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Todd Haley's dad played for the Steelers [url=http://www.seahawkscheapstore.com/shaquem-griffin-jersey-cheap]Shaquem Griffin Seahawks Jersey[/url] , so he grew up in a household where enemy lines were clearly defined.
"I hated the Browns," Haley said.
After six successful seasons guiding one of the NFL's most high-powered offenses in Pittsburgh, Haley is starting anew in Cleveland with the winless Browns, a team he once reviled but always respected.
Haley was hired last month by Browns coach Hue Jackson, who after two seasons of handling coordinator duties, is turning over both his offense and play calling to the former Kansas City head coach. It's another new challenge for Haley, who was dismissed by the Steelers in the ugly aftermath of their playoff loss to Jacksonville.
Haley opened his introductory news conference on Wednesday by touting a few of his accomplishments during "six really good years" coaching stars Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell with the Steelers, but then made it clear he has moved on.
"I'm looking forward," he said, "not back."
For Haley, the Browns, coming off a historic 0-16 season, present a new challenge in a coaching career that has had other tests. Following his departure in Pittsburgh, Haley said he was attracted to the Cleveland gig because of his familiarity with Jackson, working with new general manager John Dorsey and bringing back the Browns, who are just 1-31 the past two seasons.
"I had some options, but this really appealed to me 鈥?the challenge aspect of it [url=http://www.vikingsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-kendall-wright-jersey]Vikings Kendall Wright Jersey[/url] ," he said. "I think there are pieces in place to be successful. I went out to Arizona to be a coordinator, and Arizona had not had much success.
"A lot of people thought I was crazy for leaving Dallas when I did, but man, when you are a part of turning it around and having success, playing in big games and having success in big games, there is nothing like it.
"That is what appealed to me 鈥?the challenge and the people I was going to be working alongside of."
Haley felt the same way in Pittsburgh, almost up to the time that the Steelers chose not to renew his contract, cutting him loose three days after the AFC North champions were beaten 45-42 by the Jaguars. Haley had been criticized for several decisions in that loss, most notably two fourth down-and-short plays that the Steelers failed to convert.
There's no second-guessing in Cleveland. At least not yet.
Haley has spent the past few weeks familiarizing himself with the Browns' roster, which is expected to undergo some major changes this offseason through free agency and the NFL draft.
The Browns own the Nos. 1 and 4 overall picks and will likely use the first choice to select a quarterback. Haley didn't bite when asked if he preferred USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield or Wyoming's Josh Allen, the consensus top QBs available.
However, Haley said it's exciting to be in position to get one of them.
"When you have a couple of really high picks like we do, it is a great opportunity," he said. "As my father always said to me, 'When you are picking in the top 10, Todd [url=http://www.newyorkgiantsteamonline.com/eli-manning-jersey]http://www.newyorkgiantsteamonline.com/eli-manning-jersey[/url] , you better be right most of the time.' That will be the challenge for everybody involved."
Dick Haley played cornerback for the Steelers from 1961-64, and stayed in pro football after retiring as a player personnel director for Pittsburgh and the New York Jets.
Todd Haley learned at an early age about the Browns-Steelers rivalry, and for the first time he's on the other side of it.
The enemy has changed.
"I always want to beat whoever we are playing," he said. "Blood is thicker than water. Everybody always asked me, we had Steelers stuff stocked up for six years, and people are amazed that when you go somewhere else, you put it in a box and see who wants it."
One good beating per series is plenty for Draymond Green and Golden State.
The Warriors got it in Game 2 at Houston, and now the defending champions plan to do what they seem to do best: bounce back with brilliance.
As the Western Conference finals showdown shifts to Oracle Arena for Sunday’s Game 3, tied at one game apiece, the Warriors have spent the past few days discussing their Game 2 troubles and what they’re striving to do in order not to be dominated again.
It’s time to play.
”I think we’re at our best when we feel threatened,” Green said Saturday. ”Game 1 we felt threatened, we came out with a sense of urgency. Game 2 we maybe didn’t feel as threatened and the sense of urgency wasn’t there. I think you’re allowed one of those a series. We’ve had our one, now it’s time to lock in for the remainder of the series.”
And for the Warriors that starts on the defensive end against Chris Paul, James Harden and Co., because when they get stops it allows Golden State to get going in transition and find open looks from 3-point range that weren’t there during a 127-105 Game 2 defeat Wednesday night at Houston. That was largely because the Rockets had ample time to set their defense following made baskets.
Houston is making sure not to get too high from its impressive result. The Rockets lost Game 1, 119-106.
”Feels like Game 2 was a week ago now. That’s how it is in the playoffs,” Paul said. ”I heard somebody say when you lose a game in the playoffs, you feel like you’re never going to win again [url=http://www.ravensauthorizedshops.com/authentic-hayden-hurst-jersey]http://www.ravensauthorizedshops.com/authentic-hayden-hurst-jersey[/url] , and when you win, you feel like you’re never going to lose again. We’ve done a great job all year staying even-keeled.”
The task gets tougher for the Rockets at one of the league’s most imposing venues.
Golden State has won an NBA record-tying 15 straight postseason home games, matching the Chicago Bulls’ mark from April 27, 1990-May 21, 1991.
”The Warriors at Oracle are a different story for sure,” Stephen Curry said.
Coach Steve Kerr spoke last week to former Warriors coach Mark Jackson about Golden State’s resiliency over years now.
Just as they did in losing once in each of the first two rounds, the Warriors hardly looked strong in Game 2. Kerr insists that rebounding from a bad loss is hardly about coaching, patting his chest to note that his players take it upon themselves based on their passion to respond from defeat.
”It’s a series. We’re not going to knock them out in one game,” Kevin Durant said. ”Bad games happen throughout playoff series, throughout a season, throughout a career. So just move on, keep getting better and see what happens next game.”
And the Warriors aren’t worried about Curry rediscovering his shooting rhythm after making only two 3-pointers – one in each game – so far this series.
It might just take one to fall for the two-time MVP to start feeling it again. Or not even one.
”I only need one, that’s all I need,” Curry said. ”Actually I might not need any because hopefully that first one that I shoot in Game 3 goes in, so I don’t really need any.”
Golden State, which realized it wouldn’t go a record 16-1 like last postseason’s remarkable run to a second title in three years, responded from defeats in the first round to San Antonio and then against the Pelicans in the Western Conference semifinals.
”It’s not just this year it’s the last four years,” Kerr said. ”It shows you the resilience of our team. I was talking to Mark Jackson last week and I said [url=http://www.thecoltsfootballauthentic.com/nyheim-hines-jersey-authentic]Youth Nyheim Hines Jersey[/url] , `When I knew how tough this team was, I think it was 2013 when Mark was coaching and they lost at the buzzer to Denver on the road in Game 1, Andre Miller hit a shot. The Warriors came back and won Game 2. They lost a heartbreaker in the next round to San Antonio at San Antonio, they had an 18-point lead with about five minutes left. A devastating loss, came back and won Game 2 on the road. I remember as a broadcaster watching those two games that showed what kind of guts these guys have. Mark agreed. We’ve both been blessed to coach the group. It’s not something that you coach, it’s just something that’s in them. Steph, Draymond, Andre (Iguodala) and Klay (Thompson), those are guys who have been here for a while, so then you add KD to that, a guy who’s seen everything in the playoffs. We’ve got a pretty resilient group.”
Mike D’Antoni knows what his Rockets are up against now that the series shifts to the Warriors’ imposing home court.
”We always talk about having a short memory, especially in bad times, but you have to have a short memory also in good times. Play with the same desperation. Play with the same force that we played offensively and defensively, knowing that they’ll have more of a force on their side,” D’Antoni said. ”But we have to control what we can control, and make sure we’re aggressive.”
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