Since being eliminated from the playoffs, Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers have been busy with their offensive coordinator search. The team reportedly had meetings scheduled with three OC candidates so far, and more could be on the way soon.
Pittsburgh's decision on a new offensive coordinator shouldn't take long, as the front office will want to get the ball rolling before the coaching pool dries up. Meanwhile, one coordinator is here to stay while a pair of players have become finalists for NFL awards. Here's the latest Steelers news.
Steelers extending DC Teryl Austin
The Pittsburgh Steelers are reportedly in the process of extending, per ESPN senior reporter Jeremy Fowler. Despite some significant injuries on defense this year to players like Cameron Heyward, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Cole Holcomb, and Kwon Alexander, Pittsburgh finished with the sixth-ranked scoring defense -- allowing just 19.7 points per game in 2023.
The decision to extend Austin has been met with controversy by Steelers fans who believe this has much more to do with the players and the money invested on the defensive side of the ball than anything else. Regardless, Tomlin's understudy on defense will resume his role for the foreseeable future following his extension with Pittsburgh.
Steelers interview Thomas Brown for vacant OC job
Recently, Gerry Dulac of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers are interviewing Thomas Brown for the offensive coordinator opening. Brown was a former NFL running back. Following his playing career, Brown worked his way up the college and NFL coaching ranks until a brief stint as the Panthers' offensive coordinator in 2023.
This is an interesting decision, as the Panthers' offense ranked last in the NFL in both points per game (13.9) and yards per game (265.3) this past season with Brown working alongside Frank Reich in Carolina.
T.J. Watt and Joey Porter named finalists for AP NFL Honors
The Associated Press has voted and the NFL has recently named their top 5 finalists for each NFL honors for performances during the 2023 season. Unsurprisingly, T.J. Watt was confirmed to be a top 5 finalist for the Defensive Player of the Year award after recording 19.0 sacks in 2023. He became the first player in NFL history to lead the league in sacks in three separate seasons.
Joey Porter Jr. is the only other finalist from the Pittsburgh Steelers this year. After a stellar rookie season, Porter is one of five players who could be the recipient of the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Other notable names include EDGE Will Anderson Jr., DT Jalen Carter, DT Kobi Turner, and CB Devon Witherspoon.
The NFL Honors ceremony will take place on Thursday, February 8th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time. You can watch on CBS, NFL Network, NFL+, Paramount+, or with a subscription to FuboTV.
Steelers go OT in latest NFL mock draft
In the most recent NFL mock draft from Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports, the Pittsburgh Steelers go with offensive tackle, JC Latham. The Alabama product is a former five-star recruit who is declaring early for the NFL Draft. At 6'6'' and 335 pounds, Latham projects as a starting right tackle in the NFL This selection would allow 2023 first-round pick, Broderick Jones, to move back to his more natural position at left tackle in 2024.