While it has not been made official by the team yet, many sources are reporting that the Cleveland Browns have hired Todd Haley to be their new offensive coordinator. The Browns have not had an offensive coordinator during the two seasons under Hue Jackson as head coach, who came over from the Cincinnati Bengals as their offensive coordinator.
Oh, and Haley has spent the past six seasons in that same role with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In spite of the fact that the franchise put up four of its six highest-scoring seasons in the organization’s history, the decision was made to move in a different direction, and his contract was not renewed.
As it just so happens, it has been a while since the Browns have claimed a victory over the Steelers. In fact, it has been three seasons. Pittsburgh has owned a season sweep over the Browns in three consecutive seasons now, the last win coming in the second matchup in 2014. The Browns only have three wins over the Steelers going back to 2003, as a matter of fact.
Yet they were not too far off, were they? In fact, they have been pretty competitive in their past three games against the Steelers, though it has to be noted that two of those games including Landry Jones starting and a number of key starters being rested. But the 2017 season opener was one of the Browns’ best games of the year.
That might not be saying much for a team that did not win a game for the entire season, but it’s something, right? The Browns obviously believe that they are bringing in somebody in Haley who is going to make a difference. Jackson was only willing to cede play-calling duties to somebody he views as good in that role.
Steelers fans will disagree, but we will now get to see what Haley’s offense looks like from the outside twice a season. Will Steelers fans clamor to have him back if his offense pulls out a victory over Pittsburgh next season? After all, there were plenty of people saying that they wanted Bruce Arians back. And Mike Mularkey too.
When it comes to Jackson, though, I think it’s fair to say that he has enough on his plate, and I frankly have no idea why he thought it would be a great idea to handle the play-calling duties himself. Bringing in a more traditional division of labor should be beneficial for him.
And say what you will about Haley, but the offense did produce results during his time in Pittsburgh. They just put up 42 points against the Jacksonville Jaguars defense, after all. The Browns don’t have close to the talent, but, with a new quarterback, presumably, it will be intriguing to watch that team develop with the Steelers’ former coordinator in the middle of it.