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Antonio Brown reportedly ‘angrily complained’ to Todd Haley that he wants the ball

Antonio-Brown-SteelersThe Pittsburgh Steelers are off to a disappointing start to the 2013 season. They lost an embarrassing home game to the Tennessee Titans in Week 1 and were beaten handily again by the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night. The team’s biggest issue is clearly its offense. If you ask wide receiver Antonio Brown, he might tell you that one of the main problems is he’s not seeing enough balls.

According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Brown confronted Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley during the second half of Monday’s loss. Tempers flaring on the sidelines is nothing new, but Bouchette said as of Tuesday the two still had not gotten over it.

Brown angrily complained to the coach that not enough pass plays were called for him, several sources told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Specifics of the argument were hard to come by but sources say that Haley was upset by Brown’s actions and that the two were still seething about it Tuesday. Brown’s complaint to Haley was harsh enough and the reaction to it along the sideline volatile to the point that  many people there noticed, although it was not shown nor apparently caught on camera by anyone, including ESPN, which broadcast the game.

Brown was targeted only three times in the first half. That number jumped up to six in the second half, and he finished with a team-high six catches for 57 yards. Emmanuel Sanders was targeted 10 times and Jerricho Cotchery, who looked sluggish and completely lost, saw five targets in the first half and nine total.

In Haley’s defense, the Steelers’ biggest issue was pass protection. Ben Roethlisberger had hardly any time to throw, so he had to make quick decisions. Although, it should be noted that Roethlisberger has described Haley’s offense as “dink and dump” in the past and admitted he was frustrated with it at one point last year.

It’s no surprise there are players who are angry with the play selection on an 0-2 team. Pittsburgh has a lot of things to fix. The losses of center Maurkice Pouncey and rookie running back Le’Veon Bell have hurt the offense as a whole. Bell’s return could help, but it’s not looking good for the Steelers. Reports like the one about Brown and Haley lead us to believe it could get worse before it gets better.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Ben Roethlisberger had ‘frustration’ with Todd Haley’s system

Ben RoethlisbergerBen Roethlisberger admitted to having some frustration with Todd Haley’s offensive system last year, but things seem better between the two.

Haley was brought in as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive coordinator after losing his job as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. The relationship between Haley and Roethlisberger started off shaky; Big Ben described the offense as “dink and dunk” and lamented the lack of big plays. Later in the season, he apologized for criticizing Haley’s playcalling following a loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune Review on Saturday, Roethlisberger admitted to having frustration with Haley last year, mostly over the terminology used for the offense.

“He brought it in and (said) ‘Here’s my stuff, here’s what we’re going to do.’ So it was hard for us to say, ‘Hey, we were pretty doggone good last year, what were we 12-4?’” Roethlisberger told the Tribune-Review. “We would say, ‘Oh, we know this play, it’s the same thing we had, but it’s called completely different.’ So why not call it the same thing? So there was a lot of frustration with that.”

Roethlisberger also said he liked the no-huddle offense the team used during one stretch last season and was disappointed when they went away from it. But it sounds like things are getting better. Roethlisberger seems to believe the two are on the same page when it comes to visions for the offense (Roethlisberger wants it up-tempo). He also says Haley made a big concession by telling the Steelers veterans they could call plays by whatever language they’re most comfortable using.

The Steelers may have some obstacles to overcome this year. Roethlisberger had his knee scoped last month and had a serious rib/shoulder injury last year. He also lost one of his favorite targets — deep threat Mike Wallace — who left for the Miami Dolphins in free agency. The last thing he needed was to worry about was getting confused by terminology for plays.

Ben Roethlisberger apologizes to Todd Haley for ripping playcalling

Ben Roethlisberger said he took complete blame for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, but he also took the opportunity to publicly question offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s decision-making. Roethlisberger said he was disappointed that the team strayed away from the no-huddle in the second half and wondered why tight end Heath Miller was not more involved after his big first half.

Apparently Big Ben later realized that calling out one of his coaches in public was unprofessional.

“I actually came in (Monday) and apologized to Todd, apologized to Mike (Tomlin), apologized to Mr. (Dan) Rooney, just because I did let my frustrations jump out after a game,” Roethlisberger said Wednesday according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I don‘t usually do that, I usually keep it under control, (it was) just frustrations on myself. I‘ll be better at that.

“I apologized for the storm it created and caused.”

The fact that Roethlisberger has not been thrilled with Haley since the offseason is hardly a secret. However, the important thing to remember about Sunday’s loss to Dallas is that Roethlisberger threw a crucial interception in overtime that handed the Cowboys the ball in field goal range. You could argue that the Steelers could have avoided overtime with a better offensive plan in the second half, but Roethlisberger had the ball in his hands with a chance to win the game. Haley didn’t throw the interception.

As for the future, Haley and Roethlisberger need to find a way to work together if Pittsburgh hopes to make the playoffs. If the Steelers lose to the Bengals this weekend, the fans aren’t going to care if the issue was playcalling or execution.

H/T Around the League
Photo credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Ben Roethlisberger critical of Steelers’ offense under Todd Haley

Many wondered how Ben Roethlisberger would adjust to the Steelers hiring a strong personality like Todd Haley to be offensive coordinator, and now we’re getting a glimpse.

Big Ben spoke to Pittsburgh reporters on Friday and seemed to express disappointment that the offense isn’t shooting for bigger plays.

“Haley’s offense is not a big-play offense,” he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “It’s kind of a dink-and-dunk offense.”

Asked why the Steelers never went back to big bombs after Roethlisberger and Mike Wallace connected for an 82-yard pass last week, the quarterback replied, “There’s a guy calling the plays. That’s on him.”

Columnist Joe Starkey notes that Roethlisberger did not have any venom when he made those comments.

The relationship between Haley and Roethlisberger seems to be professional and not strained, but there appears to be a significant disagreement when it comes to philosophy. Pittsburgh is 2-3 — the first time they have a losing record through five games under Mike Tomlin — so it’s understandable why people may be frustrated. Overall, Roethlisberger’s passing numbers have been relatively strong. The Steelers are fifth in the league in passing attempts (198), seventh in passing yards (1,429), and sixth in touchdowns with 10. If they were doing worse, then there would be more reason for concern.

H/T Pro Football Talk
Photo credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Todd Haley Feared Kansas City Chiefs Had Bugged His Phone

When Scott Pioli took over as general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009, he vowed to change the culture of the club. The team has gone 21-27 in his three years and has undergone many changes. More than half of the 155 people employed by the team since Pioli was hired are gone. Many current and former employees describe the work environment as uncomfortable, and built on secrecy and fear. That includes former head coach Todd Haley, who was fired in December.

The Kansas City Star interviewed several current and former employees who suggest that “intimidation and secrecy are among the Chiefs’ principal management styles — and that Haley wasn’t the only one with paranoid thoughts.”

Haley stopped talking on his phone, believing that his conversations were being monitored. He even though his personal cell phone, which he had prior to taking the Chiefs head coaching position, had been tampered with.

The Star described in great detail some of the franchise changes aimed at secrecy.

[Read more...]

Todd Haley is Rocking a Grizzly Week 8 Playoff Beard (Pictures)

After turning in an impressive 2010 campaign, most of us knew the Chiefs were somewhat of a pretender. Very few expected Kansas City to come out this season and enjoy the type of success they had a year ago. When Jamaal Charles went down with a season-ending injury, common sense would tell you the Chiefs playoff hopes went down with him. That was before they came back and ripped off three wins in a row.  Given the current winning streak, Todd Haley has decided it’s not too early for a playoff beard.  Check out this picture that Shutdown Corner passed along:

“This thing is getting gnarly,” Haley told the Kansas City Star on Sunday. “It’s really uncomfortable.”

Who really knows if it’s the bean bag toss game, the beard, or the fact that the Chiefs have played terrible opponents and rusty quarterbacks.  All that matters is they’re winning games and staying in the hunt.  However, it’s important to note that if Haley thinks his rally beard is going to rival L.B.’s Bruins Stanley Cup beard, he’s sorely mistaken.

Todd Haley on His Way Out in KC, Romeo Crennel or Josh McDaniels in?

The Kansas City Chiefs are looking like one of the worst teams in football. They already got smacked at home by the Bills in their season opener and then found out that emerging safety Eric Berry had been lost for the year. Then, early on in their beatdown against Detroit, star running back Jamaal Charles slipped on the sideline and tore his ACL. He’s also out for the year. The team has lost by a combined 89-10 in its first two games and is having a disaster season. The head coach is likely to pay the price.

Michael Silver at Yahoo! Sports says the relationship between Chiefs GM Scott Pioli and head coach Todd Haley has been strained since Pioli brought in Charlie Weis as the team’s offensive coordinator against Haley’s wishes. Silver predicts that if Pioli fires Haley, he will end up hiring Josh McDaniels. McDaniels is the offensive coordinator in St. Louis but he notoriously flamed out in Denver after two years.

Adam Schefter at ESPN took things a step further, suggesting Sunday that the Chiefs could fire Haley mid-season and promote defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel to head coach. It would be a natural move for Kansas City considering Crennel’s experience as a head coach and his relationship with Pioli, for whom he worked in New England. I was also told it would be a surprise if Haley lasted until week 10.

Kansas City will likely get slaughtered by San Diego this weekend, but they have winnable games against the Vikings and Colts after that. If they can’t pull out a win then you better believe Haley will be on his way to getting canned. Strange for a guy who earned Coach of the Year last season, right?