Todd Haley has to have an advantage over other candidates to be interviewed for the job of Head Coach in Arizona, other than maybe Ray Horton (current Defensive Coordinator). His good relationship and reputation with the franchise may very well help be a deciding factor when it’s all said and done. If he really wants this job it’s probably his to lose.
If there is a place where he could fit in and try to start repairing his head coaching stigma, it’s in Arizona. For me even if this move does make sense in some ways, I still find it odd that just a year removed from the disaster in Kansas City that somebody really thinks Haley is the man to steer their ship. Nothing personal against Haley, but the Chiefs situation was just flat out bad when he left.
Like the old saying goes, some are cut out to be Head Coaches and some are better suited to Coordinators. That’s not a bad thing, just a fact of life in professional sports. Lebeau didn’t do so well in Cincinnati but we all know he’s a defensive mastermind of which there is no equal.
I don’t think Haley is doomed to never be a Head Coach again, but sometimes a little distance from a bad situation can give you perspective. Apparently the Bidwell’s feel, potentially at least, that 1 year is enough perspective. Heck, they even wanted him last year before Pittsburgh snatched him up. That says a lot about their confidence in him. Either that or just because he came from Pittsburgh,and the Cardinals just love taking the Rooney’s castoff’s.
Haley himself said that he wasn’t interested in going anywhere else, that he was happy being in Pittsburgh, but you can’t blame the guy for at least listening to the offer. If he’s got a chance to redeem himself as a Head Coach, that may be too hard to pass up.
Still though, the Cardinals are set to talk further with Ray Horton, Defensive Coordinator and former Steelers secondary coach. They also have talks scheduled with other candidates, but the Haley side makes more sense than the Horton side for the main reason that the defense is already good in hands in Arizona.
The Cardinals were ranked 12th overall this season on defense, but obviously the injuries on Offensive Line and the bad Quarterback situation doomed the offense. It would make sense for the Bidwell’s to bring in an offensive minded coach and let Horton continue to work with the defense.
That being said I’m still confident enough to say that Haley will return to Pittsburgh and continue working on what he started last season. If he does go though, Ben will have had 3 Coordinators in as many seasons (Arians, Haley, and whoever is next on the list). We all know how that usually works out with QB’s, even veteran ones like Roethlisberger don’t like that much change.
The Steeler Nation seems to be split with Todd Haley; many think he needs to go but others think there is potential based on how the offense was before Big Ben got injured. I personally lean towards the latter and think if the offense can stay healthy and get a solid ground attack going, consistently, they can be a force.
If Haley leaves, it could be another year of transition for the offense. Maybe that’s good, maybe not, but for my money I’d rather see them be able to continue what they started, for now.