It seems like all the Steelers key players have said they want to or intend to return next year. Now the only questions remaining is who will call plays for them.
According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s contract has expired, and the Steelers traditionally haven’t kept guys when they allow that to happen without an extension. The last time that happened was with Bruce Arians, who was shown the door to make way for Haley.
While Haley’s system has clearly created a prolific offense, the report suggests his interpersonal dealings with players and other members of the staff might be an issue.
One source even suggested that last year’s retirement talk from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger might have stemmed from some critical comments Haley made after they lost to the Patriots, and the two do not often talk on the sidelines.
The Steelers also moved quarterback Randy Fichtner from the coaches booth upstairs to the sideline, at the request of Roethlisberger. If that was to create a buffer between the quarterback and the coordinator, it’s easy to connect dots that Haley could be replaced, and the Fichtner might be next.
There’s also the issue of several off-field distractions involving Haley, and the Steelers might simply be ready to move on.