02-29-2012, 05:08 PM
Out of the frying pan, into the fire? For former Kansas City Chiefs head coach and new Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, it may indeed be so. After he was fired from a Chiefs team whose front office allegedly engaged in various weird surveillance tactics , Haley replaced Bruce Arians as the man tasked to make the Steelers offense go. Problem is, a lot of people in the Steelers organization didn't want Arians (who is now the Colts offensive coordinator) to be fired -- head coach Mike Tomlin expressed his endorsement of Arians' work after the Steelers were upset by the Denver Broncos in the wild-card round, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was known to be concerned about the direction of the offense after Arians' departure. Some say that the switch is rooted in the desire of team president Art Rooney II to return the Steelers to the smashmouth offense of old, as opposed to an Arians offense that became more about spread formations and multi-receiver sets. That approach worked well in recent years, especially with the team's cadre of young speed receivers, but if you're into the old-school approach of Jerome Bettis tearing up defensive lines, the fancy approach probably won't get it done. Haley spoke to a need for adaptation at his introductory press conference . "Transition will always be, I don't want to say difficult, because I don't know how we could determine that right now; it's just starting," Haley said. "There is an uncomfortable aspect to newness, but that's not always a bad thing. I think it will be a great thing in this case. I am sure [Roethlisberger] will figure out we are trying to make him as good as he can possibly be. Not many players that I know of have ever had an issue with that." In other words, give the new guy a chance before deciding that his approach is the wrong one. Fair enough, but a tough request for some players who still miss Arians. "I've gotten a lot of calls and texts and emails from people around the league, both good and bad about him," Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, shortly before Haley was officially introduced at the team facility. "Everybody has an opinion, as we all know, and they're letting me know what their interaction with him was -- good, bad and indifferent. I've heard a lot of things and I'm looking forward to meeting him and forming my own opinion." Roethlisberger then expressed serious concerns about Haley changing an offense that, in his opinion, doesn't need changing.