PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Steelers have named Todd Haley their new offensive coordinator.
Haley, 45, will replace Bruce Arians, now with the Indianapolis Colts, and will inherit an offense that scored 325 points last season en route to finishing 12-4.
Haley was fired by Kansas City on Dec. 13, after going 19-26 in two-plus seasons with the Chiefs, leading them to the 2010 AFC West title.
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He spent 10 seasons as an assistant before being hired by Kansas City. He was offensive coordinator for Arizona in 2007-08, helping lead the Cardinals to their only Super Bowl appearance. And he is the son of Dick Haley, who spent 44 seasons in the NFL including serving as the Steelers’ director of player personnel from 1971-90.
The Steelers lost the AFC North title to Baltimore on a tiebreaker, and were eliminated from the postseason by Denver.
“I am excited about the opportunity to come back home and work for a tremendous organization,” Haley said. “It is an honor to work with the Rooney family and coach (Mike) Tomlin and continue the success that has become synonymous with the Steelers. My father has so many fond memories both from his playing days and his time in the personnel department with the team, and I look forward to helping bring more championships to Pittsburgh and to being a part of one of the storied franchises in the NFL.”
The Chiefs were 5-8 when Haley was dismissed. His last game was a tough one. Kansas City lost, 37-10, to the New York Jets at the Meadowlands, and it was their fifth loss in six games. Kansas City committed 11 penalties for 128 yards in the performance, including a 15-yarder on Haley for unsportsmanlike conduct that may have sealed his fate.
The next day, he was fired.
“Timing in these situations is always difficult. There never seems to be a right time,” Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said at the time. “We just felt the inconsistent play the team has experienced throughout the season, including yesterday’s game, made today the right day to do it.”
After three lopsided losses to start the season, Kansas City rattled off four straight wins and briefly pulled into a tie atop the AFC West. But that was followed by a home loss to previously winless Miami, the start of a disastrous six weeks in which the losses mounted.
“We’ve had one of those years where we’ve had injuries, and injuries to key players, but that’s typical in the National Football League,” Hunt said then. “As a team, you have to find a way to overcome that, and we just weren’t able to do that this year. Our play was up and down the entire season and at times it was up and down during a given game, and I think those contributed to our decision.”
Less than a year before he was fired, Haley led the Chiefs to the greatest single-season turnaround in franchise history, winning the division title by recording six more victories than in 2009.
Without a bye, the Steelers had to play a road game at Denver to open the postseason. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 289 yards and a touchdown, but the Steelers fell to the Broncos, 29-23, in overtime.
Under Arians, Pittsburgh had a good year offensively. Roethlisberger threw for 4,077 yards, Mike Wallace had 1,193 receiving yards, and Rashard Mendenhall had 928 rushing yards. Arians was the Colts’ quarterbacks coach during Peyton Manning’s first three seasons, and was Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator the last five seasons.