The Steelers made a major coaching hire this past week when they announced that Arthur Smith was the next offensive coordinator. Returning to the team is Teryl Austin as the defensive coordinator, meaning that the primary coordinators are set in stone for 2024. While some minor changes in positional coaches are likely coming, the majority of the big moves have been completed.
That said, I want the Steelers to make one more big move. While Austin returning as the defensive coordinator is fine, I’d love to see this team bring in Mike Vrabel in some sort of capacity.
It was shocking when the Titans announced that they were firing Vrabel this offseason. While he had hit a rough patch, Tennessee had been a consistent competitor with him at the helm. Heck, had Mike Tomlin stepped away as he was rumored to have considered doing, I was all for the team bringing in Vrabel as their next head coach.
Every head coaching spot has been filled, and quite a few coordinator spots have also been filled. This leaves Vrabel in a weird spot. If the opportunity presents itself, the Steelers should try and bring him onto their coaching staff.
Steelers had a similar plan with Brian Flores
If the Steelers can land Vrabel in a role similar to Brian Flores from a few seasons ago, that would be a no-brainer. Flores was a surprise firing, and he failed to find work as he was embedded in a lawsuit with the Dolphins. Vrabel doesn’t have that same issue working against him, but if he struggles to find defensive coordinator work, Pittsburgh should welcome him with open arms.
Flores did a lot of good work while with the team. He did so well that his stint was short-lived, as he agreed to become the Vikings defensive coordinator a year later. That said, having him around was a benefit to this defense.
Austin also seems willing to work with others as a coordinator. He allowed Flores to have a say when he was here despite his reduced role. He was also open to listening to Minkah Fitzpatrick when the star safety was injured this season. He is humble enough as a coordinator to work with others, and it usually proves successful.
The hiring cycle isn’t over yet, and there is a good chance that Vrabel will end up coaching somewhere else. If he doesn’t though, the Steelers need to add him to their defensive coaching staff. The move paid dividends with Flores, and it would likely do the same with Vrabel if he were to join the team.