The Steelers were one of the league's most explosive offenses from 2012-2017, which just so happens to coincide with Todd Haley's time with the team as offensive coordinator. He was brought in to replace Bruce Arians, who was close with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, but was also allowing the franchise quarterback to take way too many hits. Haley cleaned that up quickly and not only made Roethlisberger more efficient, there was also a drastic reduction in the number of sacks.
But with Haley's contract up after the 2017 season, and that season coming to an inglorious end in the divisional playoffs against the Jaguars, coach Mike Tomlin apparently felt it was time to move on.
(This is where we point out that the Steelers' defense allowed 45 points in that playoff loss while Haley's offense scored 42 points.)
The knock against Haley has never been his abilities as coach but how he got along with others. That was a storyline in Dallas, Arizona, Kansas City and Pittsburgh. But as the old saying goes, winning fixes a lot. That changes when you lose.
And now Haley's out of work but the expectation is that he could have a new job, possibly in the AFC North. The Browns, who went 1-31 in Hue Jackson's two seasons, are working to hire Haley, reports Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot. And ESPN's Chris Mortensen says the two sides were in serious talks. It's unclear if Haley will accept the job.
The Browns, who started rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer in 15 games, finished with the league's worst offense (32nd in passing, 10th in rushing), according to Football Outsiders. They will almost certainly take another quarterback with one of their high first-round picks.
The Steelers, meanwhile, replaced Haley with QB coach Randy Fitchner who, like Arians, is close with Roethlisberger.