TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Steelers find comfort level in Haley's offense

Steelers/NFL Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley (center) saw his starters score one touchdown in four preseason games.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Alan Robinson
Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, 11:15 p.m.
 

The Steelers will have a running back by committee and a tight end by committee. It's not the ideal scenario to build offensive continuity for any NFL team as a new season starts.

What's more important to wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery is they no longer have a committee of one running the offense.

Even as the Steelers sort out two positions as tight end Heath Miller and rookie running back Le'Veon Bell heal, Cotchery said there is no comparison between the offense that will start the season Sunday against Tennessee to the one that opened in Denver last season.

To Cotchery, the offensive starters feel like it's their offense, not just coordinator Todd Haley's offense.

Cotchery likes how the offensive line is coming together, how the receivers are meshing, and the contributions that rookie Markus Wheaton is making. And he is certain the running game will produce, regardless of whether Bell, Isaac Redman, Felix Jones or LaRod Stephens-Howling is carrying the ball.

“We're a lot more comfortable. We didn't know what kind of offense we were going to end up being last year. Everybody was just feeling it out,” Cotchery said Monday. “But now we've had a year in the offense and we have some new young guys, and guys are being more comfortable in the positions they're in. We're ready to go.”

The starting offense scored one touchdown during the preseason and 10 points in the one full half it played against Kansas City, but Cotchery can feel a sense of confidence building.

“In house, we know what we need to do. The offseason going into the preseason, you're working on different phases of the offense, and that's all we were trying to take care of,” Cotchery said. “That's all we were focusing on. We stayed true to our process and we're ready for it all to come together, and we're looking forward to it.”

Ben Roethlisberger explained that, during the offseason, multiple offensive players met with Haley to make the offense more player-friendly. Roethlisberger said his comfort level is greater than it was a year ago.

“Brett Favre had been in one (Packers) offense for so long and once he got with the Jets, it was like a foreign language to him,” Cotchery said. “It had been the same thing here; they had been in one offense for so long. Now, guys are familiar with it (the Haley offense), we know the details of every route. When we break the huddle, it's, ‘OK, I'm looking at the defense, I'm not thinking about what I'm going to do.' ”

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at arobinson@tribweb.com or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Steelers

  1. Steelers stress improved conditioning in attempt to play past injuries
  2. Steelers’ reserve quarterbacks vie to secure spot behind Roethlisberger, Gradkowski
  3. Inside the Steelers: Rookie linebacker Chickillo continues to excel
  4. Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
  5. Steelers notebook: Tomlin says Latrobe session won’t differ from normal practice
  6. Memories of Steelers fan from Beaver Falls go beyond simple recall
  7. Inside the Steelers: Williams’ quickness out of backfield evident in drills
  8. Steelers’ Wheaton adjusting his game moving to slot receiver
  9. Steelers notebook: LB Dupree sits out backs-on–backers drill
  10. Tight ends’ role in Steelers passing game continues to lessen but players remain selfless
  11. Steelers RB Archer trying to catch up after tough rookie season