Don't expect Steelers to fire Todd Haley during season

By Ryan Wilson |

Todd Haley isn't going anywhere in 2013. (USATSI)
The Steelers are in London looking for their first win of the season against the also-winless Vikings. Whatever happens Sunday -- or the next 13 weeks -- this much is certain, at least according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette: Offensive coordinator Todd Haley isn't getting fired. Not during the Steelers' Week 4 bye, not if the running game remains one of the worst in the league, not if points remain hard to come by.

There's more: Coach Mike Tomlin won't get fired after the season, either.

"The Steelers have never fired an offensive coordinator midseason," Bouchette wrote Sunday morning. "Never. The closest they came was 1998 when Bill Cowher took the play-calling duties away from Ray Sherman late in the season, then fired him after his only season."

According to Bouchette, Tomlin -- and Tomlin alone -- hired Haley. Running backs coach Kirby Wilson was in line to replace offensive coordinator Bruce Arians after the 2011 season but Wilson was seriously injured in a house fire. Then Haley and Tomlin spoke in Mobile, Ala., at the Senior Bowl, and a short conversation turned into a two-hour discussion.

Haley got the job, and through nine games last season, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had 17 touchdowns against four interceptions, was a legit MVP candidate, and the Steelers were 6-3. Then a freak injury against the Chiefs derailed Big Ben's season, and with it, that of the Steelers. The team finished 8-8 and are now 0-3.

Tomlin, meanwhile, has taken Pittsburgh to two Super Bowls, winning the Lombardi Trophy following the 2008 season. He's the fourth-fastest coach in NFL history to 60 victories, and he's the only Steelers' coach to win a title in his second season.

"And don't tell me he did it with Bill Cowher's talent," Bouchette warned. "Bill Cowher's talent went 8-8 in his final season, 2006. They said the same thing about Cowher early in his career, that he did it with Chuck Noll's talent. Chuck Noll's talent could not make the playoffs in his final two seasons, but Cowher took that talent to 11-5 in 1992 after that talent went 7-9 in 1991 -- Noll's final season. That's what good coaching does, getting the best out of his talent."

None of this matters, of course, if the Steelers continue to struggle. Fans are a fickle bunch, and spoiled fans are even worse.

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