Leslie Frazier could make a lot of sense with his 2024 coaching return
Another veteran coach here who could bring a lot of defensive coordinator experience is Leslie Frazier. He stepped away from football this year to focus on personal reasons, but he did say that he plans on returning to his coaching duties in the NFL in 2024. He was the Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator before stepping away, and they were one of the best defenses in the NFL.
The Steelers would be crazy to not call Frazer if their defensive coordinator job would become vacant. He has a lot of experience and seems like someone Tomlin would benefit from having on his coaching staff. Frazier should be a top choice if Austin is fired from his post. He is already available and has voiced his focus on returning.
Another veteran defensive playercaller looking for work is Lovie Smith
We circle right back to another older option out there with a lot of experience with Lovie Smith. He has held top coaching jobs both in college and the NFL. His most recent gig on record was being the Head coach for the Houston Texans during the 2022 season. That did not work out and the Texans decided to turn towards a younger defensive minded coach.
Smith knows a lot of different things about coaching in the NFL, and that might help push Tomlin some. Smith has never been a great top guy for an organization other than when he got the Bears to the Super Bowl one year. He could command a bigger voice in a coach’s room that has been far too quiet since Tomlin took over. Smith could be a reliable replacement.