Well, it looks like Pittsburgh’s 6-2 surge down the stretch was enough to save offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s job according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com:
Although I disagree with Haley being retained, this particular move does not come as a shock to me. Moreover, it does not surprise me that the use of more no-huddle and guys like Tomlin and Wilson being more involved led to the offense looking better during the second half of the 2013 regular season either. Remember, this was an offense which scored only 20 points three times during their 2-6 start.
After Haley took, or was forced to take, the training wheels off of the offense, Pittsburgh finished the season with a 6-2 mark and scored at least 20 points in all eight of those games. Although his use of extra tight ends over more explosive wide receivers was maddening to watch, the fact that a quarterback of Roethlisberger’s caliber was unable to thrive in his no-huddle element early in the season was nothing short of ridiculous.
With Haley reportedly staying, I just hope that him and the rest of his offensive coaches are more willing to spread things out and let Roethlisberger turn things loose through the air next fall. Creating matchup issues outside the hashes and in the slot takes potential defenders out of the box, and a running back of Le’Veon Bell’s caliber could thrive in that type of offensive attack as well.
Pittsburgh has the offensive personnel to be a much more productive unit, so the pressure will be on Haley and the rest of his staff to lead this unit in the right direction. The Steelers are 16-16 over the last two seasons, and mediocrity of that type should not sit well with the organization. Thus, 2014 could be Haley’s last chance to turn the offense into a consistent force. Otherwise, the golf coach could be looking for a new job by the time the 2015 campaign rolls around.
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