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Arizona gets permission to interview Steelers' Haley

| Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, 11:44 a.m.
Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley has given quarterback Ben Roethlisberger freedom in his offense, similar to what his predecessor, Bruce Arians, did. (File photo)
Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, shown here on the sideline at Heinz Field in December 2012, interviewed for the Arizona Cardinals' head coaching job Wednesday. Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review

Only a week ago, Todd Haley said he was exactly where he wanted to be as offensive coordinator of his hometown Steelers.

The Arizona Cardinals apparently want to find out if Haley is interested in returning to another place he once called home. They were granted permission Thursday to interview Haley for their head coaching job.

Haley, 45, was the Cardinals' offensive coordinator when they lost to the Steelers, 27-23, in Super Bowl XLIII. The Cardinals thought highly of his work with quarterback Kurt Warner in an offense that was the NFL's fourth-best in 2008. Haley ran the Arizona offense for two seasons.

Haley became the Kansas City Chiefs' head coach in 2009, but he was fired late in the 2011 season despite having a 10-6 record and winning the AFC West the season before. He had a 19-26 record in three seasons with the Chiefs.

The Cardinals were interested in bringing back Haley last year as an assistant under Ken Whisenhunt, but the Steelers made him their offensive coordinator after Bruce Arians was let go.

Despite an up-and-down first season in Pittsburgh in which Ben Roethlisberger apologized for criticizing Haley's playcalling during an overtime loss last month in Dallas, Haley said he was happy being in Pittsburgh.

His father, Dick, once was the Steelers' player-personnel director, and Haley and his family built a home in Upper St. Clair, where he grew up.

“I have said a bunch of times ... this is where I want to be,” Haley said last week. “And I will occasionally say to coach (Mike) Tomlin, ‘This is a lot more fun than what you have to deal with.' You get to coach and work with the players on a daily basis and interact all the time.”

The Cardinals have interviewed former Steelers secondary coach Ray Horton, and they plan to interview Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy this weekend, according to the Arizona Republic.

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at arobinson@tribweb.com or @arobinson_Trib.

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