The Steelers need to reassess how they hire coordinators

NFL: OCT 06 Ravens at Steelers
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NFL assistants on winning teams often see promotions while the Steelers coordinators never get poached

The NFL coaching carousal is in full swing. Many names are getting tossed around for head coaching gigs. Almost all of the usual names you hear come from winning organizations. Robert Salah, Eric Bieniemy, or Brian Daboll have seemingly interviewed for every team with a head coaching vacancy. But when you look at the Pittsburgh Steelers not one of their assistant coaches even so much have an interview lined up. It’s stranger yet when you keep in mind this organization hasn’t had a losing season since 2003.

The last time a Steelers’ coordinator had been poached off this team, that was still under contract, was way back in 2007 when Ken Wisenhunt jumped ship to Arizona when it was clear that Mike Tomlin would receive the Steelers head coaching gig. This also means that Mike Tomlin has never had an assistant coach go on to take a head coaching gig while they were still a member of the Steelers organization.

A commonality of the head coaching candidates today is their young age. You rarely see anyone getting their first head coaching job older than 45 years of age. For comparison Keith Butler is 64, and recently fired Randy Fichtner is 57. No one is looking for an old dog any more and NFL coaching is becoming a young man’s game full of bright and refreshing new ideas.

One of the top head coaching candidates for 2022 is Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley. Staley is just 38 years old, meaning there are players much older than him in the league. The Steelers themselves typically only hire head coaches in their 30’s. Just take the last three guys who’ve held the position. Mike Tomlin was 35, Bill Cowher was 34, and Chuck Noll was 38 when they were hired.

The Steelers also have another glaring issue with their coaching staff. The Steelers have the smallest payroll for its coaches across the entire league and have the least full time coaches. For an organization considered to be the gold standard this is embarrassing.

Keith Butler is rumored to be on a year to year deal, and Randy Fichtner didn’t even make it to February. So as the organization begins the search for a new offensive coordinator there are a couple simple rules they should abide by. For starters, they need to get young and that means guys younger than 50. Secondly, the Steelers need to add more people, and more full time people to this staff.

What do you think? Should the Steelers bring in new coordinators, and if so who would you want them to be? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.

A list of candidates for the Steelers’ vacant coordinator position

Maryland v Penn State
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Randy Fichtner is out, but who will be the man to replace him?

Well, it’s official: Randy Fichtner is no longer the offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers. When we’re all done popping champagne bottles, it’s time to get down to business of finding the next offensive play caller. This is not an easy job whatsoever as their is so much uncertainty at quarterback as well as whether or not Mike Tomlin has a future as this teams head coach should the Steelers regress next season.

With so many question marks, I compiled and separated a list of possible replacements. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Steelers picked anyone of the following guys or if they went off the board completely. There is no clear-cut favorite and I anticipate this job will not be one that is highly sought after due to the Steelers glaring question marks.

Hired from within:

Matt Canada – The most obvious name on our list is current Steelers quarterback coach, Matt Canada. Canada was seemingly hired to take over this job after Randy Fichtner’s time came to an end. But with the Steelers completely turning away from Canada’s offensive creativity, I don’t imagine he’s the front runner by any means. Additionally, the Miami Dolphins are currently persuading Canada to return to south beach to be their offensive coordinator. He’ll have options at his next job and the Dolphins gig is in a better place than the Steelers.

Recently fired:

Jim Caldwell – Caldwell is the perfect coach if the Steelers are looking for someone to bridge the gap between now and whenever the Steelers have a new starting quarterback.

Doug Pederson – Pederson is still a candidate for the head job in New York. However, if they go in another direction, Pederson might be more willing to take a year off of football after getting chased out of Philly.

Adam Gase – The incompetent head coach is still beloved by Peyton Manning. Gase will never be a head coach in the league again but he is destined to return as a coordinator.

Anthony Lynn – Lynn was fired after some baffling decisions as the Chargers head coach. With less responsibility, Lynn will find success again in the league.

Brian Schottenheimer – Former Seahawks and Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has gotten a lot out of some lacking offenses. But much like the Steelers this year, the Seahawks fell off a cliff after a hot start.

Young positional coaches:

Pep Hamilton – Chargers quarterback coach was the former head coach and general manager of the DC defenders of the XFL. Hamilton is a name already circling the league as a possible coordinator and future head coach.

Mike Kafka – The Chiefs passing game coordinator is in play for the Eagles head coaching job. The 33 year old’s meteoric rise comes on the back of the success of the Chiefs high powered offense, but Kafka will get a promotion before the 2021 season.

Mike McDaniel – The 49ers run game coordinator has learned under possibly the best offensive mind in the game today in Kyle Shanahan. He could be the guy.

Tony Elliott – The University of Clemson offensive coordinator is a name involved with the Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator list. The man calling plays for Trevor Lawrence will be in the NFL soon enough.

Long shots:

Lincoln Riley – Lincoln Riley could have any of the NFL head coaching openings he wants. He loves his role at the university of Oklahoma and it will take a lot to pry him away. He would need some certainty of being the next head coach as well as a massive contract.

Matt Campbell – The Iowa State head coach turned down the Jets offer to be their next head coach. Campbell is going to skyrocket up the NCAA coaching hierarchy in the coming years. Perhaps drafting his quarterback, Brock Purdy, might help in persuading him.

Mike Munchak – Perhaps the biggest long shot. Coach Munchak is one of the most respected minds in the city of Pittsburgh. The offensive line guru left for Denver to be closer with his grandkids. Perhaps a promotion could bring him back to the steel city.

That’s the list! What do you think? Who do you want to be the next offensive coordinator? Did I miss any names? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!