Though the Pittsburgh Steelers experimented with Todd Haley calling plays in the booth, he’ll move back to his perch along the sideline for this season.
That report comes from the PPG’s Gerry Dulac earlier today. Mike Tomlin said the team would – and did – experiment with it during the preseason to see which they preferred. And despite Haley coming back down to the sidelines, it still sounds like Ben Roethlisberger preferred Haley to be up top.
He talked about the situation during his weekly interview on the Cook and Poni Show on 93.7 The Fan before this report came out.
“It felt comfortable to me” Roethlisberger told the show. “I didn’t feel like he was far removed…I think what it does with him up there…I think it eliminates any distractions. There’s no referees, there’s no other coaches. It’s almost singularly focused on calling plays to get us in the best situation.”
Roethlisberger said another benefit was bringing Randy Fichtner, the team’s QB coach, down on the sidelines for the first time ever. He went on to discuss their close relationship, an underrated one, where Fitchtner has been in that role since 2010 and joined the Steelers at the start of the Tomlin era.
Fichtner and Tomlin worked together at Arkansas State from 1997-1998. In ’97, Tomlin worked under Fichtner as the team’s wide receiver coach while Fichtner was the OC.
But ultimately, there’s a bigger picture than just the quarterback, and Tomlin decided to keep Haley on the sideline. Instead, many of the team’s positional coaches, like Fichtner and tight ends coach James Daniel will remain in the booth. Defensive coordinator Keith Butler also coaches from the sideline.