Ladies and gentlemen, the Flying Circus has left the stadium. Ever since Bruce Arians took over for Ken Whisenhunt, February has traditionally been Fire Arians month. For all of the Bruce haters, your day has finally come. For his supporters? Stay tuned to see if he will be coaching Andrew Luck or if he will be getting coached by Peyton Manning. For me? The only intriguing part of the coaching change was Deuce Rooney’s gall to stick his fingers in the middle of the salsa, and then go back for the double-dip. Which, for the record, was a real jackass thing for any member of the Pittsburgh Steelers front office to do, Rooney or not.
Allow me to expand on my opinion. I view coordinators and assistant coaches with a passive eye. The job of the coordinator is to develop plays that work for his team, put the players through practices that effectively hone their skill at those plays, and stand on the sideline calling said plays, hoping they are executed correctly. That’s it. Sure they have some secondary responsibilities, such as “motivating” their troops, but the Steelers already have people effective at that. He wears #86 and ESPN reports we are trying to shove him out of town prematurely.
When Todd Haley took over the offensive reins in Dallas, he did what a lot of lucky coordinators do. He rode out the storm until talent came along that could execute what he had been doing all along. They went from just over .500 to 13-3! It must have been because of Haley and newly appointed head coach Wade Phillips! No, it was because of a guy named Romo who at least started off his career playing great football.
Coordinators and assistant coaches are, to me, the equivalent of a swim cap or really tight bicycle shorts. They are an edge in an otherwise even sport, one which might pay off every once in a while when those fractions of a second matter. At the end of the football game, it is Wes Welkah that catches drops a pass to bring not bring the Lombardi back to Bahhhstahhn, and the coordinator doesn’t have a damn thing to do with it. Just like the .0000001th of a second Michael Phelps gets from his latex head condom won’t win the meet if he hit the bong too hard before jumping in the pool.
Was Arians capable of crafting, teaching, and calling plays? Yes. Is Chief Haley capable of doing this? Apparently. Do I sense a momentum shift in the entire offense because of our new Fast & Furious leadership and the exit of Bruce the Bubble Screen wizard? Absolutely not.
I wish the best of luck to Bruce out in Indianapolis, and extend a warm greeting to Chief Haley. Fortunately for him and us fans of the Black and Gold, the offensive talent is already in place. It’s up to Haley to build on that talent and keep the playbook fresh. Here’s to many seasons of him not screwing anything up or yelling at players on the sidelines while hopefully Deuce Rooney keeps his mitts off the plate delegated to Mike Tomlin and his staff.