Tomlin Said to be Checking Into Former Chiefs Head Coach Todd Haley for Offensive Coordinator Job

NFL Network's Jason La Canfora tweeted Monday the Steelers have expressed interest in former Buccaneers quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt.

He also said Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is making calls in regards to former Chiefs head coach Todd Haley for Pittsburgh's open offensive coordinator position.


He's an interesting, if not obvious, candidate. Interesting in the sense he appears to be an incredibly poor fit for the job.

Obvious, in that his father, Dick Haley, was the team's director of player personnel from 1971-1990. His father's legacy, however, and a buck fifty will get him a cup of jack squat.

What's apparent is the most success Haley had as a coordinator came from his time in Arizona, when he ran a spread offense. That offense was powerful, as Steelers fans saw in the second half of Super Bowl XLIII, but one has to wonder how much of that was future Hall of Fame WR Larry Fitzgerald and probable Hall of Fame QB Kurt Warner. WR Anquan Boldin was on that team as well.

He didn't have any of those players in Kansas City, a team known for its defense by the end of Haley's departure during the 2011 season. The Chiefs struggled to move the ball in any way during his time there, even during Haley's 2009 season that saw the Chiefs surprisingly go 10-6, winning the AFC West.

More than anything, Haley's aggressive style (rooted from his early coaching days with Bill Parcells, who had Haley run laps after mistakes) clearly rubs players the wrong way.

When hotheads like former Chiefs RB Larry Johnson take to the media and Twitter to call him out, it can maybe be dismissed. But when well-respected and noted veterans like OG Brian Waters and LB Mike Vrabel had clear and obvious problems with him in a head coaching capacity, one really needs to pay attention.

Should it make a difference he wouldn't be in charge of the entire team?

Not at all, considering he was seen getting in the face of Boldin during the NFC Championship game in 2009.

The Steelers are led by a group of coaches adept at knowing which buttons to push and when. If Tomlin is ever seen on the sideline getting in a player's face, it's usually a young player in need of a lesson one must learn to be a professional. Benchings take place after fumbles or post-whistle penalties, but those players are not openly berated after each mistake. Composure is maintained, action is taken and the game continues. And even when the Steelers lose, Tomlin handles himself with class. Haley? Not so much.

Classy, even-tempered and a strong decision-maker. Haley is none of those things. He essentially fired Chiefs offensive coordinator Chan Gailey three games into the 2009 preseason - preseason - after their lackluster offense produced just two touchdowns. Gailey has been around the game for over 30 years, and has led several successful offenses, including a stint with Pittsburgh that saw four consecutive division championships and a Super Bowl berth.

The Steelers' success is rooted in the exact opposite of emotion-based, heat-of-the-moment decisions. It's also rooted in the opposite of a spread offense.

Haley does not have an All-Universe physical receiver like Fitzgerald. Haley has had no success without that kind of a player on the field. His offenses in Kansas City were underwhelming, at best, and I refuse to believe he had no part in the decision to sign Matt Cassel to an enormous contract, even if Cassel's former front-office boss, Scott Pioli, was brought to Kansas City along with Haley.

And if anyone watched the Chiefs' final game of Haley's head coaching "career," you'd be against him coming to Pittsburgh as well. It's rare to see a team unilaterally quit on its coach.

It's certainly worth noting Haley picked up a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct in that game, a complete massacre at the hands of the New York Jets that was worse than the 37-10 score even indicated.

Haley was out, Romeo Crennel comes in, and what happens? The Chiefs beat then-undefeated Green Bay 19-14. Clearly, the team was at fault for not accepting Haley, right?. After all, Haley spent the reduced amount of time he had with the players this past off-season working on conditioning and strength training, hoping to reduce the amount of injuries his players suffered in 2011.

The result: four starters landed on Injured Reserve by Week 2.

Shrewd move, coach.

These kinds of things go beyond his job description as either a head coach or an offensive coordinator. It goes to his credibility as a leader and a decision-maker. You've got a coach who's most successful season came with an offense that doesn't match the direction Art Rooney II has asked Tomlin to deliver, and that was with arguably one of the best receivers to ever play the game, and a quarterback who won MVPs in pass-heavy offenses prior to that year. You've got a coach with a reputation for freaking out on the sidelines at his players, to the officials and even the opposing coach.

This is a man who does not exemplify the grassroots fundamentals of a winning team, and his poor track record of sustainable success is evidence to that.

So, simply put, who else is on the list?

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