The Steelers faced temperatures in the high 30s during Wednesday's practice, and there was offensive coordinator Todd Haley, the only coach rocking shorts.
I asked Haley about this recently, and it turns out there's an interesting backstory. Apparently Haley has worn shorts to every NFL practice he's attended since 2001, when he was a wide receivers coach with the Chicago Bears. Being from the Pittsburgh area, Haley always admired the coaches and players from the early NFL years who played through tough conditions without heavy coats.
"I started doing it to challenge the receiver group to go short sleeves, and they said, 'What are you gonna do?'" Haley said. "So I said shorts no matter what."
Former NFL receiver Marty Booker, who caught 100 passes for Haley in 2001, was part of the conversation.
This isn't a superstition, just true-to-his-word stubbornness that has led him to keep the tradition this long.
From Steelers practice today: One QB (Landry Jones) bundled up, one coach (Todd Haley) in shorts in January pic.twitter.com/hI9uS0leoy— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 7, 2016
Days like this week aren't too bad. Neither were coaching stops in Dallas and Arizona. But stints in Chicago, Kansas City and Pittsburgh made for some uncomfortable days.
"Worst day was with the Bears," Haley recalled. "We had a heated field so practices were always outside. It was minus-3 degrees, minus-15 wind chill."