Perhaps they're of the group that believes there was a legitimate riff between himself and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Or maybe it was just due to a nasty final year in Kansas City.
However he's perceived, it's a good bet a lot of that will go away if Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley is able to run an offense in 2014 that was as potent as it was over the team's final nine games of 2013.
That could put him in line for a head coaching gig in 2015.
This is the same Todd Haley who was featured as the subject of Wrath of Steeler Nation Magazine as recently as two minutes ago. Coaches often draw the ire and frustration of fans, and Haley earned much (not all) of that skepticism. The reality is, though, it's an offensive league, and considering the overall talent Haley's had to work with, it wouldn't be a surprise - given a repeat performance of the team's final nine games when they averaged roughly 28 points a game - if his tires are kicked by an owner or general manager in the market for a new coach.
The good of Haley: His offense saw a former sixth-round draft pick break the club's receiving yards record in Week 16. His offense saw more injuries along its line for the second year in a row while averaging 25 years in age from the start of the season. It lost its best player - center Maurkice Pouncey - developed its new best player - right guard David DeCastro - and made a servicable starting left tackle out of a former seventh round pick (and it fired its offensive line coach).
The bad of Haley: He found himself mired in tabloid-like headlines multiple times this year, including lawsuits against him for allegedly not paying rent and not paying for dog-sitting duties (both of which claimed damages in the ballpark of $10,000). There have been multiple examples of ineptitude on the part of the same offense that came alive over the second half of the season, and many will attribute the success of that offense to a no-huddle package commanded by Roethlisberger.
Many of these general arguments can be seen as exaggerations or stretches from reality. No coach is without controversy, but results and the bottom line can't be ignored any more than the controversy should be considered.
If Haley is to make himself a viable head coaching candidate, it would be to the Steelers' benefit, so fans should embrace the idea of it happening after the 2014 season.
It would make the first public statement from Roethlisberger on the issue very interesting, if nothing else.
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