Friday, November 9, 2012

Steelers OC Todd Haley Says He Has "Moved On."

In 1940, a novel written by Thomas Wolfe was posthumously published called, "You Can't Go Home Again." The novel tells the story of fictional author George Webber who realizes that the unfair passing of time makes it nearly impossible to ever return to the narrow confines of your previous life.

Todd Haley, the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator, would agree.

Per Haley, "I've moved on..."

When Haley was interviewed on Thursday about the Steelers game this week on Monday Night Football, questions naturally were asked about what he may be able to bring to the table when preparing for the Kansas City Chiefs. The normally outspoken and definitive coach was abnormally subdued and judicious in his responses.

Being that Haley will be facing the team from which he was fired as the head coach 11 months ago, you'd expect him to have some...interesting things to say about the Chiefs. No dice.

"Every game of the week is the biggest game of the year," Haley said. "This is the biggest game of the year as far as I am concerned because it's this week."

Good for Haley, but too bad for those of us who wanted sound bites. Nonetheless, Haley isn't concerned with rehashing what happened in Kansas City.

"I know the Chiefs have moved on, and I have a lot of fond memories and am proud of things that were accomplished." - http://tinyurl.com/cdpovqa

Look, nobody likes getting fired. Especially when it's done as publicly as Haley's firing was back on December 12, 2012. The Chiefs were coming of a 37-10 loss to the New York Jets that dropped them to a 5-8 record.

Haley was fired the next day. This was a lot worse than just a firing, however. To say that the relationship between Haley and Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli was tenuous or contentious would be like saying Superman and Lex Luthor simply had a tiff.

The Kansas City Star chronicled the series of events and the bad blood between the two men in an article back in January. - http://www.kansascity.com/2012/01/14/3371495/arrowhead-anxiety-turnover-off.html

It says a lot as to why Haley looked like a homeless bum on the sidelines and in press conferences last season in KC - he was obviously doing it out if spite. That being the case, you might expect Haley to play the role of George Webber.

Instead, he has played this off a just another game and hasn't provided any sort of "bulletin board material." Players say they've noticed a difference this week, but he has shown no desire to tip his hat to what he's actually thinking.

Though there's been no sign of the fiery iconoclast this week, or this season, his former quarterback assures us that the fire is there, even if it is a slow burn.

"Coach Haley is a demanding coach," said by Chiefs QB Matt Cassel early in the week. "He'll challenge you. He's not afraid to get in your face and let you know and hold you accountable."

It's a side of Haley we've yet to see this season. Maybe it's because the Steelers are a better team. Maybe it's because they are a better-run organization than his previous locale.

Whatever the reason, he's seemingly content now with where he is and what he's building. There's no reason to look behind him. He's "moved on."

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TIDBITS: Friday Injury Report: Marcus Gilbert, Antonio Brown, Stevenson Sylvester and some guy named Troy missed practice, won't play Monday night. Rashard Mendenhall was limited, but Jonathan Dwyer, Chris Rainey and Sushi were full participants. Isaac Redman and Dwyer should see time together against the Chiefs.

After participating in practice on a limited basis on Thursday, Marcus Gilbert does not practice at all on Friday.

Teammates are intentionally making Chris Rainey laugh so that he experiences pain associated with his rib injury. "Not fair," Rainey says. Regardless, Rainey says he will play Monday against the Chiefs: "If I can still run, I'm definitely going."

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The NFL owes Ryan Clark an apology. First of all, it wasn't even close to a helmet-to-helmet hit. So, there should be at least a private apology. Will a mea culpa come? I doubt it.

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The NFL fined Steelers $35,000 and wide receiver Emanuel Sanders $15,000 for him faking an injury against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Next time, Manny, do a better job of acting.