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Thoughts on Haley as new OC

Todd Haley looks to be the new OC for the Steelers. I honestly did not think he’d get the job so I’m definitely pleasantly surprised. Given the very limited field of supposed candidates (Fichtner, Kirby Wilson (??!), Caldwell (?)) he is probably the best bet. I’m a little surprised that the Steelers didn’t interview more candidates, though, as it is a pretty important position. Haley’s hiring (still a rumor! But pretty much confirmed…) is actually a little bit  non-Steeler-like in a few ways.

– The Steelers hired someone outside the organization and team for a big position.

– Did the Steelers even interview anyone outside of Haley for the position? I’m sure the team looked at some coaches within the team, but that seems to be it. From an outsider’s view, it didn’t seem like the Steelers put in a very thorough search.

– Haley’s at times confrontational personality doesn’t seem very “Steeler-like”.

Given the above, here are some reasons why I like the hiring –

– I think Ben could definitely use someone with Haley’s overal demeanor to oversee the offense. No more buddy-buddy crap that has had lead to little accountability and an underperforming offense.

– Haley seems capable of in-game adjustments and seems to have a bright offensive mind. Two things sorely lacking with Arians.

– Haley improved Arizona’s offense and KC as an overall team while head coach there. I still don’t understand why he was fired in KC, he took that team to the playoffs and had them at 5-8 this year despite losing a number of key players, including Jamaal Charles, Matt Cassel, Eric Berry and a number of other players. Pretty impressive given the circumstances.

Here are some reasons why I’m a little hesitant about the hiring –

– While Haley did improve Arizona’s offense, the team was loaded with some great talent on the team (WR corps, Kurt Warner ).

– Haley’s overall demeanor could backfire with Ben and possibly some of the other players. I think this aspect is already getting overblown but we shall see how it unfolds.

– The fact that the Steelers hired Haley fairly quickly and didn’t seem to do much of a search for other candidates makes me wonder if he is indeed the best choice.

Overall, I’m pretty excited to see what Haley brings to the Steelers offense, how it improves and what changes are made. The entire offensive system doesn’t need to be overhauled but changes are obviously needed. Hopefully, Haley is up to the task. Maybe the most interesting aspect of this hire is how Ben reacts to it and how Haley and Ben interact with one another. It’ll actually be fascinating to watch. I think we’ll finally get the answer to the “Is Ben actually coachable” question, because no one can convince me he’s been coached much up to this point in his career. Or maybe he’s only coachable up to a certain point. We’ll definitely find out!

Super Bowl thoughts – What a crappy Super Bowl. It honestly felt like a preseason game. Bland defenses, bland offenses, it was like watching another Pro Bowl game for a second straight week. I guess both teams decided to play it super safe and conservative. I guess that’s understandable up to a point, but it sure made for one totally forgettable game. Neither team seemed very super or really even that good, but such is the way in the NFL these days. The entire playoffs, outside of watching the 49ers, was pretty forgettable. And I still fail to be impressed with Eli Manning, while seemingly everyone else is calling him an elite QB at this point. This kid remains one of the luckiest QB’s I’ve ever seen play. He was, once again, lucky not to have 2 or 3 INT’s in last night’s game (horrible out pass that wasn’t intercepted somehow, lucky and dangerous TD pass, a number of out patterns that were short 4 or 5 yards). He’s a good QB surrounded by better talent and playing within a system that caters to his abilities.

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