Trick plays that don’t work are always bad calls by the offensive coordinator, right? Hey, even Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley will agree with that statement.
“Yeah. I will take that as a bad call,” Haley said Thursday during his weekly talk with the media. “When they don’t work they are bad calls.”
While Haley was smiling when he made that last statement, he did later admit that the double pass trick play that he called in the first quarter of the Thursday night game against the New England Patriots during the team’s first offensive possession was off script. He also revealed what circumstances led to that play being called when it was.
“We just talked about when we got an earned first downs in the right part of the field that we were going to take a shot and AB’s [Antonio Brown] been terrific with the ball in his hands for the most part,” Haley said. “We got a defense that we really weren’t expecting, which kind of added to badness of the call, if you will.”
After wide receiver Antonio Brown was sacked on the first down play in question due to the Patriots having the perfect coverage and execution, tackle Marcus Gilbert was flagged on the very next play. At that point, the offense had a huge task ahead of them to just get back into field goal range within the next two plays. That happened, but unfortunately kicker Josh Scobee missed the 44-yard attempt and the once impressive drive ended without any points being scored.
Haley knows that his offense has to do a better job scoring moving forward. He also feels that his unit had plenty of opportunities to put of 30 or more points against the Patriots.
“The name of the game is scoring,” Haley said. “When you have 450 yards, you really should score 30 points. We obviously left points out there. We had nine possessions. We crossed the 50-yard line seven times. We only scored on four of those seven times. Even if you just kick a field goal every time you cross the 50-yard line, you are at 21 points. Sneak in a couple of touchdowns, all of a sudden you are at 30 points, which is the name of the game. We just have to be more productive.”
Haley’s offense will try to be more productive this coming Sunday against a San Francisco 49ers defense that only allowed three points Monday night in their regular-season opening win over the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings only managed 248 yards of total offense in that game in addition to only converting just one of their nine third down attempts in the game.
“I have moved on to San Francisco,” Haley said. “This is a big week for us. It’s our home opener. We have to get back to 1-1.”