Now , we here at BTSC have been displaying differing opinions on the Steelers offensive coordinator. Wait let me rephrase that the Steelers offensive offensive coordinator. Now after a full season which includes two preseasons and a full season game in his second year at the helm, Todd Haley may be finding himself right in the middle of the fire that burns as steel is molded.
I could go on here to rip Haley but it wouldn't even be that hard . I could rip him for an offensive display in the Steelers 16-9 loss to the Titans on Sunday which was so sickly -yielding 195 total yards and 14 first downs to a definitively beatable Titans teams that fans was seen leaving for the exits early in the fourth quarter-of the season opener!
I could rip Haley for the 3rd and 11 play call of a screen to Emmanuel Sanders in which David Paulson showed us why he can't and never will be considered as a blocker , whiffed on the block resulting in a 2 yard loss. But wait , it gets better! Starting the second half the play calls were dump to LaRod Stephens-Howling, run by LSH, incomplete dump to LSH. Ok, that was then followed by 2 plays in which LSH was plowed right into the Titans stout defensive line. Holy cow! LaRod Stephens -Howling was never featured so much even while playing for Pitt versus The Citadel!
I could rip Haley even for the sequence in which a touchdown was produced . The Steelers had a first and goal from the Titans 4 yard line . Three passes shy of the gal line and the results ? 2 incompletes and one tackled short of the goal line . It wasn't until on a 4th down play that Jerricho Cotchery got open and Ben Threaded the pass into his arms for a touchdown! I could rip Haley from now until next week , which with the time he has, he is probably spending it drawing up more plays for LSH, ACL and all, to beat the Bengals all by his lonesome self. I won't do that as it is not my job. I'll let our head coach Mike Tonlin do it.
Tomlin was asked about the opening drive fumble by Isaac Redman into the Titans end zone that could've resulted in a 9-0 Steelers lead. He responded that there was confusion leading up to the execution of the play. "We had a miscommunication in terms of the personnel group." It was clarified later by Redman. "There was supposed to be two tailbacks in on that play , Felix Jones and me. The aim was to keep the defense guessing which way the ball was going to go." That would've been fine had Jones actually made it onto the field, but upon breaking the huddle David Johnson was in at fullback and with a few seconds left in the play clock, Redman instructed Johnson to line up at the tailback position. "They were all pointing at me ," Redman said when asked about the play. Since Tomlin called it a "miscommunication" and it didn't occur on the field , the responsibility is on one man -Todd Haley!
Asked about the pathetic running game display -32 yds total , Tomlin replied. "We didn't execute. They did. They had a nice plan. Our plan could have been better under the circumstances. Obviously, we had intended on using Kelvin Beachum some at tight end. When he had to go to center, that changed. We didn't adjust well enough. I take responsibility for that." Ok, the "plan" Tomlin refers to is the responsibility of the offensive coordinator , not Tomlin as Haley is the architect of the "plan".
Look, there is plenty of blame to go around for Sunday's loss to the Titans. You can blame Colbert & Tomlin for inexplicably releasing Jonathan Dwyer. Blame Tomlin for not having his team well prepared and for taking out Jarvis Jones after he went Jadeveon Clowney on Chris Johnson. You can blame the offensive line and the special teams for their poor play. Some may even blame the injuries the Steelers suffered to Maurkice Pouncey, Larry Foote, and La Rod Stephens-Howling.
I will apologize now to Steeler Nation , but I can't get past the fact that Haley had all summer to prepare for the opening day game with the Titans, including a kumbaya with his quarterback Ben Roethlisberger clarifying all new terminology and other happy stuff and that was the result? A botched goal line setup and an endless array od screens and short passes? Ben blamed himself -"Not good enough . Point blank" - but you saw the exasperation on his face on the field Sunday. Was that for the execution or "the plan"? Only Ben knows and can tell you. Tomlin's correct . The "plan" isn't good enough-hasn't been for a year and change.
So who's still sticking up for the planner(Todd Haley) now ?