Even though the Pittsburgh Steelers will be without services of wide receiver Martavis Bryant for the entire season, and quite possibly without the services of running back Le’Veon Bell for the first four games, the team’s offense is still expected to play at a high level under the direction of offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who is entering his fifth year with the team. Haley, who was hired by the Steelers in 2012 after previously serving as the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs for nearly three seasons, reportedly still hasn’t entirely ruled out the possibility of him being a head coach in the NFL once again.
“I never even thought that was a possibility,” Haley said recently, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. “I’m proud of my time that I had as a head coach. At the same time, I’m with the best organization in football in my opinion. I’m with great people, I’ve got a great head coach and boss that I work for, and I’m in a place that means a lot to me. I’m not saying it’s something I’d never do, but it’s not something I’m worried about or thinking about.”
Haley’s response isn’t the least surprising as he’s still only 49 years of age. Should the Steelers offense ultimately live up to expectations in 2016, one would figure that the team will have a legitimate shot at winning the Lombardi Trophy this season in Houston. If that happens, and along the way the offense finally achieves their long-running goal of averaging 30 or more points a game, Haley’s name will likely be tossed around quite a bit by the media as a head coach candidate for whatever openings wind up existing at the conclusion of the season.
While a possible return to the head coaching ranks for Haley is indeed plausible, his recent history with the Chiefs will likely be scrutinized quite a bit by other NFL organizations as the Steelers offensive coordinator reportedly accused the Kansas City front office of bugging his cell phone and other areas of the team’s facility when he was their head coach.
While Haley’s name was tossed around by the major media as a possible candidate for the then-vacant Miami Dolphins head coaching job late last season, by all appearances that’s as far as went.
Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but some coaches in the NFL might be great as coordinators, but not so great as head coaches and especially those that don’t like to delegate out the duties they excel in. New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is an obvious exception to that notion as he’s been the offensive play-caller there for as long as I can remember.
For now, the notion that Haley could leave Pittsburgh after the 2016 season isn’t something to be overly concerned about. Should it become a legitimate possibility, it will likely have meant that the Steelers offense played extremely well this season and at that point it will probably be considered a great problem to have.