Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley yells instructions during practice

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan

Todd Haley: The Difference Maker

Haley is the reason for optimism with the Browns

Meredith Kain
August 12, 2018 - 10:13 am

With training camp underway - with a scrimmage and a preseason game under our belt - it’s officially okay to say football is back.

The preseason is the time to be optimistic. The preseason is also the time to be realistic. And realistically, I think it’s okay to be more excited this year than ever. 

There is one element of this year’s offense that has me more excited than ever. And no, I’m not talking about Tyrod Taylor.

There’s a laundry list of reasons for Browns fans to allow themselves to be optimistic this year. You can talk about the strength of the quarterback room, or the depth of the receiving corps, or the size of the defensive line. For me, Todd Haley is the biggest reason for optimism going into this year. Todd Haley is the difference maker.

Haley was in charge of one of the top offenses in the league with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Antonio Brown led the NFL in receiving yards in both 2014 and 2017 while playing under Haley’s charge. Another Steeler that benefitted from Haley’s play calling was Le’Veon Bell, who has been selected to three Pro Bowls and named first-team All-Pro twice and led the league in scrimmage yards per game in 2016. And with the Chiefs, Haley helped the team bring home the AFC West division title in 2010.

History aside, one of the things I’m most looking forward to seeing out of Haley is how he uses Tyrod Taylor as a mobile quarterback. Over the past three years, Taylor has averaged 94 rushes. Taylor has rushed for 1,575 yards since 2015 and set a franchise record for the Bills with 580 rushing yards in 2016. The closest Haley has ever had to that kind of rush production from a quarterback was Matt Cassel (41 attempts for 189 yards) in 2009. Tyrod has shown a few times during practice he has wheels. While Baker Mayfield has thrown some absolute bombs while working with the second-team, his track record in college shows he’s not afraid to run with over 100 rushing attempts per season.

We didn't have a Todd Haley last year. We didn't have anything remotely close to a Todd Haley. And now we do.

The one thing that everyone notes about Haley is the intensity he has brought to the field in Berea. The energy is absolutely palpable in comparison to last year. Hue Jackson and Todd Haley seem to be working quite well together and both look comfortable in the roles laid out for them by GM John Dorsey.

Haley has also had what is probably my favorite quote so far of training camp:

“Don’t wait for someone to help you, just make the - - -ing play.”

I’ll be the first one in line to buy that t-shirt.