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|Todd Haley spent six seasons helping turn the Pittsburgh Steelers offense into one of the most dynamic in the NFL. All the yards and all the touchdowns weren’t enough Ronnie Harrison Color Rush Jersey , however, for the fiery offensive coordinator to keep his job.
The Steelers chose not to renew Haley’s contract on Wednesday, three days after the AFC North champions were ushered out of the playoffs in a 45-42 divisional round loss to Jacksonville.
”I have made the decision to not renew the contract for offensive coordinator Todd Haley,” coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement. ”I would like to thank Todd for his contributions to our offense the past six years, and we wish him the best in his coaching future.”
The 50-year-old Haley, whose father Dick spent two decades as Pittsburgh’s director of player personnel in the 1970s and 80s, was hired in 2012 and tasked with developing an offense around quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Though there appeared to be some tension between the two early in Haley’s tenure, the results rewrote much of the team record book.
The Steelers finished in the top seven in total offense in each of the past four seasons, including third in 2017.
Pittsburgh won three division titles and reached the playoffs in each of those seasons thanks in part to Haley’s playcalling, the ascension of All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown to one of the best players in the league and the arrival and development of All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell.
Brown is the only player in NFL history with five consecutive seasons with at least 100 receptions. Bell is one of the best all-around backs in the league and his 406 touches in 2017 were 60 more than any other player.
Roethlisberger tied for the NFL lead in yards passing in 2014 and just as importantly saw the number of times he was sacked decrease substantially even as he put the ball in the air more frequently.
Haley and Roethlisberger downplayed any discord between the two, though Haley swapped places with Randy Fichtner in the middle of the season, moving from the sideline to the coach’s box.
Haley was injured during an incident at a bar near Heinz Field on New Year’s Eve shortly after the Steelers wrapped up a 13-3 season with a victory over Cleveland.
Haley was not considered a direct party to the incident and he said afterward he had the team’s full support and was told it was not an issue moving forward.
Less than two weeks later http://www.jaguarsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-tanner-lee-jersey , Haley finds himself looking for work. Tomlin declined to endorse Haley’s return during his season-ending news conference on Tuesday. A day later Haley’s productive if tumultuous time with the Steelers was over.
Whoever replaces him will have one of the most talented offenses in the NFL at his disposal. The entire starting offensive line is under contract for 2018. Roethlisberger has already stated publicly he will be back for a 15th season.
Brown is signed through 2021. Bell’s situation is a little more unclear. The team can place the transition tag on him as it did this season, though he told ESPN.com he could sit out or retire if he and the Steelers do not reach a long-term agreement. Bell said on Sunday his hope is to remain in Pittsburgh.
Fichtner is the leading in-house candidate to take over for Haley. Fichtner has been with the team since 2007 and has spent the past eight years as quarterbacks coach. He has a solid rapport with Roethlisberger and the transition would likely be very easy for a team built to win now.
For all of Haley’s acumen, Pittsburgh’s offense came undone this season in critical moments due to curious playcalling.
Twice the Steelers were stopped in fourth down situations against Jacksonville. A first-quarter drive ended when Bell lost yards on fourth-and-inches.
Pittsburgh had the ball and a chance to tie the game early in the fourth quarter when Roethlisberger threw incomplete to rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster on fourth down when advancing the ball a mere foot would have extended the drive.
Those sequences came a month after the Steelers lost to New England at home on Dec. 17 when a potential go-ahead touchdown pass to Jesse James in the final seconds was overturned on replay and Roethlisberger attempted a pass after a fake spike two plays later.
The pass was picked off and the Steelers lost, costing them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, a sequence that helped cost Haley his position with the team.
NOTES: Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak will remain with the team. The Hall of Fame offensive lineman and former head coach of the Tennessee Titans had interviewed for the vacant head coaching job in Arizona but removed himself from contention saying ”the timing for my family was not appropriate for me to pursue this potential opportunity.” … Longtime wide receivers coach Richard Mann announced his retirement after 33 seasons as an assistant, including the past five with Pittsburgh.
Opera Philadelphia took a break from its rehearsal for ”Carmen” to record an a capella version of the Philadelphia 76ers‘ catchy retro anthem , ”Here Come the Sixers.”
Philly can belt out the words .
”No. 1, Philadelphia. Here they come, team of the year. One, two three, four, five Courtland Sutton Color Rush Jersey , Sixers.”
Keep counting – all the way to 16.
The Sixers roar into the postseason on a 16-game winning streak, both the longest for a franchise that boasts The Big Dipper, AI, Dr. J and The Boston Strangler on its all-time roster and also the longest in NBA history to end a season.
Perhaps it’s fitting an opera company saluted the Sixers’ first postseason berth since 2012 because it’s another masked man who has terrorized the NBA and whose status has the league buzzing – the self-proclaimed ”Phantom of the Process .”
Joel Embiid will not be lurking in the bowels of the Wells Fargo Center when Game 1 opens Saturday against the Miami Heat (44-38). He’ll start the postseason just as he did during the infancy of the Process – injured and watching from the bench.
Maybe he’ll wear his gold sneakers or choose from his pastel palette of sports coats to root for the Sixers.
But the black mask he wears during light shooting drills to protect a broken orbital bone will stay in his locker. So will his jersey, at least for Game 1. Beyond that, who knows. But if the third-seeded Sixers want to beat the Heat, they’ll need their All-Star center/social media darling/leading scorer/court jester/leading rebounder in the lineup.
Coach Brett Brown said Friday he couldn’t even say that Embiid would return in the first round.
”I know that I can kind of, not my take my time, but be more calm about it and make sure that everything is right,” Embiid said. ”I can follow the doctor’s orders instead of wanting to go out and play thinking that my teammates actually really, really need me.”
Yes, the 76ers (52-30) won the final eight games without Embiid after he suffered a freak injury in a collision with teammate Markelle Fultz. And yes P.J. Hall Color Rush Jersey , 16 straight wins is splendid, but the asterisk is placed because only Denver, Cleveland and Milwaukee over that span finished with winning records.
But they led Cleveland and Milwaukee by 30 points, and rookie of the year contender Ben Simmons (15.8 points, 8.2 assists, and 8.1 rebounds), JJ Redick, Dario Saric and Fultz, the No. 1 pick coming off his first career triple-double, are enough to make the Sixers 7-point favorites to win Game 1.
Philly is riding high these days in the wake of the Eagles’ Super Bowl title and Villanova’s national championship in college hoops earlier this month, feats that are about the only things that could dwarf a 16-game win streak.
Brown, who has a 10-win season and 26- and 28-game losing streaks on his resume thanks to the Process Martin Kaut Blackhawks Jersey , has kept the organization steady.
”The locker room’s been good in the darkest of times,” Brown said.
The goals keep changing in Philly – from a playoff berth to 50 wins to the No. 3 seed. Now comes the hard part.
There’s also this – in a postseason full of gamesmanship, would anyone truly be surprised if Embiid walked out to a rocking ovation when starting lineups are introduced?
Here’s what else to know for Heat-76ers, Game 1.
Amir Johnson should get the start for Embiid. Johnson averaged just 4.6 points in 74 games but bumped that up to 6.6 points and 6.8 rebounds in the last eight games filling in for Embiid. Johnson has made little impact and been the target of social media scorn from Sixers fans who would rather see Richaun Holmes get a crack at staring. ”The game is more then offense, there’s different ways I Impact games, that’s I been able to stick around this league.. Usually fans and bloggers won’t understand because all everybody does is look at numbers,” Johnson tweeted .
I’M MR. WHITESIDE
Hassan Whiteside, benched at times late in games when coach Erik Spoelstra goes small, has been embroiled in a social media feud with Embiid this season. Whiteside was whistled for three fouls in three minutes in a preseason game, prompting Embiid to laugh on the court and later called him a (hashtag)softy on Twitter. But with Embiid out, Whiteside (14 points, 11.4 rebounds) could feast on Johnson and be a difference-maker in Game 1 and perhaps justify his confidence in the Heat’s title chances.
”I feel like we can go all the way. I think everybody feels that way Riley Sutter Capitals Jersey ,” Whiteside said.
Not only did the teams split four games, all of them being decided by single-digits, but the total scoring for the clubs – Heat 409, 76ers 407 – suggested the series was nip-and-tuck every step of the way. The reality was there were wild ebbs and flows. The 76ers led one game by 28 before hanging on in the final minutes, and the Heat lost a game where it led by 24 in the second half. Plus, both teams had runs of at least eight unanswered points at least once in all four matchups.
AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this story.
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