Run Effectively, Not Constantly Says New Steelers Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley

Steelers fans that assumed the hiring of Todd Haley as the team’s new offensive coordinator would mean a return to the team’s historic run, run, run attitude are probably going to be a bit disappointed. The NFL’s obvious evolution to a heavy passing offense in recent years has caused many teams to adapt to the new play style, including the Steelers. But with the addition of Haley, the Steelers hope to strike a balance between their running and passing games, with a three-pronged receiver route strategy complimented by explosive runs.

While talking with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Haley noted three key aspects of the Steelers’ running game that he hopes to improve this season. These included:

  • Creating offensive attacks that carefully blend both passes and rushes equally.
  • Identifying downs where the Steelers absolutely must run.
  • Still gaining yards even though a defense expects a run (and the Steelers oblige them).

By stats alone, the Steelers didn’t look all that bad on the run last season, averaging 4.5 yards per rush. But the real issues came on third downs and short-yardage situations, when the Steelers predictably passed when they probably should have drawn up a running play almost every time. These are the kinds of issues that Haley hopes to address during the season. Most analysts would consider a team that passes on first down every time very predictable, and that’s a great deal of the play the Steelers offered up last year.

The next chance to see Todd Haley and the Steelers try their new offensive strategy will be the team’s preseason home opener against the Indianapolis Colts on August 19th. Get Pittsburgh Steeler tickets at to see if Haley can establish a new way of thinking about offense in the NFL.