The Steelers are an empire dying on the sword of stubbornness and incompetence. While Mike Tomlin continues making empty promises of change, fans continue to yearn for an actual difference to be made. And since it appears no actual changes will be made by Tomlin, let me have a go. Here is how I would fix the Steelers’ coaching staff and completely rebuild it- and it starts at the top.
Head coach: Ben Johnson (Lions offensive coordinator)
Johnson is going to be the prime target of every head coach-needy team this offseason. He was a popular name amongst teams this past head coaching cycle, but opted to remain in Detroit with the Lions. The Steelers need to stop living in the past with their way of thinking. The modern NFL is about offense- embrace it, and get a guy who is as good as it gets when it comes to offensive innovation.
Offensive Coordinator: Darrell Bevell (Dolphins QBs coach/passing game coordinator)
Bevell and Johnson spent some time together in Detroit from 2019-20. Bevell was the Lions’ offensive coordinator, while Johnson worked his way from offensive quality control to tight ends coach. Bevell was also the offensive coordinator for the Seahawks from 2011-17, helping Seattle appear in two Super Bowls and win one. Seeing what he has helped turn Tua Tagovailoa into should be enticing to Steelers fans. Tua doesn’t have a huge arm, but he is very efficient because of his anticipation of windows opening up, as well as his accuracy and preciseness. If the Steelers decide they want to keep Kenny Pickett around in this world, who’s to say Bevell and Johnson couldn’t have success with him? And even if they do look elsewhere for someone like Kyler Murray, or for a player in the draft, you’d be hard pressed to find two guys more suited for the job of molding that quarterback.
Defensive coordinator: Roy Anderson (Seahawks secondary coach)
The Steelers’ secondary has been a liability this season, and Anderson is one of the best defensive back coaches in football. On a bad Vikings’ defense in 2022, Harrison Smith and Patrick Peterson both had quality seasons. Both Smith and Peterson had five interceptions, and Smith was a Pro Bowler. Anderson was also on the defensive staff for LSU in 2019, and was also in Chicago in 2017 when the Bears had the best defense in the NFL.
Offensive line coach: Steve Oliver (Lions assistant offensive line coach)
Oliver has helped build a top three offensive line in football. Bringing over what he and Hank Fraley have done in Detroit would hopefully have some carry over for the Steelers’ unit, and help bring back the elite offensive line play fans became accustomed to for nearly two decades.