April 26, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley speaks to reporters at a press conference at UPMC Sports Performance Complex. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

On The Cusp: Pittsburgh Steelers Todd Haley Far Removed From Reality


The Pittsburgh Steelers rank near the bottom of the basement when it comes to the offensive side of the football.  Yet somehow offensive coordinator Todd Haley is so dang smart, such a mastermind, that none of us can quite comprehend that the Steelers offense is ‘on the cusp of being pretty good,’ which is something he told reporters on Halloween.  Sounds more like a trick (load of crap) instead of a bunch of treats (points & wins).

I went after Mike Tomlin earlier in the week after his press conference when he answered a question about the poor clock management at the end of Sunday’s loss against the Raiders.  Tomlin, in not so many words, or rather not so bluntly, pretty much admitted to not having any confidence and faith in this team.  Talk to Todd Haley, however, and he has such a different perspective of how the team is doing and where they are headed.  In fact, you would think that the Steelers are hard on luck more than they are hard up for good talent and coaching.

I feel like we’re on the cusp of being pretty good.  We’ve had a lot of moving parts — not that anybody else hasn’t — but we’ve had to overcome and mix and match a little bit but I do feel like we’re close to playing the way we have to play for us to win on a weekly basis.

Merriam-Webster defines ‘cusp’ as ‘a point of transition’ as well as ‘a fixed point on a mathematical curve at which a point tracing the curve would exactly reverse its direction of motion.’  In a way, Haley is right in the sense that the Steelers are moving in the wrong direction – poor offense – and need to transition or reverse it’s current direction.  But I believe Haley doesn’t think cusp means what it really means – especially in the context of his statements.  What Haley really means is that the offense is good already and just needs a minor tweak here and there – vuala! the offense will be as right as rain.  That is so far from the truth, I’m beginning to question the sanity of our beloved OC.  Unfortunately, for Haley and the rest of Steeler Nation, the team is in a state of transition.  It’s just transition that’s in the form of years, not weeks.

Haley does not seem to mind slow starts either.  He does not seem to care when the points happen, just as long as they have more than the other team when the clock reaches :00.  The Steelers have only scored 13 first quarter points all season.  Let’s say the Steelers possess the ball only twice of each first quarter from the last seven games.  That is an efficiency of only 21% (3 of 14).  I guess that’s not a terrible stat (sure as hell not good either), but when you look at the fact that they’ve been outscored a whopping 56-13 in the first quarter, slow starts seem to matter a bit more.  Sure the offense picks up in the second half – when the ball is in the hands of Big Ben and the no huddle – but one can’t expect to score more than 14 points in a single quarter every game.

Look, the bottom line here is that these recent comments to reports mean that Haley is either fooling himself, is really stupid and can’t comprehend math, or is just trying to play down how bad the offense is so he doesn’t get fired.  Come on, Dad! Just give me one more shot! I’ll get it right the next time, I promise!  It’s probably a combination of all three.

The reality is that this offense, like the rest of the team, is mediocre.  They aren’t good.  They aren’t terrible – though there’s a sprinkling of ‘bad’ here and there.  The QB is elite, but is dragged down (quite literally) due to the bad offensive line.  The running backs are mediocre, the receivers are average.  What planet does one live on where a 2-5 record, 28th in points scored, 23rd in total yards, and 30th in the rush equates to a team being on the verge of ‘good.’  Please, Todd, tell us all in Steeler Nation what is it that puts this team on the ‘cusp’?  Better be quick, I think someone is on the cusp of being fired…. or buying a straight jacket.

 

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Tags: Pittsburgh Steelers Todd Haley

  • Dom DiTolla

    Spot on, Craig. Haley’s belief that the offense is “on the cusp” is just a feeble attempt to buy time and hope that “Big Ben” can Houdini an upset win or two to save his bacon.

    While Haley cannot be blame for the injuries sustained by the offensive line, his questionable play-calling, particularly in the red zone, is an enormous cause for concern. Moreover, the lack of production illustrated by this offense, especially early in games, is nothing short of ridiculous.

  • Carl Eagan

    Haley’s play calling is questionable and predictable for the most part. Also don’t forget the no-huddle is something Tomlin does not like, he has said so on many occasions, which is why it isn’t called alot.

  • Eric

    Craig, even forgetting his father’s legacy, do you really think the Rooney’s want to hire a new OC this year when they have a 76 year old DC who’s unit is not performing either? Also remember the concept of moving back to a ball control offense and quick throws so Ben doesn’t take many hits came directly from Jr. himself.

    • Craig

      Eric, I doubt Rooney will make a move during the season. However, if the Steelers get 5 wins or less, I really think that someone will be let go. And, although Tomlin is the biggest culprit, Haley will be the one to go first. If things don’t turn around in 2014, Tomlin will go next.

      • Eric

        Butler has been there a long time. He is am icon, but if he stays, someone else is hiring Butler