Even before last Sunday’s divisional-round playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, there were reports that the Pittsburgh Steelers were ready to move on from offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
The loss to the Jaguars didn’t help Haley keep his job.
Haley, to the delight of more than a few Steelers fans, will not be brought back, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. His contract has expired and he won’t get a new one. One in-house candidate will be quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner. His name has been floated in some reports about Haley’s shaky job security and his possible replacement.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin explained the move in a brief statement on the team website: “I have made the decision to not renew the contract for offensive coordinator Todd Haley. I would like to thank Todd for his contributions to our offense the past six years, and we wish him the best in his coaching future.”
Also, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that the Steelers will promote Fichtner to coordinator.
There have been rumblings about Haley’s relationship with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for a while, and that couldn’t have helped Haley. Neither did Sunday’s game (or the story about him being injured in a bar scuffle on New Year’s Eve). The Steelers ended up putting up 42 points, but the Steelers were down 21-0 early and a lot of the yards and points were fairly empty calories. Two calls from that game will be remembered for a while, and both came on fourth-and-1. Instead of running a quarterback sneak on either play, the Steelers pitched wide to Le’Veon Bell once for a big loss, and threw incomplete on another. Those were two of the biggest plays in the game.
There has been a lot of angst in Pittsburgh after the loss, and even the fairly crazy notion that head coach Mike Tomlin and his .659 career winning percentage needs to go. While that shouldn’t happen, it is no surprise the team made a change at offensive coordinator. The offense will be fine no matter who runs it, because it has star power all across the field. Maybe the new coordinator will add a quarterback sneak to the playbook.
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