MONDAY BUZZ COLUMN
Maybe it’s time to have the city declare one of these days “Todd Haley Day.”
Remember the dark days of the Steelers’ offense when fans and media were wondering if and when Haley, the new Offensive Coordinator, was going to give Ben Roethlisberger a courtesy call?
Remember all the angst over Haley not “letting Ben be Ben?”
I took my share of shots because I found (and still find) the dink and dunk offense, so prevalent in the NFL now to be boring.
You don’t hear many complaints about Haley anymore.
Yesterday Antonio Brown caught 17 passes for 284 yards. Those are franchise records.
DeAngelo Williams gained a total of 225 yards – 170 on the ground and two catches for 55 yards.
According to Elias Sports bureau, it’s only the third time in NFL history that two players on the same team gained more than 200 yards in the same game.
The first time was 1963 in the old AFL when Clem Daniels and Art Powell did it for the Oakland Raiders. The only other time it happened was in 2007 when Brian Westbrook and Kevin Curtis did it for the Eagles.
Last season the Steelers offense set franchise records for points in a season, 436, total net yards 6,577, passing yards per game 301.6, total first downs, 379 and individual 100-yard receiving games, 12
The Steelers offense finished first in the NFL in time of possession, 32:24, yards per first down play, 6.42 and tied the Green Bay packers for first in yards per play at 6.2.
The Steelers also tied a franchise record (1975 and 1979) with seven 30-point games.
Roethlisberger set the franchise record for completions with 408 and yards with 4,952 (tied with Drew Brees for first in the NFL).
Antonio Brown set the franchise record for receptions with 129 and yardage with 1,698 and touchdowns with 13.
Le’ Veon Bell set the franchise record for yards from scrimmage with 2,215 and receptions by a running back, 83, and receiving yards by running back, 854, and total first downs with 114.
Other than that, Haley’s been a total bust.
No more jokes about Haley never playing football and being on the Upper St. Clair High School golf team.
The Steelers’ number one problem with Haley might be keeping him.
Those numbers might be enough to get him a second shot at being a head coach.
DeAngelo Williams’ record setting day against the Raiders is proof that, if you’re a good running back in Haley’s offense, you have a good chance of putting up Pro Bowl numbers.
I took some Twitter heat for suggesting that, based on what I had seen in the preseason, there would not be a big drop off from Bell to Williams in the first two games while Bell served his suspension.
I based that on watching Williams run and my belief that Bell, as great as he was last season, was very much a product of Haley’s offense.
That wasn’t meant to diminish Bell. It was giving Haley credit.
BROWN VS SWANN/STALLWORTH
– I saw just about every game Lynn Swann and John Stallworth played for the Steelers and I covered Steelers teams that they played on.
When Hines Ward was setting franchise records and was being compared to them, I always gave Ward credit for being a great receiver, but I never put him in the same class with them.
I said I believed -and still do – that he would have been the number three receiver on the Steelers of the 70s and early 80s.
Antonio Brown is as good as both of them.
Not better. I’m not willing to go there.
Forget the stats. Brown blows both Swann and Stallworth away on the numbers.
You have to take the two eras into account.
Brown has never had to worry about being knocked on his ass more than five yards into his route.
Swann and Stallworth had to deal with the bump and run. When their quarterback was scrambling, unlike Brown, who can run around looking for an open space, they were To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!