Haley could be moving closer to the hot seat


The biggest surprise about Wednesday’s news regarding the in-game brouhaha between Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley and Steelers receiver Antonio Brown is that the player involved was Brown and not quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

But there’s a belief that, in time, Haley and Roethlisberger will have their Hank and Walter moment.

“I don’t think it’s warm and fuzzy,” Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently told PFT Live regarding the relationship, “but I do think it’s improved since last season.  Now that can unravel as well.  Todd made some strides in trying to reach out to Ben and they agreed to go over the playbook, throw some plays out, change some names of ones that were familiar to them before.  So they were taking steps in that direction but you know, there’s an undercurrent here right now at 0-2 that’s not good, so I think we could even see more of stuff like this Antonio Brown come out even with others.  I’m saying I think the relationship was good, or getting better, but you know, again, at 0-2 there’s a lot of stuff going on and it can only get worse.”

The relationship between Haley and his immediate boss can get worse, too.  Especially with coach Mike Tomlin talking openly about the team’s struggles to produce when it has the ball.

“[W]e aren’t scoring enough points — 19 points in two football games is not going to win a lot of football in this league,” Tomlin recently said, via Bouchette.  “If you would have told me we would have scored 19 points through the first two games, I would have told you we would have had an opportunity to be 0-2.”

Tomlin stopped short of specifically saying that there’s an issue with play calling, but he implied it.

“There’s been a problem with our functioning,” Tomlin said. “There’s been a problem with our production. There’s been a problem with our points. You can point to whatever you want to point to in regards to that, and, obviously, if the plays aren’t working well, then we’re susceptible to that judgment.”

It leaves Haley susceptible to judgment day, which some think could come after Week Four, when the Steelers would have two weeks to get his replacement (the current buzz centers on running backs coach Kirby Wilson) up to speed.

The chatter surely will die down if the Steelers beat the Bears on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.  As illustrated in the Week Three PFT Picks, I believe the home team will hold serve.  Which means that Haley will hold his job.

At least for now.

67 responses to “Haley could be moving closer to the hot seat

  1. It ain’t Haley’s fault that Ben missed some open receivers Monday. If he can’t complete dink and dunk passes,how the hell is he gonna go deep effectively and consistently.

    btw, I am a Steelers fan.

  2. They just don’t project to be a playoff team this year but that was there choice to think about during this offseason. There’s always next year to change things up for the better. When PIT is ready to win, they’ll make winning decisions. Right now they are in this stage of overconfidence and denial which is stalling future progress. They need to find an exit for this trap.

  3. It’s become painfully obvious that Haley’s reputation that he built with the Cardinals was pretty much all about having Kurt Warner at QB.

  4. The Steelers seem always to know when to make the correct moves, but for some reason they are keeping Haley. Makes no sense, but Ray Lewis on ESPN on Sunday makes no sense either.

  5. I really enjoy listening to Tomlin speak (or reading the transcriptions). He’s like a younger Tom Coughlin, no nonsense, with an even better grasp of the English language. It must be a thrill for the players to play for him.

  6. When a player and coach get into it, and the news is that the coach may be on the hot seat, and no issues with the player……

    The writing is on the wall… How do you target Brown less than Sanders, and Cotchery in your play calling…. Oh, I know….. you still have a beef against your #1 receiver from last year…

    You sure are showing him Haley!!!!! Moron.

  7. and then they start scoring points and it all goes away………………I think part of the problem is getting better personal on the field, Miller, Wheaton, Bell etc…..a better blocking offensive line would help too.

  8. Colbert can’t draft, Tomlin can’t coach, and Haley wouldn’t know a productive play if it bit him on the ass.

  9. @greenjoemean …

    Yes, actually, it is Haley’s fault that Ben wasn’t connecting with his receivers. And I’m also a Steelers fan who routinely criticizes Ben. But this isn’t a simple question of Ben missing his targets. It was evident Monday night that none of these people are on the same page.

    I was slamming Ben for failing to get up to the line and call a quick play–as Romo did in identical circumstances for the Cowboys–before the challenge flag could be thrown on that fumble. But as someone pointed out to me, Ben was doing just that when substitutions started coming in from the sidelines. As a result, the challenge was thrown, we lost the ball at the Bengals’ 13, and they wound up scoring on the next drive. Were the offensive coaches even watching the game???? That was ridiculous.

    Missing your target is what happens when the receiver is reaching out for a ball that’s overthrown by a coupld of feet. Our receivers were stopping five yards short. When no one is prepared or running the same play at the same time, you’d better believe that’s about coaching.

    I think Ben’s extremely undisciplined in the way he approaches the game and that’s not good. But clearly he is not going to change. And right now, he’s the guy we have to work with. He is talented and the team trusts him–a heckuva lot more than they trust Haley. The only way this team comes out of this season with a 500 or better record is for Haley to do a lot more reverting back to a simpler, more BA-style offense. Like it or not, that’s what will work in the short-term. As they say, let Ben be Ben.

  10. No Miller or Bell. Fumbles near the red zone and end zone, Ben throwing a pick on 3rd and 2 when he could’ve ran for the 1st down or followed Haley’s dink and dunk script deep in Bengals territory. Can’t blame Haley for any of that or expect some new offensive coordinator to do any better.

  11. No Miller or Bell. Fumbles near the red zone and end zone, Ben throwing a pick on 3rd and 2 when he could’ve ran for the 1st down or followed Haley’s dink and dunk script deep in Bengals territory. Can’t blame Haley for any of that or expect some new offensive coordinator to do any better.

  12. Haley is not in the top 5 of concerns the Steelers have…for starters, how about the lack of an aggressive draft to add serious weapons around Ben? Aging line, and not much help. Need top RB and WR’s, no help.
    Teams like Cincinnati added significant firepower…and the Steelers mailed in their draft cards. Going to waste Ben’s last 4 years with mediocrity which will get him injured, and the Coach fired.

  13. Just let ben coordinate the offense. He does no wrong and never makes a mistake, so I’m sure he’ll lead you to another ring. If not, I’m sure Kirby Wilson will step in and do a better job than Haley. Half of yinz claimed ben was playing like the mvp of the league last year under Haley before his annual yearly injury. How can he be that bad this season? I can’t think of any O-coordinator that would have success with this offense. Maybe Tomlin will take the reigns instead of just talking about how they don’t score enough pts. Reminds me of Obama, good at speaking, not so much at his job.

  14. It doesn’t matter who they get at OC or even HC. The Pittsburgh Steelers is not one of the top tier teams anymore, might as well face it, because it won’t be for a long time.

  15. How many years have we been saying that the O-line is not up to par? even back in 05 when they won the SB, that was the focus of problems. There is no run threat now, which means there is limited pass opportunities because the O-line still hasn’t been resolved. Haley’s play calling should be in question, but until they can run the ball the WR’s will continue to be beat up at the line (and they’re undersized, to boot). Can’t blame Haley for any of that. They must address this glaring deficiency once and for all.

  16. Given all of Pittsburgh’s obvious struggles so far this season, I’d love to know how/why he thinks the Steelers will be able to beat the Bears on Sunday night.

    In the week 3 picks he says it’s because Steelers have been great at picking themselves up off the mat in the past.

    A few points on that: that was Cowher. This is Tomlin – who hasn’t had to deal with much adversity as a coach. He’s always had the benefit of great talent on defense, great coordinators, veteran leadership, stability at the QB position, viable offensive weapons/downfield threats, etc.

    All that’s changing now. Pitt’s facing a serious talent deficiency, which is not easily overcome through “will” or toughness alone. Some’s been lost via injury, age, attrition, whatever – but the cause is less important than the EFFECT.

    No doubt Pitt’s still a very tough (and desperate) team, but the match ups talent-wise don’t bode well for Pitt:

    Bears offense > Steelers def
    Bears def > (VERY) Steelers offense
    Bears ST (including a suddenly hot Hester) > Steelers ST

  17. It’s fairly obvious that Haley was forced upon Tomlin. The Rooneys showed a bit of nepotism on this one, and it’s biting them all in the ass.

    What I’d like to know is, why did they dislike Arians so much? A smart coordinator fits his offense to his personnel, not the other way around.

    Also, smart and coordinator should never be included when refering to Todd the fraud Haley.

  18. It feels like it was just yesterday when the Bears were the team with the incompetent GM and OC, and the offensive line that made you feel sorry for the quarterback

    And the Steelers were the guys with the balanced and effective offense, a head coach that everyone loves, and appeared to be on a direct flight to the playoffs.

  19. Deb:
    Your insistence that the offense needs to go back to Arians offense has me scratching my head. Arians offense was also awful. The only reason it wasn’t this awful was because the players back then were better.
    If the Steelers were 2-0 while scoring 19 points, the offense wouldn’t be an issue. Just as it wasn’t an issue in 2011, when the offense ranked 22nd in scoring under Arians. Winning causes everyone to be blind to shortcomings, any shortcomings.
    Roethlisberger is being exposed as a ham-and-egger quarterback. Tomlin is being exposed as a coach without a clue. And Haley is the scapegoat. Haley coming on board has worked out perfectly for both the QB and head coach.

  20. @Deb

    Well said and I agree with a lot of what you said.

    I noticed a bunch of routes toward the sidelines. I just feel that Ben is not a qb that has touch on certain passes.
    With our smaller wr’s, it seems like they have to be wide open to have a chance at a catch. We don’t have guys that can go up and fight for the ball. And to be honest, a lot of Ben’s passes make for tough catches. I would like to see Moye get more looks. I just feel , if you are gonna dink and dunk at least get the ball there.

  21. @bobzilla …

    I’m facing reality. For years, I kept thinking Ben would wise up and realize he can’t keep playing like he’s tossing the ball around in someone’s pasture. Thought if they got rid of Arians and brought in someone who would not kowtow to him, he’d be forced to discipline his natural talent, play more of a thinking-man’s game, and take this team to the next level. Wrong.

    Don’t know if he won’t adapt or can’t adapt. But he’s not going to change and trying to change him will take down the entire team. Maybe we still could have made Haley’s system work if we’d strengthened our offensive line and brought in a power back. But we didn’t. And that’s Colbert, Tomlin, and Haley.

    In the absence of a decent running game, the only alternative is to give Ben the ball and hope for the best until we can rebuild the team with new personnel. You’re right about BA’s offense, but what other option is there? At least we never went 0-3 doing it BA’s way, and I don’t want to see my team implode. LeBeau, Polamalu, Taylor, Clark, Keisel, etc., deserve better than that.

  22. Bouchette is a douche who is full of himself. This is the same guy who voted for Brian Cushing twice for DROY – the second time was a revote after Cushing was suspended by the NFL for using PEDs.

  23. As was posted in another thread that I just read,

    “Super Bowl 43: Haley’s Cardinals offense 23, Arians Steelers offense 20.

    Haley’s offense competed against the No. 1 defense in the league, while Arians’ offense went against the worst defensive team in Super Bowl history, one that gave up 49 TDs in the 2008 regular season.”

  24. I thought Haley and Roethlisbooger were all lovey dovey? What happened to “for richer or poorer” “in sickness and in health” “2-0 or 0-2?” Come on, man!

  25. I want to help the steelers win by offering the following suggestions:
    1. repeat after me 300 times: i will recover a fumble, i will recover a fumble, i will recover a fumble…..
    2. no more wide receiver screen passes (for no yardage)
    3. get to the line of scrimmage QUICKLY when the ref blows a call in your favor, so the opposing coach doesn’t have time to challenge.
    Glad I could help.

  26. Deb:
    The Steelers’ best start in the past four seasons occurred in 2010, when they went 3-1. They did so without Roethlisberger.
    The common denominator to the Steelers’ lousy offenses the past six years has been the franchise quarterback, the one who has said he’s going to win more Super Bowls than any QB in the history of history.
    I say: fire Haley, then let Roethlisberger call his own plays. I’m tired of blaming OCs. There’s been OC drama ever since Ken Whisenhunt.
    The discouraging part to all this is that Roethlisberger’s trade value is diminishing with each lousy outing. I truly believe that if Roethlisberger were even half as good as everyone says he is, the offense would be, at the very least, watchable…
    Tom Brady is going through a transition right now in New England. His offense is struggling, He’s lost several key players. But the Patriots are 2-0. Brady also has had several OCs in recent years: Weis, McDaniels, O’Brien and McDaniels.
    I’m tired of the excuses.

  27. @bob …

    Not blaming Haley for anything other than his seeming inability to connect with players (on any team) and whatever role he may have played in failing to secure the appropriate personnel to run his offense. But I believe that with the right personnel his offense would be successful.

    Ben is no Brady, nor is he capable of running the offense on his own. We can lament that, but I’d rather make the best of the situation we’re in right now and focus on rebuilding in the off season. Whatever else I think of Ben, he did help us get to three Super Bowls–which is more than we can say of his post-Bradshaw predecessors. It won’t be easy finding another championship quarterback. Sure hope it doesn’t take 21 years. (I’d like to give McCarron a shot.)

  28. Is it Haley’s fault he inherited a rag-tag O line, and arena league running backs? Is it his fault the team didn’t want to pay Wallace, and left them without a #1 receiver? No it isn’t……look, it’s a bad marriage going on, but Bill Freakin Walsh couldn’t do anything with this awful offense. The problem lies with lack of quality depth, and that’s on the front office. The most stable, most consistent organization in pro sports looks like crap now. And as a devout fan, it sucks when your team is out of it with 3 months remaining.

  29. Deb:
    You don’t see or hear people blaming Haley?
    Secondly, there were no players on the Steelers’ 2005 roster who played from 1981 to 2003. Your “championship quarterback” theory leaves me a bit perplexed. Cowher and Colbert didn’t just built a good defense, starting in 2003; they built a dominant defense, one that produced not one but TWO Defensive Players of the Year. At no time did that happen between 1981 and 2003.
    Thirdly, when Rod Woodson decided to play for the Baltimore Ravens, I doubt very seriously that he thought: “Yeah, that Trent Dilfer, that’s the QB who’s going win me a ring.”
    I’m elated we were able to win two titles with what we have at QB. Now it’s time to go out and get a QB who is able to play within a system, is able to study film, is able to read defenses quickly, and is able throw some TD passes.
    It’s time to get the offense out of the bottom 10 in scoring…

  30. “I say: fire Haley, then let Roethlisberger call his own plays.”

    Good. They move the ball then.

    Led the NFL in final 2 minute points last season, Ben’s calling the plays then.

    Get this through your head Bobzilla….

    Byron Leftwich isn’t here anymore.

    No go back online looking for cheap dates and vamoose.

  31. C’mon Rockinrodie, have a little optimism. You very well could be right but give a little more time then 2 weeks in the season before ruling the steelers completely out of it. I fully do not expect the see the steelers offense this bad all year long. As bad they played against the bungles, a couple breaks here and there and they could have won that game. But didn’t.

    For the other poster, the steelers are not getting slaughtered by no weak team as the bears at home. They didn’t get slaughtered the first two games, why would they now. I fully expect them to punch the bears in the mouth and win this game.

  32. I remember just a couple years ago every steeler fan was complaining about how bad Bruce was…. I would hate to be the OC for them.

  33. The “Hotseat” shouldn’t be ignored for Tomlin,Colbert, and the Rooneys!… here’s some facts…

    It was the Rooneys who forced Arians out!

    Haley should never have been hired here!

    Colbert is the one responsible for the team on the field

    Tomlin is doing what exactly to change anything? Talk too the press?

    All the lineman they let walk to let over valued guys play on the o-line, brilliant move…Mike Adams is bad, BAD!

  34. Hood, Heyward, Redman, Adams, Gilbert, Foster, Sanders, etc,…..those guys cannot turn it around because they suck. Whoever is responsible for bringing those guys in needs to go. They gotta start over, almost 1969-like, and i’m so god dang sick of MT’s rhetoric; “obviously, we have to play better”, or “naturally, we need to be in better position” blah, blah freaking blah with MT. God, get rid of that freaking idiot.

  35. steelcurtainn says:
    For the other poster, the steelers are not getting slaughtered by no weak team as the bears at home. They didn’t get slaughtered the first two games, why would they now. I fully expect them to punch the bears in the mouth and win this game.
    Not scoring a single offensive point until the fourth quarter when the titans switched to a soft prevent d counts as a slaughter. You guys never had control of that game…

  36. @bobzilla …

    I agree with you about starting over with new players … but we can’t do it in the middle of the season. What I’m suggesting is just a desperation measure until we can make those personnel moves.

    The only place we disagree is in the value we place on Ben’s role in the two Super Bowl wins. I don’t see us getting to XL without him. After that … I’m just not sure anymore.

    Do you follow college ball? Know anything about Bama’s McCarron? Bama plays a similar type offense to classic Steeler football, and AJ does a great job in that system. If you can play for Nick Saban, then you understand discipline. And AJ’s been on three championship teams so far, leading two. Would like to know what you think–although what we think wouldn’t influence our front office.

  37. cfeeley52 says:
    Sep 20, 2013 11:33 AM
    steelcurtainn says:
    For the other poster, the steelers are not getting slaughtered by no weak team as the bears at home. They didn’t get slaughtered the first two games, why would they now. I fully expect them to punch the bears in the mouth and win this game.
    Not scoring a single offensive point until the fourth quarter when the titans switched to a soft prevent d counts as a slaughter. You guys never had control of that game…

    3 1 I guess what happened against the broncos was a close game by your standards. The steeler defense was not slaughtered, but your vaunted defense was humiliated but not in your unbiased eyes…..please. You went from some to none on the credibility scale….really?

  38. Deb:
    McCarron works for me, although I’d rather have Saban as the head coach…

    I’m pretty sure Leftwich could lead the Steelers to 2 TDs in two games… and at the fraction of the cost of your hero…

  39. jhein23 says: Sep 19, 2013 4:15 PM

    1 of the more obnoxious people in the 25 years I’ve been watching the NFL. Huge ego for the very little he’s actually done.


    Plus he assaults young women.


  40. @bob …

    Fortunately, Nick says he’s too old to start over again and I’m hoping nothing tempts him away from that position. Besides, his true gift is recruiting and developing talent, which is very different from what happens with NFL player personnel. I’m not a fan of option QBs and would like us to pick up someone with AJ’s skills and leadership ability. But Bama’s been putting him behind much better lines than Pittsburgh fields. I’d sure hate to see him go to the Steelers and get clobbered.

  41. Deb:
    Don’t judge the Steelers’ O-line based on a playground QB. A better schooled QB would make that line look a helluva lot better.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!