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Old 07-22-2012, 12:45 PM  
Count Zarth Count Zarth is offline
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Todd Haley is the "Mystery of Pittsburgh"

Interesting read.



http://triblive.com/sports/2195481-8...p-nfl-ben-didn

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Summer is the perfect time for a good read, yet nobody seems to be getting one on new Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

A Bill Parcells protégé known for adapting his play-calling to his personnel and being an innovative play caller, he is also a volatile sideline presence who inspires loyalty from some players but irritates others.

He is certainly not Bruce Arians, who was not-so-gently shoved out the door in January despite quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s unwavering support. But, according to those who know Haley best, he also isn’t a control freak who implements change just to show he’s the boss.

While the Steelers generally shy away from coaches with colorful pasts, Haley has that and more, as evidenced by his well-publicized clashes with players and an abrupt departure as the Kansas City Chiefs’ coach last year in which he reportedly suspected team offices and his cell phone were bugged.

Now, Haley’s assimilation into the Steelers’ way of life is the latest Mystery of Pittsburgh, a shadowy yet intriguing riddle that will begin to be solved when the Steelers — coming off successive 12-4 seasons — open camp Wednesday in Latrobe. It figures to be a can’t-miss page turner.

“I’ve heard a lot of Todd stories — some good, some bad,” said former Steelers star guard Alan Faneca, who played in Arizona after Haley was the offensive coordinator there. “He’s definitely a hard worker and demands a lot. He can be very excitable during practice. But sometimes change is good, to get people out of their comfort zone.”

That’s already happened with Roethlisberger, who thrived in a Ben-friendly Arians offense that permitted him to improvise at will. Upon first glance at Haley’s playbook, Roethlisberger jokingly called it a Rosetta Stone course in a brand new language.

“That (change) has a way of keeping guys on their toes and keeping their focus, understanding what their goal is, and that’s to win Super Bowls,” Haley said during minicamp last month. “Win one this year — that’s our goal.”

Haley, 45, is the first outsider in 13 years to run the offense. But he’s no stranger to Pittsburgh or the Steelers; as a youngster in Upper St. Clair, he broke down game film with father Dick Haley, the former Steelers personnel chief who played a major role in some of the best drafts in NFL history in the 1970s.

FOOTBALL NOT FIRST LOVE

Todd Haley’s story isn’t the sit-on-dad’s-knee-and-become-a-football genius tale of Patriots coach Bill Belichick. In his teens, Haley shifted his emphasis to golf, playing in high school and at Florida and Miami in college.

The PGA, not the NFL, appeared to be his calling.

“But there never was a time he wasn’t into football,” said Dick Haley, who at 75 remains plugged into the NFL. “Because of some back problems, he got diverted into golf, but he always wanted to know about the players, about football. How many kids wouldn’t want to after rooming next to Joe Greene at training camp?”

The elder Haley left the Steelers to become the Jets’ personnel director in 1991 and, four years later, Todd was hired in the scouting department. Within two years, he was on Parcells’ coaching staff.

“Todd is bright, demanding, persistent, and he came along pretty well,” Parcells said.

Parcells didn’t care Haley hadn’t played football.

“I know guys who didn’t play and did very well in coaching, and others who played that don’t have a clue what to do,” Parcells, a two-time Super Bowl-winning coach, said.

Haley was promoted to wide receivers coach in 1999 before switching to the Bears in 2001, only to rejoin Parcells in Dallas in 2004.

Haley’s profile rose with his next job as the Arizona Cardinals’ offensive coordinator from 2007-08. With quarterback Kurt Warner headlining an imaginative offense highlighted by former Pitt receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s big plays, the Cardinals were second in passing and third in scoring in 2008. They went 9-7 during the season, but scored at least 30 points during three consecutive playoff wins and rallied from a 13-point deficit to nearly upset the Steelers in the Super Bowl.

That deep throw to Fitz-gerald that nearly sent the Steelers home a loser from Tampa? Haley’s play call.

Haley was subsequently hired as the Chiefs coach by general manager Scott Pioli, the former Patriots executive who worked for the Jets when Haley did. But while Haley went from 4-12 in his first season in 2009 to 10-6 in 2010, finishing third in the coach of the year voting, he was fired with his injury-ruined team reeling with a 5-8 record on Dec. 12.

STORMY DAYS IN K.C.

Haley is derecho-like — always going straight ahead, in full-go mode, and in Kansas City, storm clouds often loomed on the horizon.

Chan Gailey, retained from Herm Edwards’ staff to be the offensive coordinator, didn’t make it through training camp. Larry Johnson, the two-time former 1,700-yard rusher, questioned Haley’s coaching credentials in a Twitter message and was cut in 2009. And tight end Tony Moeaki was lost to a season-ending knee injury in the final 2011 exhibition game, when many NFL regulars rest.

“The quarterback (Matt Cassel) was real average. … It didn’t surprise me what happened in Kansas City. I didn’t have any real confidence in the whole thing,” Dick Haley said.

After Todd Haley departed, the Kansas City Star published a devastating article in which a number of former team employees revealed what they called an intimidating, secretive and stifling work environment. According to the Star, Haley himself suspected bugging at the practice complex.

“I don’t know what happened in Kansas City. I don’t think it’s relevant in Pittsburgh,” Parcells said. “But he probably learned a lot there.”

TUTORING BIG BEN

Given Haley’s sideline spats with Warner, Anquan Boldin, Terrell Owens and Cassel, his relationship with Roethlisberger should prove intriguing. Haley once said, “If you’re sensitive, (the NFL) is not the best place to be.”

“You accept people for what they are and get past the sensitivity level, if there is any,” Parcells said. “Both guys are smart enough to say, ‘Hey, we’ve got to make it work.’ ”

Torry Holt, a NFL Network analyst and former Rams star receiver, can’t wait to see how this plays out.

“Coach Haley has a strong personality. Ben has a strong personality. I’m sure Todd wants him to hone in on this or hone in on that, and Ben will try,” Holt said. “But out there on the football field, your instincts kick in and your competitive nature kicks in, and you kind of resort back to what you’ve always done.”

Haley’s take on Roethlisberger? “He’s a guy that’s been a really good player, and we’re going to try to keep that going and get even better,” he said.

Haley believes an offense must be physical, smart and disciplined, and his system resembles that of his former boss, Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt, a Steelers assistant from 2001-06.

“Todd Haley represents the best of both worlds,” NFL Network analyst Jamie Dukes said. “With Kurt Warner, he threw it 45 times a game and didn’t blink. In Kansas City, he ran it 45 times a game. He’s got those three young wide receivers there in Pittsburgh, and Ben knows how to put the ball in the air. Todd will make the adjustments, and rather quickly.”

While Haley is an assistant again after being a head coach, his father insists he has never been happier now that he’s back home in Pittsburgh with his wife Chrissy and five children.

“He’s loving every second of this,” the elder Haley said. “He couldn’t be more excited.”

Dad Haley also realizes there is intense pressure to succeed as a high-profile coach in your hometown, even if former head coach Bill Cowher made it work.

“I don’t question he’ll do well. (But) there’s a lot of pressure to live up to what’s gone on there for a long time,” Dick Haley said. “And he’d better be good because there’s a lot of pressure on him right now.”
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:25 PM   #736
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarthPioliSatan View Post
Yep, Haley was the problem!
He was part of it.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:28 PM   #737
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Originally Posted by Argo View Post
He was part of it.
I'm beginning to think that he wasn't the BIGGEST part of it...
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:30 PM   #738
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Originally Posted by DarthPioliSatan View Post
I'm beginning to think that he wasn't the BIGGEST part of it...
True.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:39 PM   #739
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarthPioliSatan View Post
I'm beginning to think that he wasn't the BIGGEST part of it...
Beginning?!?!?!
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:54 PM   #740
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We already know he can be a good OC with a Franchise QB. Unfortunately for us, we also know he's a complete boob of a Head Coach.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:56 PM   #741
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Originally Posted by PGM View Post
We already know he can be a good OC with a Franchise QB. Unfortunately for us, we also know he's a complete boob of a Head Coach.
Sure looked good with Charlie Batch last week.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:58 PM   #742
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PGM View Post
We already know he can be a good OC with a Franchise QB. Unfortunately for us, we also know he's a complete boob of a Head Coach.
I'd be a boob too if my boss was Scott Pioli
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:26 PM   #743
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I'd be a boob too if my boss was Scott Pioli
I'd probably be in prison for murder...
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:35 PM   #744
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I'd probably be in prison for murder...
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I have completely given up on Alex Smith as a qb. Its painful to watch. Like, worse than watching Colt McCoy.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:15 PM   #745
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We already know he can be a good OC with a Franchise QB. Unfortunately for us, we also know he's a complete boob of a Head Coach.
I don't understand why people say you can't win without a franchise QB, we had an absolutely shitty QB, and then people wonder why Haley couldn't win despite having an absolutely shitty QB.

All I know is that our team played discipline, tough football. This same team with even BETTER talent than in 2011 and 2010 is getting their asses kicked. Haley is a much better coach than he gets credit for. Needed to improve his game management, but he took a pretty average team without a franchise QB and at least 3/4 of the time in 2010 and 2011, he pumped out a competitive team. Hell, he even kept us competitive in games with Tyler ****ing Palko at QB.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:37 AM   #746
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Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
I don't understand why people say you can't win without a franchise QB, we had an absolutely shitty QB, and then people wonder why Haley couldn't win despite having an absolutely shitty QB.

All I know is that our team played discipline, tough football. This same team with even BETTER talent than in 2011 and 2010 is getting their asses kicked. Haley is a much better coach than he gets credit for. Needed to improve his game management, but he took a pretty average team without a franchise QB and at least 3/4 of the time in 2010 and 2011, he pumped out a competitive team. Hell, he even kept us competitive in games with Tyler ****ing Palko at QB.
^This.

He took a team without Berry, Charles, And Moeaki...

a team starting Tyler Palko at QB and Jackie Battle at RB, and Barry ****ig Goddamn Richardson at RT...took them into Soldier ****ing Field and WON.

We've won 2 games AT ARROWHEAD since then.

Anyone who thinks Haley was 'a boob' or was somehow not a good coach is ****ing stupid.

Every single person on this team played better, faster, more disciplined, smarter football when Tood Haley was our head coach.

If he would have had a halfway competant GM, we would be leading the division and possibly competing for a first-round bye.

Todd Haley will become a Head Coach again and win multiple Super Bowls...

That will make me happy for him as a person, but it makes me not even want to be an NFL fan anymore.

This whole thing sucks.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:59 AM   #747
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Originally Posted by Driving Wheel View Post
^This.

He took a team without Berry, Charles, And Moeaki...

a team starting Tyler Palko at QB and Jackie Battle at RB, and Barry ****ig Goddamn Richardson at RT...took them into Soldier ****ing Field and WON.

We've won 2 games AT ARROWHEAD since then.

Anyone who thinks Haley was 'a boob' or was somehow not a good coach is ****ing stupid.

Every single person on this team played better, faster, more disciplined, smarter football when Tood Haley was our head coach.

If he would have had a halfway competant GM, we would be leading the division and possibly competing for a first-round bye.

Todd Haley will become a Head Coach again and win multiple Super Bowls...

That will make me happy for him as a person, but it makes me not even want to be an NFL fan anymore.

This whole thing sucks.
That win at Chicago sure sounds nice...except when you realize that they didn't have any WR's that were worth a damn, their OL is the worst in the league, Caleb Hanie (an equally suckass QB) started because Cutler was hurt and Forte got knocked by DJ early in the game.

We had a lucky hail mary that is successful 1/10 times.

Haley is a great OC, but a great HC? Not here he wasn't. Do you not remember the cross country training camp he ran in 2011? That was an abortion. Then he played our starters the entire ****ing game in a meaningless game in Green Bay?

Pioli has a huge part of in this shit job, but Haley had his part too. There were countless times where the team looked completely unmotivated to play. It's like they didn't know it ****ing game time yet. That's on Haley.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:12 AM   #748
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driving Wheel View Post
^This.

He took a team without Berry, Charles, And Moeaki...

a team starting Tyler Palko at QB and Jackie Battle at RB, and Barry ****ig Goddamn Richardson at RT...took them into Soldier ****ing Field and WON.

We've won 2 games AT ARROWHEAD since then.

Anyone who thinks Haley was 'a boob' or was somehow not a good coach is ****ing stupid.

Every single person on this team played better, faster, more disciplined, smarter football when Tood Haley was our head coach.

If he would have had a halfway competant GM, we would be leading the division and possibly competing for a first-round bye.

Todd Haley will become a Head Coach again and win multiple Super Bowls...

That will make me happy for him as a person, but it makes me not even want to be an NFL fan anymore.

This whole thing sucks.
How do you explain Haley starting the season 0-3 and getting blown out 2 weeks to start the season.....then losing 5 of 6 games during the middle of the season? Funny how you leave stuff like that out.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:16 AM   #749
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How do you explain Haley starting the season 0-3 and getting blown out 2 weeks to start the season.....then losing 5 of 6 games during the middle of the season? Funny how you leave stuff like that out.
I've always said the bad start last year was a bad mistake from a coach taking a risk. But a few games doesn't get you fired. The losing streak in the middle of the season... You don't thnk that would have been different with even an average qb?
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:17 AM   #750
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That win at Chicago sure sounds nice...except when you realize that they didn't have any WR's that were worth a damn, their OL is the worst in the league, Caleb Hanie (an equally suckass QB) started because Cutler was hurt and Forte got knocked by DJ early in the game.

We had a lucky hail mary that is successful 1/10 times.

Haley is a great OC, but a great HC? Not here he wasn't. Do you not remember the cross country training camp he ran in 2011? That was an abortion. Then he played our starters the entire ****ing game in a meaningless game in Green Bay?

Pioli has a huge part of in this shit job, but Haley had his part too. There were countless times where the team looked completely unmotivated to play. It's like they didn't know it ****ing game time yet. That's on Haley.
So the bears were handicapped because they had Caleb Hanne, so the chiefs were a sure fire win behind Tyler palko?
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