Blog Entry

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

Posted on: February 8, 2012 6:51 pm
Can Haley make Roethlisberger a better quarterback? (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

There has been some consternation by Steelers fans -- if not flat out gnashing of teeth -- over the news that Pittsburgh hired Todd Haley as offensive coordinator. Haley, whose dad served in the Steelers' personnel department from 1971-1990, replaces Bruce Arians, who "retired" (read: was fired) last month.

It's not that Haley hasn't had success as an NFL assistant, it's just that his abrasive style doesn't seem to mesh with "The Steelers Way." Put differently: Haley's sideline demeanor is 180 degrees from that of defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. That alone isn't an indictment against the man; he is a football coach, after all. Yelling and screaming is more coming than not. And one of the reasons Arians was let go was because he had become too chummy with franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Why chumminess was a concern when the Steelers had gone to two Super Bowls (winning one) under Arians and regularly had a top-10 offense still remains a mystery. But this is a transient business; coaches get fired all the time. Just ask Haley, who was canned during the 2011 season after less than three years as the Chiefs' head coach, where he went 19-26.

Before Haley's arrival in Kansas City, he was a successful though sometimes combative coordinator in Arizona. One of the league's most mild-mannered players, former quarterback Kurt Warner, can attest to that.

"It doesn't matter where you stand on the totem pole," Warner, who played for Haley with the Cardinals, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"If he sees something you can do better, he lets you know about it. That was a reason for our success."

In general, that's all well and good. But it's not like Roethlisberger was struggling to find himself on the football field. He entered the "elite quarterback" conversation several years ago and other than debilitating injuries, he remains one of the league's most dangerous players. He did that under Arians. Whether that success continues under Haley remains to be seen.

"I enjoyed playing for him," Warner continued. "I'm a guy who loves to be challenged in a lot of different ways, and that's what Todd is about. He pushed me and wanted me to be great. He pushed the guys around me to be great."

As for all the sideline ranting and raving, Warner doesn't think it will be a problem.

"It's not about the yelling and screaming; I'm OK with that," said Warner, who along with teammates, got into it with Haley.

"He just wants you to do the right thing. Instead of getting offended, maybe you have to look at yourself and say, 'OK, that's a legitimate concern.' That's the way you get good. That's how you stay great. He will be good for Ben, not that Ben needs a lot of help. He's a great quarterback."


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Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2012 1:38 am

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

darrenball1, you're a nitwit. It's not about 1 year, it's about performance over several Peyton, like Brees, and yes, like warner. Kurt is right. Eli had a great outstanding year. At the end of the year, he was playing better than any other QB in the league. Now if he can string a few of them together, he will be an elite QB. He has been too up-and-down in his career, but maybe that is about to change. I hope so...I like Eli and wish him the best.  

Since: Oct 1, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2012 12:46 am

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

Clearly Eli is heading in the right direction.  I am a Cowboys fan and I believe he will end up being is a mute point right now......really stupid to even talk about........what if he throws 30 interceptions next year?  What if he throws no interceptions and 30 TD's..........what if the Mayan calender is correct?????   Then I really doubt he makes it....haha

Since: Oct 27, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2012 10:12 pm

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

As a Chief's fan, I think Haley's style was needed during his first two seasons, and it worked quite well, in motivating some undisciplined players.  I think this year, however, with the team not living up to the expectations, following an AFC West title, in 2010, that his screaming began to alienate alot of the players, as they were doubting his system and abilities to coach. He's a good coach, and does have a soft side to him, and I'm sure Tomlin won't let him get too out of control.  I personally thought his playcalling was somewhat predictable and often too conservative, but I think he is with a class organization, and has a great head coach, who will certainly have an active role in the offense, and that Haley will likely do well in Pittsburg.  

I know this is a dream job for him, due to his father being with the organization for so many years.  I think his biggest win, was when the Chiefs beat the Steelers, in 2009.  It was only 1 of 4 wins, so I guess that made it even more special.  Anyway, I wish him and the Steelers the best (except when they play the Chiefs, of course).

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2012 9:49 pm

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

Warner shut up,you said Eli was not a elite qb.And has not done enough to be a great QB.
He's employed by NFLN you nitwit. He's paid to give his opinions. He said he's not in the Hall of Fame level yet and he's right. 

Stop sniffing the guy's jock and stop with this Elite nonsense. You should be happy your team won a Super Bowl considering you wanted your coach fired after loss #2 to the Skins! Lesson: When your team wins 3 Super Bowls in the closing seconds, you might want to show some good sportsmanship and not tell others to shut up. 

Since: Mar 13, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2012 8:06 pm

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

I don't think you can put all of Haley's offenses' success on Kurt Warner. With the Cardinals, Haley led one of the top passing teams in the NFL. With the Chiefs, he led the top rushing offense. So Haley can work with different pieces. That's a good thing for a coach.

He's also able to make mid-game adjustments. In the Super Bowl against the Steelers, the Cardinals made adjustments on offense that brought them back to take the lead with about 2 minutes left against the league's best defense. Bruce Arians was horrible at identifying and making mid-game adjustments.

I don't think Haley is going to try to run a franchise QB out of town. He's smarter than that. But I do think he's going to push Ben Roethlisberger to be even better -- avoid sacks, avoid turnovers, avoid getting killed. I also hope that he can improve the Steelers Red Zone and short yardage effectiveness. If he can, this offense can be scary good. They moved the ball really well between the 20s under Arians but couldn't punch it in enough considering all their opportunities.

They could make the kind of leap on offense that the Texans did on defense when Wade Phillips came in. And remember how Wade was such a bad fit with the Cowboys. 

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2012 7:58 pm

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

What has Haley ever done? Warner was a super bowl winner and runner up in St Louis before ending his career in Arizona. I think he had the whole QB thing under control before Haley ever showed up. Haley QB's as of late? Matt Cassel and Tyler Thigpen. Not exactly world beaters. Isn't he a tennis coach?

Since: Nov 30, 2010
Posted on: February 8, 2012 7:30 pm

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

Warner shut up,you said Eli was not a elite qb.And has not done enough to be a great QB.

Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: February 8, 2012 7:16 pm

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

we will see. haley is very abraive. rothlisberger didi not want to see the other guy go. i dont think haley has enough sense to reliaze that he has to get along with rothlisberger. haley will be watching haley. haley will try to show himwho is boss. it will be very interesting. haley is overrated as a playcaller. his only claim to fame is that warner is such a good quarterback and had all those good receivers in arizona. if you have larry fitzgeral on your team you will llok like a good quarterback even if you are only average.

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