5 dream candidates to replace Mike Tomlin if he unexpectedly walks away in 2024

The Steelers won't be in the market for a head coach, but these five candidates are exactly what they need.

Steelers, Ben Johnson
Steelers, Ben Johnson / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages
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Mike Tomlin isn't going anywhere unless it's on his own terms. The Pittsburgh Steelers head coach has been running the show since 2007 and the Rooney's believed he has earned the right to be the coach of this team for as long as he wants. However, there will come a time when he decides to call it quits. Could that come in 2024?

Probably not. But it's worth mentioning that Tomlin has now outlasted the great Bill Cowher by two years. Tomlin has one year left on his contract and is likely to play out his deal or even earn another short-term contract by ownership. Hypothetically, if he were to call it quits this season, these would be five dream candidates to replace him in 2024.

1. Ben Johnson, Lions' OC

Ben Johnson doesn't get enough praise for what he has been able to do in Detroit. Working as the Lions' offensive coordinator under head coach Dan Campbell, Johnson has helped improve the offense by leaps and bounds since being named the OC in 2022.

In 2021, just before Johnson's tenure as OC began, the Lions averaged just 19.1 points per game (25th) and 322.6 yards per game (22nd). However, in each of his first two seasons as offensive coordinator, Johnson's offense has exploded for upwards of 26 points per contest while averaging over 380 yards per game.

I have watched film breakdowns on Johnson's offense, and I think his passing concepts are brilliant. It's one of the big reasons why Jared Goff was able to completely revamp his NFL career. Hiring an offensive mind as the team's next head coach would go against everything the Rooneys know, but it's the way to go in today's rapidly changing NFL. Ben Johnson has been brilliant and the young OC could be the next great NFL head coach to explode onto the scene.