It's been over two weeks since Mike Tomlin addressed the media after the Pittsburgh Steelers were eliminated from the playoffs. From the beginning, Tomlin made it clear that his offensive coordinator decision would come outside of the organization.
Since then, fans have been following the interview trail closely -- hoping that the next innovative offensive mind would be calling the offense in The Steel City. Now Pittsburgh has officially made their decision at OC. The latest Steelers news involves their new offensive coordinator hire and Mike Tomlin scouting players in Mobile.
Steelers hire Arthur Smith as the new OC
On Tuesday afternoon, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers were hiring Arthur Smith to become their new offensive coordinator. Gerry Dulac of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quickly confirmed that the team was finalizing a three-year deal to make Smith the new OC.
Smith spent the past three seasons as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons before being relieved of his duties ahead of the 2024 offseason. During his three-year stint in Atlanta, Smith's offense averaged 19.6 points per game.
Smith was more successful in 2019 and 2020 as the offensive coordinator of the Tennesse Titans, and this is the coach Steelers fans are hoping to get. Smith aided QB Ryan Tannehill to the two best seasons of his career. He did the same with RB Derrick Henry, who rushed for over 2,000 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2020.
Arthur Smith now follows offensive coordinators Randy Fichtner (2018-2020) and Matt Canada (2021-2023) in Pittsburgh. After firing Canada, running backs coach Eddie Faulkner took over as the interim OC, while QB coach Mike Sullivan was the team's interim offensive play-caller in the final stretch of the season. Now play-calling duties will fall solely on Smith as he looks to revamp a stagnant Steelers offense in 2024.
Mike Tomlin scouts players during Day 1 of Senior Bowl practices
In case you were wondering where Mike Tomlin was when the Arthur Smith signing became official, the Steelers head coach was in Mobile, Alabama getting a head start on scoping out the talent in the 2024 NFL Draft class.
This is an annual trip that Tomlin always used to make with former GM Kevin Colbert. These days, he can be spotted with new general manager, Omar Khan.
Coach Tomlin has always had a big hand in the pre-draft process, and that isn't expected to change any time soon. There is no shortage of quality prospects to scout in Mobile this year, and you can bet that Tomlin and his crew will have their eyes on the top center, cornerback, and offensive tackle prospects this week.
Art Rooney II has 'had enough' of losing in the playoffs
Early this week, Steelers team president Art Rooney II spoke with Brooke Pryor of ESPN where he expressed his frustration with the lack of postseason success in recent years.
"We've had enough of this. It's time to get some wins; it's time to take these next steps."- Art Rooney II via ESPN
Rooney went on to explain that the players are still in Mike Tomlin's corner and that his head coach wouldn't be here right now if he didn't believe he was capable of leading Pittsburgh to another Super Bowl Championship.
"The players still respond to Mike, and that's No. 1. He still has the key characteristics that we saw when we hired him. He can keep the attention of a group of 20-year-olds for a whole season and keep them in the fight for the whole way.- Art Rooney II via ESPN
So, still feel good about Mike. Obviously, if I didn't, [we] would make a change, but if we didn't think Mike was able to lead us to a championship, he wouldn't be here, and that's why he is here."
The Pittsburgh Steelers have made their first major change of the offseason by hiring Arthur Smith to be their new offensive coordinator. We can expect many more changes to follow in the coming months as this team looks to get back on a winning track.