View Full Version : Ed: Sideline Best Spot for Haley

02-15-2012, 07:10 AM
Ed: Sideline Best Spot for Haley
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 07:38
Written by Ed Bouchette

Good morning,

We have a backlog of questions to get to and this morning we get to them:

-- YOU: Ed, Art is still very young but it's always good to have a plan. What is the Rooney succession plan? Never hear anything about a young Rooney waiting in the wings.

ME: You mean like UK royalty, who is Art's first born? I don't know that they have a succession plan. They do have a board of directors that includes some Rooneys and some of the new inverstors/partners/owners. They would be the ones to elect a president and it would not necessarily have to be from the Rooney family. As for it staying in the Rooney family, Dan Rooney Jr. is the only other member of the family working for the team. He's Art's brother and a scout.

-- YOU: A lot has been made of the post-SB party the Patriots held where Rob Gronkowski and Matt Light danced like Alex Wright and Disco Inferno on a 1998 episode of Monday Nitro. Anyway, is it common practice to throw a party even if you lose the Super Bowl? Obviously you would plan a party, but I figured it would be cancelled if you lost. Did the Steelers have a party after their loss at Super Bowl 45? As always, thanks for the great work.

ME: Yes it's common practice and yes the Steelers have them too. Those are not parties you really want to attend. I did attend one after they lost to Dallas in Super Bowl XXX. I don't recall any players shaking their booty even though KC and the Sunshine Band was playing. The food was good, though.

-- YOU: Love your work Mr. Bouchette. How do you think the receiver situation will pan out? Wallace, after an unimpressive second-half this season is an RA. Antonio Brown, who looks to be a star, will be an RA after next season. I think they should franchise Wallace (not sure what that number would be) and hope there's a bit of competition between he and Brown going into next offseason for a long-term contract. They could try to lock up Brown now, but don't have a lot of cap room and they could rub Wallace the wrong way. Thoughts?

ME: I don't believe anyone will be willing to give up a No. 1 pick to sign Wallace, so he'll be here with his RFA tender and perhaps they will negotiate a long-term deal he will sign. I believe strongly they will not franchise Wallace for several reasons, all of them $$$$$. His RFA tender would cost about $2.7 million. The franchise fee would cost $9.5 million. With their salary cap problems, they cannot afford that franchise fee and they do not want to pay him that much money. Also, if you make him the franchise player, $9.5 million per year is where his agent will start in negotiations for a long-term contract. I believe they will take their chances with him as an RFA, which also gives them the right to match any contract someone else may sign him to.

-- YOU: Ed,

I have a thought on the Haley hiring that seems to be overlooked. It
may seem illogical to most, but see if you can follow this and possibly
even agree with it. I am an owner of a very successful business in
Arizona, so I am looking at this hire as a GREAT move by the Steeler
organization for the SHORT TERM. I truly believe it is a short term
solution (I would love to know the length and terms of Haley's contract)
and here is why; the Steelers have a quick out no matter what happens,
and they get the benefit of a "stir the pot" shot-in-the-arm motivation
this year. Here is how I figure things - the front office wants
stability (based on history) and I believe the man they wanted to run
their offense is still in the hospital recovering from burns. So, they
hire a firecracker in Haley to "stir the pot". Haley does NOT have a
history of staying in one place too long. If Haley succeeds, and the
Steeler's offense improves - Haley goes away to become a head coach
somewhere after 1 or maybe 2 years - and the Steelers promote from
within. If Haley fails, and the offense stays the same or declines -
with his fiery personality - he is easily let go after a year or two,
and the Steelers promote from within to a "friendlier player's coach" to
get things back.

I believe the Steelers will improve on offense (as usually happens when
a different motivation is used -- people gripe, then respond and true
professionals tend to dig deep and put forth more effort when all is
said and done), and Haley will be gone to take over as a head coach in a
year or two. But, either way, I see Haley gone in a year or two, and
you will see the Steelers promote from with-in. Here is the real
kicker, I believe Tomlin has already told his QB coach and some of his
other offensive coaches just that - that Haley is a short term shot in
the arm - and their time to "interview" is only a year or two away - and
that is how you get your key coaches to "by-in" and stick around.
Conspiracy theory -- maybe. Great management - definitely. But I would
expect nothing less from great motivators such as Tomlin. That is how
you win, and why they are in the position(s) they are in.
What do you think ---- am I crazy?

ME: As Kevin Colbert might say, I am no doctor. However, your theory does fly against the statement by Art Rooney that he would like to have an offensive coordinator who will stick around for awhile. Then again, any younger man they hire at the coordinator spots would want to be a head coach some day, especially if he's already had a taste of being one. I truly believe they hired the man they thought was best for the job without all the other rigamarole.

-- YOU: It is in the NFL's best interest to play in the largest stadiums possible with the most luxury boxes and with the most up to date facilities. More seats = more money. And the more costly the seat means even more money. Yet I never hear about the NFL investing in its own infrastructure, by investing in those stadiums. Have you ever heard of the NFL talking about "investing" in stadiums by giving the owners of those stadiums stipends to update the facilities? Or maybe the NFL encouraging more owners to follow JJ's lead in Dallas by building and running their own stadium?

ME: They have had such a fund for a decade before it ran out of money. In December, however, the owners approved another fund to help teams that want to build new stadiums and over the past few days approved $200 million to go toward San Francisco's new stadium. Teams in Minnesota and San Diego and perhaps a few others should also benefit. Heinz Field was built without any funding from the NFL, which did not have a fund until after it was built.

-- YOU: When the new schedules are finalized at the end of every season, people calculate the strength of schedule and love to talk about it. But teams change so much from year to year that this really does not mean much. Why don't people ever look backward and see how the teams did against their opponents and their actual schedules?
I did some quick research and found the following for the Steelers:

2011 schedule based on 2010 opponents standings 121-135, for a 0.47265625 win rate.

2011 schedule based on 2011 opponents standings 126-130, for a 0.4921875 win rate.
So our schedule ended up being tougher than it first appeared.

Then you look at Green Bay:

2011 schedule based on 2010 opponents standings 130-126, for a 0.5078125 win rate.

2011 schedule based on 2011 opponents standings 117-139, for a 0.45703125 win rate.

Green Bay played a much softer schedule and maybe this explains why, at 15-1, they still were not good enough to win the Super Bowl. You think people would do this calculation right at the end of the season and talk about it going into the playoffs. I don't have enough time to do the Pats and Giants but would be interested to know if you or any readers know of a site that has this ex post info.

ME: I've written and said repeatedly that those strength of schedules mean little for reasons you cite. Nevertheless, the NFL issues its strength of schedule compilation in the spring and it gives many plenty of time to talk about before the season. The NFL also does compile a strength of schedule after the season because it can determine draft order, among other things. It's just that by the time the season ends, not as many people are interested in it because the Super Bowl champ is crowned and no one much cares if that team had an easy or difficult schedule to get there.

-- YOU: Re Weslye Saunders – do we know what he did – was it “recreational” or “performance enhancing” drugs? Also your cohort Gerry thinks that this will directly lead to his ticket out of town. Too bad if true because he has a lot of potential, is the new protypical size for an NFL tight end, and his departure leaves another hole which the Steelers must fill. Imagine if Heath had an injury – I just don’t see David Johnson catching a lot of 3d and 5 passes. So in addition to solving salary cap issues, filling holes at NT and filling holes on OL, now the Steelers need to use resources ($ or draft picks) to find a tight end to develop.

ME: It was performance enhancing, but we do not know the specifics and there are many supplements banned by the NFL. At least Saunders hasn't said he was taking something he did not know was banned. I tend to agree with GD on this and believe the Steelers not only will look for a tight end but need a good No. 2.

-- YOU: why is Haley getting crucified before he even starts. I am not a fan of "guilty because someone said so" and think people rush to judgement. So what if he's edgy!? I frankly think it's the spark a somewhat emotionless 2011 Steeler team needed to match their brains and skill with an electric emotional edge. My British friends often tell me Americans are far to worried about keeping everyone happy. In this case, I agree. I'll give the man a chance.

ME: Few seemed to complain about Bill Cowher's sideline eruptions as a head coach. I found them entertaining. I just hope Todd Haley is on the sideline and not in the press box so we can all enjoy what's going on if he does get demonstrative. I asked him if he would be in the press box or on the sideline next season and he said that hasn't been determined.

02-15-2012, 09:44 PM
I sincerely Hope Wilson gets better, but i still don't get all this stuff about him being OC in waiting...Nothing in his resume supports it...

02-15-2012, 09:56 PM
Tomlin and Coach Wilson we're assistant coaches with TB Buc's, if i'm not mistaken. It's probably a buddy thing.