To the general public, beyond Pittsburgh but even in certain circles inside it, Todd Haley is regarded as a chew-you-out, my-way-or-highway coach. The screaming matches on the sidelines, the reports of bad blood between he and players.
But ask Mike Tomlin and you get a much different perspective. At Tuesday’s press conference, Tomlin was asked what makes Haley a successful offensive coordinator.
“Todd is a tremendous competitor,” he told the press at today’s press conference. “He prepares well, he takes great input from others, he’s a good listener. More than anything, he doesn’t subscribe to any preconceived notion or any hardcore personality that might limit him. He has a basic general philosophy. We gotta move the ball because yards equals points. And he doesn’t care about what means we do it. And I agree with him.”
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense is down slightly from a year ago, averaging about two fewer points per game, but their 24.4 mark is still good enough for 11th in the NFL. And with a date against the Cleveland Browns in two weeks, that number could rise again.
Haley has certainly had his questionable moments, even including Sunday with the odd end around call the play before Eli Rogers’ game winning touchdown, but it’s hard to argue against him being a top five offensive coordinator in the league. He’s also developed a great relationship with Ben Roethlisberger and helped refine and evolve his game, taking his play to new heights that Bruce Arians may have never been able to do.
It’s why Haley could be up for another crack at a head coaching gig in the offseason. He’s already been rumored to the gigs in Los Angeles and Jacksonville, now that Gus Bradley has been officially canned, and we wrote about why Buffalo might be his most likely destination.
But for now, the team – and most fans – will enjoy the success he’s brought to the Steelers’ offense.