When the Kansas City Chiefs hired Todd Haley as their head coach, it was widely expected his teams would throw the ball around the field. After all, that’s how he nearly led the Arizona Cardinals to a Super Bowl victory. Haley quickly found out he didn’t have any of the vertical weapons he had in the desert and instead focused on a much more run heavy attack.
With the emergence of Jamaal Charles as one of the best running backs in the league and quarterback Matt Cassel showing he couldn’t throw the ball down the field, it made sense to build the offense around his talents.
At the press conference to introduce him as the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator, Haley was asked if he would put more of an emphasis on the run or the pass.
“Emphasis on winning,” Haley told reporters. “There is a very high expectation here in the city of Pittsburgh. I grew up here. I understand what is expected from the fans and the city of Pittsburgh.”
Those expectations are the same his father faced from 1971-90 while he worked for the Steelers and they begin and end with a championship. Anything less is a failure and Haley will once again work with what is at his disposal to get the job done.
“If your best chance to succeed is to run the ball 63 times a game, then you run the ball 63 times a game. I am going to do what gives our players the chance to be the best they can possibly be because generally when that is occurring, you are doing well. I am not a statistics guy as far as end of the year stats, but I want to protect the football and score points.”
Now we’ll get to see if Haley can be as successful as he was with the Cardinals and during his second season with the Chiefs or if things will fall apart they did last season in Kansas City. And maybe we won’t have to think about Haley anymore… at least until the Chiefs visit Pittsburgh next season.