According to multiple sources, including Jason La Canfora of NFL Network, former Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Todd Haley will join the Pittsburgh Steelers as their new offensive coordinator.
According to La Canfora, Haley has been offered the job and is expected to take it. He also reports that the Steelers were in touch with former Raiders coach Hue Jackson over the weekend, just in case things fall through with Haley.
This news is a perfect opportunity to highlight the fact that sometimes, the media just gets things dead wrong. As recently as today, we were hearing reports from respected national media sources that Haley’s job interview with the Steelers was a sham.
From Peter King of SI.com:
"The interview with Todd Haley for offensive coordinator was a courtesy interview. There’s a sense Haley’s too tough to get along with. That plus the fact that on his way out of Kansas City, he implied to the Kansas City Star that the team was bugging his phone. Leveling unfounded accusations against your employer (and if there is anything to them, then let’s have the proof) to the media is not a very good way to get a job in a league where other teams think those who own and run the Chiefs are good men."
That quote is from King’s Monday Morning QB column that came out today.
Here is another report from Pro Football Talk on Jan. 31:
blockquote>There’s some scuttlebutt in media circles that Tomlin and the Steelers are considering Haley as a courtesy, given that his father played for the Steelers in the 1960s and thereafter worked in the team’s front office. Todd Haley once served as a Steelers ball boy. Even if the Steelers aren’t interested in hiring Haley, interviewing him — and declaring that they have done so via the team’s website — could help him generate interest elsewhere.
Scuttlebutt, eh? You always have to watch out for that scuttlebutt. It’ll get you.
I am more ok with the PFT quote than the King report because PFT never makes any attempt declare this “scuttlebutt” as true. PFT is a blog, like AA and while they sometimes break news, they also pass along rumors.
King’s quote, however, I do not like. He acts as if there is absolutely no doubt that Haley’s interview with the Steelers was a courtesy.
"“The interview with Todd Haley for offensive coordinator was a courtesy interview.”"
This is unfair to Todd because if I am another team looking at King’s report and I am thinking about calling up Haley for an interview, King’s words here might turn me off to that idea. I might think “well hell, if the Steelers are just doing him a favor and they won’t even consider him then why should I bother?”
To King’s credit, he has owned up to his mistake via Twitter:
"Re Haley to Pittsburgh, if he gets the job, which it appears he will, my bad. Got some bad info. No one to blame but me."
The story also wasn’t just national. A local Steelers reporter, Gerry Dulac of the Post Gazette, gave a chat here:
"They do think the world of Dick Haley, which is why I think they granted his son, Todd, an interview. Todd Haley has had a difficult time getting any interviews since he was fired by the Chiefs, and part of the problem is his reputation for being unable to get along with players and, more importantly, his fellow coaches. The Steelers, in my opinion, are merely doing Haley a favor, which is why I also think they announced his interview on their website. Since when did they ever do that? Did they announce on their website that they interviewed Jim Caldwell for the same position two days earlier? Of course not. They want to help"
I approved of Haley’s removal as the Chiefs’ head coach. I felt bad for him after I read some of the reports about what it is like to work at Arrowhead. And now it looks like the Pittsburgh Steelers don’t think Todd Haley is nearly as crazy as the media might like to believe he is.
I’m not saying the media is always right or wrong. It may be that the Steelers did decide to interview Haley as a courtesy but perhaps Todd gave such a great interview that they were forced to reconsider their position.
Regardless, this incident is a nice lesson to all of us to be a little more careful when just spooning up and eating any bit of information the media throws at us. Especially when it is coming from a source.
And yes, even if that news is a negative view of Scott Pioli or Clark Hunt.