After a poor 2012 campaign, the Steelers faithful were sour on the impression offensive coordinator Todd Haley left. An 0-4 start in 2013 did not help matters either as the offense looked listless and out-of-sync. A timely Week 5 bye week seemed to put all of the pieces back together and the team finished with a strong 8-4 showing. The team just missed the playoffs in the closing minutes of the San Diego Chargers-Kansas City Chiefs matchup in Week 17 thanks to a missed Ryan Succup field goal.
Maybe the most impressive sight was Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley finally coexisting and making magic on the field. In that 8-4 stretch, the Steelers quarterback threw for 23 touchdowns, 3030 yards and only nine interceptions. What impressed Todd Haley the most was Ben's leadership during the rough times. Haley sat down with Bob Labriola from Steelers.com and had some interesting thoughts. Haley said during the rough times "it could have been easy to just go through the motions. But in those situations you saw Ben take charge, and a lot of those practices that were make-or-break practices from the coaches’ perspective, you could see there was no quit." Haley stays optimistic after a rough year by saying "a lot of good came out of it that should help us moving forward."
Todd Haley was also very pleased with the hiring of Mike Munchak. "In my opinion, he’s the best at what he does, which is coach the offensive line. He’s a great person. He’s a great teacher," Haley said. He also goes on to mention the chemistry the two already share. "He and I hit it off from day one. We have a lot of the same vision for the direction we want to go. That’s so, so critical because as everyone says, it starts with the guys up front. When the coordinator and the offensive line coach have the same vision for how you want to play football, that’s a big plus."
Haley shares Ben Roethlisberger's recent predictions that the team will run more no-huddle. He was happy with the progress the offense has made saying "we've made more and more progress in that area, which is exciting. When you can be in that no-huddle mode, what it allows you to do is, if everybody is on the same page and understands what we're trying to get done, you can get the right play called a lot of the time."
It's encouraging to hear the chemistry developing in the Steelers locker room and coaching staff. Of course, the results on the field will be the determining factor of how well this preparation has gone. For more of Todd Haley's thoughts on the additions of LeGarrette Blount, Lance Moore, Dri Archer and more, read the rest of his interview here.