Pittsburgh Steelers: Todd Haley’s Offense Falling Short On Points


As we all drag to the Monday Morning QB Coffee Chat, and in the case of Ohio-based Steeler fans, pay for a Starbucks to avoid encounters, maybe it’s time see the Pittsburgh Steelers for what they are.

Mediocre. Or worse yet, average would be a compliment.

The Steelers offense seems so potent on paper:

A Pro Bowl QB and Antonio Brown. Emerging pass catcher Markus Wheaton. Former Saints star slot receiver Lance Moore, and a healthy Heath Miller.

One of the top three RB tandems in the league in Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount. Dri Archer, a scat back/receiver whom the Steelers drafted over corner and nose tackle.

And all of this behind the best offensive line Ben Roethlisberger has had since their last trip to the Super Bowl.

When in reality, this is an offense that has managed just 20 points in their last two games against the two worst defenses in the NFL, literally. The Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars are 31st and 32nd in points allowed per game.

Even Charlie Whitehurst was able to throw two TDs against Cleveland. And that’s before the Browns defense lost starter Armonty Bryant and before Paul Kruger’s back was cranky.

Tomlin blames poor execution. Snoop Dogg and Steelers fans blame the “below the line” efforts of offensive coordinator Todd Haley.


Antonio Brown, Wheaton, Moore, Miller and Bell all dropped catchable throws, while Roethlisberger had yet another game where he looked like he needed more warm-up tosses. He overthrew another easy TD. He also gave the Browns a break by locking eyes with his receivers.

Wheaton appeared to be the receiver Haley designed into the game plan, with the league’s second-best receiver (in yards), Antonio Brown, not recording a catch until the end of the first half.

Wheaton was targeted 11 times catching just four balls for 33 yards. He again was unable to get separation – this time from one of Browns fans’ favorite punching bags, cornerback Buster Skrine. Skrine was able to knock Wheaton off his routes causing him to be late and unaware of the incoming ball. Wheaton has lost the battle against aggressive starting corners all season.

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After six weeks of mediocrity, Haley’s insistence on not giving anyone else a try on the outside is short-sighted or stubborn…and at the very least, lazy. The 6-foot-4 athletic rookie Martavis Bryant still waits for his opportunity.

And Roethlisberger waits for an end-zone target. Apparently only special teams coach Danny Smith knows how to utilize the smart, physical 6-3 Darrius Heyward-Bey.

Haley does not seem to think DHB’s ability to get open and deep in preseason would benefit an offense that is constantly playing catch-up. We disagree.

Wheaton and fourth-string wideout Moore may very well be the top two receivers after Brown. Problem is they both should be the slot. DHB and Bryant should be given an opportunity to move Wheaton inside.

Haley has had as much luck squeezing talent out of Wheaton as he did with Emmanuel Sanders. The Broncos have certainly coached it out of Sanders.

Haley should pull up some Denver game film, or maybe an NFL Red Zone Movie Marathon to see how teams are scoring in the red zone nowadays. Three straight goal-line run calls where neither Bell nor Blount could get seven lousy yards ain’t good enough.

Watch in-state foe Philadelphia. You can’t help but recognize the immense organization and readiness Chip Kelly has installed in the Eagles offense compared to the haphazard Steelers.

Haley can’t even seem to manage 11 players at the start of the second quarter. Roethlisberger’s frustration with the wasted time out was the beginning of the end for the Steelers offense.

And maybe the Steelers 2014 season.