It’s been a few weeks since Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley has come under fire for the Steelers’ woes, but that changed after the loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
After having some pretty good success running the football in the first quarter, Haley completely abandoned the run for the final three quarters, which ultimately hurt the Steelers. That especially was true late in the game when the Steelers were protecting a 28-24 lead and did not attempt to run the football to work the clock and move the chains.
That left me shaking my head and it apparently irked quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as well as he pretty much threw Haley under the bus when talking to reporters following the game.
The Steelers ran the ball down Miami’s throat early, handing the rock to rookie Le’Veon Bell eight times on the team’s 12-play touchdown drive in the opening quarter. Bell then touched the ball only once in the second quarter and had only five carries in the second half.
The formula was working, so why go drastically away from it?
Roethlisberger referred questions to Haley when asked pretty much the same thing.
“Their scheme, I don’t know, there was no particular reason,” said Roethlisberger via the Post-Gazette.
He also told Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network: ”No idea. Coach Haley’s over there. You can ask him.”
Personally I say good for Roethlisberger here. Both he and Bell were frustrated after the game and it makes little sense that Haley and company would switch the game plan so drastically when things were clearly working.
Even though Big Ben had another big game, abandoning the run likely played a role in costing the Steelers a much-needed victory.
At the end of the day, the proposed rift between Haley and Roethlisberger may have been repaired for a short period of time, but one thing has been clear as of late: Haley has been a major problem for two years now.
I’m the last guy who will point the finger at the offensive coordinator because I generally hate when Steelers fans quickly resort to that.
But defensive deficiencies aside, this one I hang on Haley and it should cost him his job.
If there is a Round 3 between Big Ben and Haley I will be very shocked.