Steelers add an intriguing offensive coordinator candidate to their interview list

Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the thick of their search for a new offensive coordinator, and we expect them to make a decision soon. However, they aren't done with the interview process just yet. CBS NFL Insider Jonathan Jones reported that the Steelers are interviewing Jerrod Johnson on January 26th for the vacant offensive coordinator job.

Johnson is the current quarterbacks coach of the Houston Texans and is one of the most intriguing candidates to become an offensive coordinator in 2024. Johnson has four years of coaching experience in the NFL, but just one year as the QB coach with the Texans in 2023. He is just 35 years old.

From 2022 to 2023, Houston's offense improved by leaps and bounds. Johnson may have had a big hand in this, but he obviously wasn't the only factor. Also joining the Texans in 2023 were head coach DeMeco Ryans, offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, and, of course, first-round quarterback C.J. Stroud.

Jerrod Johnson could be just what the Steelers need

While hiring a young, innovative coach to be your team's next offensive coordinator is what every fan hopes for these days, there's certainly a concern that the improvement of the Texans was mostly due to finding a franchise quarterback and an incredible coaching staff. But this might not be a bad thing either.

Even though Mike Tomlin admitted in his post-season press conference that he wanted an OC with play-calling experience, Jerrod Johnson could bring some fresh new ideas to the organization if he gets the offensive coordinator job in Pittsburgh. I am also a huge fan of Texans OC Bobby Slowik -- who comes directly from the Kyle Shanahan coaching tree and should be a hot name for a head coaching job soon.

Johnson was also able to work directly with rookie QB C.J. Stroud, who had a spectacular season in 2023. The Texans jumped up to 13th in the league in scoring while finishing 15th in yards per game, and 12th in yards per play, per Team Rankings.

Having worked under Slowik for a year and watching his every move, Johnson might be equipped to take the next step into an offensive coordinator role. Johnson joins Zac Robinson and Thomas Brown as the other candidates the Steelers have reportedly interviewed with so far. Former Arizona Cardinals coach and USC quarterbacks coach Kliff Kingsbury is also rumored to be in the mix.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have not given any indication as to when they could reach a decision, but judging by how quickly coaches are being snatched up for offensive coordinator jobs, they could come to a decision soon with their new OC hire.