There's been a lot of angst, energy and discussion spent on Todd Haley's potential return to the Cardinals.
Let's cut to the chase: The Cardinals don't need Haley to take their offense to the next level. The issue with the Cardinals offense last season was not play-calling. The issue was quarterback play.
If you think QB play was partially a product of coaching, well, the Cardinals are in agreement. They already fired QBs coach Chris Miller to resolve that issue. You don't fire a coach if you're happy with his performance.
But if you think the Cards' offensive struggles were the product of poor play-calling, you weren't watching the games last season. There were plenty of plays to be made on the field last year by the quarterbacks. They just missed them through indecision or inaccuracy.
Besides, coach Ken Whisenhunt's stamp is all over the offensive play-calling given his pedigree as a former offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh. It's not like Arizona's offensive philosophy will shift dramatically if Haley returns.
If you're of the belief that Haley will gets results because he's a yeller, a motivator, a get-under-the-skin kind of guy, you probably ascribe too much significance to that tired and questionable motivational tactic. Whisenhunt believes in treating grown men like grown men. That is as it should be.
Haley didn't get more results out of the Arizona offense because of his abrasive coaching style. He got more results out of Arizona's offense because Kurt Warner was the quarterback.
We're not saying Haley wouldn't be successful if he returned, but we're not convinced that Mike Miller won't enjoy the same success when given a full offseason to work with his offense.
We're not saying the Cards should pass on Haley, but he won't and shouldn't accept a lesser role than a coordinator-level position. To install Haley in that capacity would absolutely undermine Miller, even if Miller kept his title. Miller has done nothing to deserve such treatment other than coach an inexperienced quarterback (John Skelton) and one who didn't know the system and terminology (Kevin Kolb) before he was thrown into the fire.
Whisenhunt has always emphasized good chemistry and relationships with his staff and players. He believes in fairness. But he's also had a pretty good read on his personnel's abilities -- a point driven home by the team's 7-2 finish after most analysts (this space included) had written the Cards off. Whisenhunt likes Miller. Whisenhunt believes in Miller. That faith warrants further exploration next season.