Image via spokeo.comThere is no doubt we as a fanbase have mixed emotions on Todd Haley because he is seen as the big change we made over the offseason while our coaching favorite dear ole dad put the D at the top of the charts again. What we fail to look at is the two major problems the 2012 Steelers faced over the last year, special teams and offensive line.
Special Teams has a soft spot for me with their lack of any help this year to improving our chances of winning games, while they seemed to do a great job in helping lose games like Dallas and Baltimore. Is the standard really the standard in terms of special teams? Let's take a closer look.
Here are the stats of where they ranked:
16th in Kick Off Return Yardage Average (Down 8 spots from 2011)
21th in Touchback Percentage (down 3 spots from 2011
25th in Punting Net Average (down 7 spots from 2011)
21st in Punting Net Average Against (Down 4 spots from 2011)
28th in Punt Return Average (Down 15 spots from 2011)
15th in Putn Return Average Against (up one spot)
I couldn't find data for these in 2011 but in 2012:
24th in Kick Off Return Yardage Average Against
27th in Touchbacks Against
The standard apparently dropped an average of 6 spots from the 2011 effort and ended in the bottom half or bottom thrid of the league in rankings. Considering our return talent in Antonio Brown and Chris Rainey along with the special teams defensivive tallent these stats are completely not up to the standard. Not to mention the amount of penalties that killed long returns in the begining of the season and presason.
Which leaves the question why did Al Everest get fired? Obviously Amos Jones is FAR from the answer.... is anything going to be done here to get up to "the standard"?
The offensive line coaching position is obviously up for grabs with Sean Kugler leaving for UTEP.... the posts about Tunch Illkin I think are on point here.
The stats Kugler had with the team over his last 3 seasons:
2010 25th at 43
2011 24th at 42
2012 19th at 37
QB Hits Allowed
2010 21st at 78
2011 19th at 77
2012 13th at 67
2010 8th with 15 TDs
2011 15th with 13 TDs
2012 28th with 8 TDs
Obviously Todd Haley's system helped protect the QB this year and moved the scoring in the redzone from running the ball to throwing the ball, what we obviously need help with is injuries and depth. How we fix that in light of Kuglers absence is going to be the million dollar question next year.