The vacancy left by the departure of Steelers’ former offensive coordinator, Bruce Arians, has been filled by none other than Todd Haley.
Haley hasn’t been in the news since accusing the Kansas City Chiefs of producing a toxic atmosphere of paranoia, going so far as to worry about his office phone being tapped by the organization. Still, the Steelers were not scarred away by Haley’s peculiar behavior starting early in the 2011 season.
In the end, it would seem that Haley’s track record speaks for itself. He was the offensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals in 2007 and 2008, helping them to reach the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history following the 2008 season. From there, Haley took over as the Chiefs’ head coach from 2009 until being fired late in the 2011 season.
With Haley now in place, the Steelers can shift their focus from filling a coaching void to identifying what exactly needs to be done to improve their team. Clearly, securing a top-notch offensive coordinator was their biggest concern following their early exit from the playoffs.
One of the biggest concerns from Steelers fans I’ve talked to was that the offense had gotten stale with Arians calling the offense. The Steelers are hoping to bring back a more balanced offense that better utilizes their running attack, something they’d moved away from in recent years.
As the Chiefs’ head coach, Haley was able to consistently produce a strong rushing attack, despite the struggles of the Chiefs’ passing game. With Rashard Mendenhall already in place, there should be no obstacle for Haley to continue that type of success on the ground in Pittsburgh.