solely displayed by the amount of rushes a team has – it exists in the one-off situations. It’s about choosing to run when the situation calls for a run, and being successful in those efforts.

To that end, it’s not about the play-calling. It’s about the amount of time Haley will spend in training camp working on those short-yardage plays. It’s about making sure the back is running at pad level and securing the ball. It’s about the linemen firing low off the ball and engaging their assignment with passion.

If those details are emphasized and fine-tuned and the players digest it, the play-calling itself is a snap. Instead of choosing the “right” play, Haley can choose from a slew of plays he knows the team can execute, and the real skill of a coordinator – being unpredictable – is achieved.

It makes little difference whether RB Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman lead the league in carries, yards per carry or touchdowns. The Steelers will achieve the front office-mandated commitment to the run simply by watching how well they execute in short-yardage situations, including the goal line. Speaking of that…

Understand the problems in the red zone come from emphases placed outside it

Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders made an excellent point earlier this season on how there is no direct correlation between a team’s overall offensive efficiency and its efficiency when inside the opposing 20-yard line.

The Steelers may stray from that statement a bit, considering they were 12th in the NFL with 373.2 yards per game, but tied with Tennessee for 21st in the league at 20.3 points per game. To put this into context, the Steelers needed 18.33 yards for each point they scored this year. That figure was the 27th highest total in the league.

No team lower than them (Washington, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Kansas City and St. Louis) even sniffed the playoffs in 2011.

What this anomaly illustrates is the Steelers’ core philosophy last season: rip off big chunks of yards at all times. That may work between the 20s, and red zone efficiency may not be anything more than another way to judge an offense’s success overall, but physical properties establish there aren’t as many yards to grab in chunks when you’re that close to the end zone.

In other words, they moved the ball when they had room to move it. They failed when they needed less yards.

That is because Roethlisberger’s elusiveness is far less valuable, because receivers don’t have the same amount of real estate they had 40 yards earlier in the drive. Defenders know they have the back of the end zone as an extra defender, and that cut off Roethlisberger’s ability to make big plays off-schedule.

The decisions made before the red zone are made before the game. A red zone commitment to the ground doesn’t mean only call running plays inside the 20, it means recognizing the situation for each down and distance as well as the location on the field from which the play will be run.

Arians’ play-calling decisions and failures were ultimately made before the opening kickoff. Haley must prepare this team to challenge its opponents in the short field as well as the vertical one.

All of these things should keep Haley, Tomlin and the rest of the offensive staff busy between now and the next set of organized team activities. Perhaps with 14 hours a day, every day, until the start of OTAs, they could have it down pat.

Unless, of course, something happens to a player entering camp looking to become a prominent member of the offense. What’s Wes Saunders up to?

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Steelers announce arrival of Todd Haley as offensive coordinator

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The man who apparently couldn’t get along with G.M. Scott Pioli will now be charged with getting on the same page with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers have announced that former Chiefs coach Todd Haley has joined the franchise as offensive coordinator.  His father, Dick, played for the team and worked in the front office. …

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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Haley ‘excited’ to be new Steelers offensive coordinator

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Former Kansas City Chiefs coach Todd Haley has been hired as the Steelers new offensive coordinator, replacing Bruce Arians, the team announced today.

Source: post-gazette.com – Steelers/NFL

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Steelers Officially Hire Haley As New Offensive Coordinator

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – After reports leaked out on Monday, the Steelers officially named Todd Haley as their new offensive coordinator.

Financial details and the length of the deal were not released by the team.

“I am excited about the opportunity to come back home and work for a tremendous organization,” Haley said in a statement. “It is an honor to work with the Rooney family and Coach Tomlin and continue the success that has become synonymous with the Steelers. My father has so many fond memories both from his playing days and his time in the personnel department with the team, and I look forward to helping bring more championships to Pittsburgh and to being a part of one of the storied franchises in the NFL.”

Haley has a good resume, including three years as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Before then, he was offensive coordinator in Arizona and worked with Kurt Warner when the Cardinals got to the Super Bowl against the Steelers in 2008.

According to the statement, “[Haley] is the son of Dick Haley, who spent 44 seasons in the NFL including serving as the Steelers’ director of player personnel from 1971-90.”


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Filed under: Football, Sports, Steelers, Syndicated Sports Tagged: Bruce Arians, NFL, Offensive Coordinator, Pittsburgh Steelers, Todd Haley

Source: CBS Pittsburgh » Steelers

Todd Haley Named Offensive Coordinator

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have named Todd Haley as their new offensive coordinator, it was announced today. “I am excited about the opportunity to come back home and work for a tremendous organizatio…

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : News

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Todd Haley, The New Steelers Offensive Coordinator

In a signing that surprised many (as some thought his interview was a courtesy move), the Pittsburgh Steelers have signed Todd Haley to be their new offensive coordinator.

On the bright side, Haley was fantastic at pushing wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to be great. He challenged him on the physical aspect of his game and the work ethic, Fitzgerald loved his style, and football fans everywhere loved the results. Fitzgerald has since started holding summer workout camps. He got a 1000-yard season out of Steve Breaston in 2008, too.

On the other hand, you can look at the Cardinals‘ offensive numbers and wonder how they didn’t score more in 2008 and 2009, particularly when they ran the ball so well in 2009. Kurt Warner called many of the plays in Arizona.

Essentially, what makes this a decent hire is that Haley does have a lot of experience attacking defenses, and working under a great head coach in Bill Parcells back in Dallas. He’s also worked with inconsistent line play for Big Red and the Chiefs, and with two of the least mobile quarterbacks in the NFL, Kurt Warner and Matt Cassel. To truly assess the job he did in Kansas City, you need to evaluate all the injuries – Charles, Cassel, Baldwin – and what Herm Edwards left him with. This is probably the best hire the Steelers could make, looking at who was available.

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Report: Steelers hire Todd Haley as offensive coordinator

Todd Haley is following in his father’s footsteps and joining the Pittsburgh Steelers. Dick Haley played for the Steelers and was their longtime player personnel director and now his son will reportedly be the team’s offensive coordinator. Marc Carman of 610 AM in Kansas City had the initial report on Monday afternoon, which was later…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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Keith Butler is expected to become Colts defensive coordinator

New Colts coach Chuck Pagano is raiding his former AFC North rivals in order to build his new staff. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler will become Pagano’s defensive coordinator in Indianapolis. Butler will fly to Indianapolis on Tuesday to review and sign the contract. The team is also expected to…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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