One of members on the steeleraddicts.com forums had posted a thread this morning about Todd Haley and why is he seemingly getting so much love for really not having done a whole lot to merit it. In the very first response, much of the discussion centered not on Todd Haley, but on the now-departed Bruce Arians. This of course elicited a less than positive response from the thread’s author about the topic being about ‘Haley’ and not ‘Arians.’
My feeling on this issue? Get used to it Steeler fans. Comparisons are human nature espcially in the world of competitive sports. High school quarterbacks are compared to their predecessors as are coaches and general managers in the professional ranks. This situation will be no different.
If you were able to have a private moment with Mike Tomlin and you had one shot at a meaningful, purposeful answer and not the usual ‘coach-speak,’ what would he tell you about the switch at offensive coordinator? He would tell you point blank that the switch was necessary for two reasons. 1. Improve this offense in the red zone and 2. prolong the life of the franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Regardless of Tomlin’s (or Art Rooney II’s) intentions, we have Todd Haley in place now. Accept it and move on people because Bruce Arians is not walking through the door. The comparisons between Haley and Arians will be inevitable and will be fast and furious on a week-to-week basis in 2012 and probably beyond.
Tomlin faced similar comparisons when he became the head coach following the popular and successful Bill Cowher and this situation will be no different.
There will be two scenarios that emerge all season long in this comparison. When the offense succeeds, the ‘fire Bruce’ crowd will pound its’ collective chest and when the offense struggles, the ‘keep BA’ followers will scream “We told you!”
This is going to happen people, count on it.
If you’re wondering why this may not have happened to this extent with prior coordinator changes then you must not be on ‘social media.’ The Twitter Monster as I like to call it was not around Ken Whisenhunt left or Arizona or Mike Mularkey departed from the South Side. If you don’t think Twitter has an impact on how we think, feel and communicate our thoughts then I suggest you ask Rashard Mendenhall or Mike Wallace just how influential it can be. Also consider those hires were within the organization too unlike this one.
Of course forums such as ours at www.steeleraddicts.com and the litany of sports talk radio programs can contribute mightily to this problem, but for the most part it has been social media.
Haley knows the comparisons will be coming and Arians knows that he will most certainly face some form of questioning about the Steelers’ fate during his season in Indianapolis.
We as fans need to remember that the goal is winning games and ultimately, it really doesn’t matter who calls the plays and designs the offense if we are indeed winning. Of course I’ve been around the block a time or two so I know like you do the comparisons are coming and regardless of success or failure they will be there. It’s human nature.