Todd Haley grew up working as a water boy at Steelers training camp, looking up to stars such as Joe Greene.
But as different as they are, they share a philosophy on how to improve the Steelers offense, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
This offseason, the legendary defensive lineman revealed the unhappiness with the way former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians treated the run game.
“You have to practice it, that’s the thing,” Greene said. “There is always a weakness in a defense for the run, but you have to be able to look for it. You don’t just call the run because you get tired of throwing it or because someone wants you to.”
So when Haley came in to put his stamp on the offense, it’s no accident someone who grew up on the Steelers of the 70s (his father was a personnel man who helped build those teams) had a similar blueprint.
“If you can run it when they know you’re going to run it — successfully — and you can throw it when they know you’re going to throw it, you have a chance to be real good, and that’s what we’re working on.”
Haley’s brought the fullback back into the offense, and put a bigger emphasis on the run game in practice.
“I’m staying away from last year because I had my own set of encyclopedias going on somewhere else,” said Haley, who had his own problems in Kansas City. “But I think that’s the name of the game on offense is being able to get the yards you need on the ground when the defense knows your running, wherever that falls in the game, if it’s critical short-yardage, if it’s a four-minute situation.”
The Steelers aren’t necessarily going to reverse the ratio and suddenly go back to running 60 percent of the time. But if they can bring a sense of balance (after 539 pass attempts against just 434 runs last year), there’s an opportunity to open more things up for Ben Roethlisberger and a group of receivers that may or may not include Mike Wallace.