Report: Todd Haley Wanted To Commit To Outside Zone Last Season

According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley wanted to use more zone blocking in 2012, but the team never could commit to it.

Haley told Bouchette they worked on the blocking scheme during the offseason, but for undisclosed reasons it pretty much ended there. While they did try to run in it some in 2012, it wasn\’t overly effective when they did.

Bouchette suggested former offensive line coach Sean Kugler as possibly the reason why, as he might not have been well versed in teaching the scheme, but I think the coaching staff also might have thought they didn\’t have the personnel in place to run it effectively or often.

Former Steelers offensive linemen Max Starks and Willie Colon were more road graders than they were athletic and good on their feet, so that is an important thing to consider. In addition, it was probably hard enough as it was implementing Haley\’s new offense, complete with new terminology, on top of it.

We might never know the real reason why the team couldn\’t commit fully to it last season, but at least now they have and appear to have the proper personnel in place to run it effectively complete with a new offensive line coach in Jack Bicknell, Jr. that can teach it.

Earlier today, I wrote about how we could see a shift in personnel groupings this season as opposed to last year in an effort to run the ball better while being able to stay multiple, and it will be interesting to see if that indeed takes place.

We will get our first real look at the commitment to the outside zone Saturday night when the Steelers take on the New York Giants in their first preseason game of the year.

  • dgh57

    Sounds like Haley was trying to put the horses before the cart last year or was it the cart before the horses?!!!

  • Jason Brant

    Injuries to the o-line definitely didn’t help.

  • RMSteeler

    Personnel for the scheme was lacking. Just like trying to bake a cake with just flour and water. Didn’t have all the ingredients. Look for false start penalties until they run it enough. Any major scheme change needs time to work the bugs out. Health and depth, as always will be the keys.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    I think since we have more “Agile” linemen this year it should allow that zone to be a bit more effective

  • bonairsfavoriteson

    If anyone was paying attention, the Steeler personnel was not exactly dominant in the power scheme either. When ya spend most of your time backing up while blocking with Arian’s scheme, the run game suffers, unless the ol is full of type 1a talent, which it is not and has not been for some time. Haley probably looked at the film and could not believe how bad to ol talent was.