Todd Haley is a popular guy this week. The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator is leading an offense riding high on a three-game winning streak, including an impressive victory over the defending champs last week.
But it’s not the career-year from Ben Roethlisberger or the battered running back corps destroying the New YOrk Giants defense that has put Haley in the spotlight. It’s the fact that he is facing off against the team that fired him less than a year ago despite having to deal with major injuries and on the heels of a division title.
To his credit, Haley has been saying all the right things. The only knocks on the clown show that has become of Clark Hunt’s franchise have come through over-the-top praise of the Steelers “tight-knit family”.
Haley’s players, on the other hand, know how important this game is to their coach.
“He’s a little geeked up; he’s a little juiced,” receiver Mike Wallace told reporters.
“He really wants to go out there and get this win. You know it means a lot more to him,” running back Isaac Redman added.
And for a guy publicly thought of as someone that doesn’t get along with his players, Roethlisberger sure seem ready to go out and put a big number up on the Chiefs for him.
“Any time you have a guy on your team that used to play for another team, there’s always a little extra incentive to try to win for that guy,” the Steelers quarterback said. “As offensive guys, yeah, you want to pull for your guy, get it for him.”