NFL Coaching Rumors: Steelers' Todd Haley out, Mike Munchak turns down Cardinals interview

The shakeup in Pittsburgh is beginning, just a few days after an ugly 45-42 loss to Jacksonville, with the Steelers deciding to let offensive coordinator Todd Haley leave. It's semantics, really: Haley's contract was up and the Steelers were going to fire him if it wasn't. 

There has been friction simmering between Haley and Ben Roethlisberger for months now, if not longer. Roethlisberger, quite famously, was not thrilled about the Steelers forcing out Bruce Arians and bringing in Haley. Haley has been heavily criticized for some of his play-calling, particularly on fourth downs against the Jags.

The goal of making that change was to limit the number of shots Roethlisberger took and make him more of a cerebral quarterback. It worked. Roethlisberger has been playing at an extremely high level the last few years, but when a 13-win team melts down in a home playoff game, fails to convert critical fourth downs and the quarterback does a sly job of kicking the coaches under the bus by pointing out he can't audible at the line of scrimmage, well, change is going to happen. 

So now the Steelers need a new offensive coordinator. Alex Marvez of the Sporting News reports it could be quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner.

The other name to keep an eye on? Offensive line coach Mike Munchak, who became a surprise candidate to pop up for multiple job openings this offseason. Munchak was an odd candidate on the surface level based on his record with the Titans, but there is a decent argument he did pretty well with Tennessee, going 22-26 over three years with Jake Locker as his quarterback.

One of the jobs he was up to get was the Cardinals gig, and Arizona was going to bring him back for a second interview. According to multiple reports, Munchak declined the opportunity for the second chat with GM Steve Keim and President/CEO Michael Bidwell. 

Maybe that means Munchak could garner some kind of assistant head coach role with the Steelers. He's never had an OC role before. Oddly enough, Haley turned down an interview with the Cardinals back in 2013 to remain as the Steelers offensive coordinator.

The bigger issue for the Steelers might be on the defense. They gave up 45 points to the Jaguars. Perhaps had they been able to play some defense, we wouldn't be looking at Haley as the problem.

On the other hand, if the friction between Haley and Roethlisberger -- which Roethlisberger has played down multiple times -- was as bad as it looked over the last few years, there may have been no coming back from the void created in the relationship.

Additionally, when rumors are percolating about Mike Tomlin's job status, you better bet there is going to be some kind of scapegoat. For the Steelers, that looks to be Haley.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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