Mike Tomlin wasn’t expected to speak Thursday as the Steelers introduced offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
Perhaps sensitive to the perception in Pittsburgh that Tomlin didn’t want to hire Haley, the Steelers head coach wound up talking after all.
“Needless to say, we’re extremely excited” about hiring Haley, Tomlin said.
Tomlin didn’t take questions or say a lot more about the direction of the offense.
“We find pleasure in being something of a mystery,” he said.
Haley took over from there and talked about his Pittsburgh roots and excitement about getting the job. He says he’s never “been a system” guy and will mold his offense to the talent of his players. Haley has evidence to back it up: He went from running a very pass-heavy offense in Arizona to a run-heavy offense in Kansas City.
Haley wouldn’t say if there would be an emphasis on running, just on winning. He’s a huge fan of Heath Miller.
Asked about his reputation for being hard to work with, Haley said he learned from his father former Steelers director of player personnel Dick Haley to avoid reading all media. (Which usually means a coach reads a lot of what’s written.) But the younger Haley didn’t deny that he coaches with an edge.
“We’re not into sensitivity,” Haley said.
Haley said he spoke with Tomlin about the job multiple times in various locations around the country. Haley hasn’t yet spoken to Ben Roethlisberger yet, and acknowledged that the transition to an offense isn’t always easy.
“There’s an uncomfortable aspect to newness. But that’s not always a bad thing. It will be a great thing in this case,” Haley said.