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Steelers’ Friday mailbag: When will Pittsburgh hire a new OC?

Answering your questions ahead of championsip Sunday

NFL Combine Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Welcome to the Steelers’ mailbag, where every week we answer your questions. Thank you as always to the BTSC community for your continuing support. Let’s open the envelopes.

Q: Which Offensive Coordinator(s), whether NFL or college, do you feel are the most creative in their playcalling and have had good success, and is available to be hired this coming year?- jomac

A: Zac Robinson or Klint Kubiak. The McVay and Shanahan offenses just have creative route combos that always seem to scheme at least one player open every play. Whether it be zone or man beaters, they always have the answers. I’d be perfectly satisfied with either of them getting the job.

Q: Aside from QB, if you were forced to trade all of our 2023 draft picks for one draft pick who is guaranteed to play at an All-Pro level for the next 5 years, what position do you use it for?

*Not based on players in this the draft class, just wondering what one position would an instant 5-year All-Pro help this team the most at while sacrificing rookie help everywhere else.- Blkgldtom

A: I wouldn’t trade the draft for anything other than a quarterback, but if I could pick which position would be an All-Pro for the next five years outside of that, I’d say left tackle or center. Detroit is living proof of what an elite offensive line on all fronts can get you, even if you’re quarterback isn’t one of the top five in the game.

Q: If TJ Watt does not win DPOY, what is the real reasoning? What does the NFL really gain from not giving this award to the best performing defensive player?- VinnySteel

A: I would understand the frustration if Watt doesn’t win the award. He is whom I voted for in my PFWA ballot. That said, this year in particular has been odd as it pertains to individual awards. Lamar Jackson is likely going to win his second MVP and his numbers are nowhere near the best amongst quarterbacks (and for what it’s worth, I voted for Josh Allen for MVP on the PFWA ballot). I love advanced stats, and they are helpful tools. That said, pass rush win rate shouldn’t be the Holy Bible of how we discuss edge rushers and Watt should win DPOY.

Q: What would you do for a Klondike bar?- Steel Curtain 68

A: By the looks of it, I’m going to need a Klondike Bar or two next week during Senior Bowl practices. It’s supposed to be warm, and I am a cold weather guy so I’ll be looking to cool off in any way I can. Speaking of that, we’ll have a feed set up similar to training camp so you can read my live thoughts from practice every day, should you choose to, as well as daily reports and write ups.

Q: There’s been some commentary that the Steelers won’t make any moves on QB futures until after a new OC is hired and can weigh in. This seems to place some urgency on hiring the next OC. When can we expect the new OC to be announced?- Trunnion

A: I would guess we will know in the next 7-10 days who the new OC is.

Q: He may be older and doesn’t weigh 350 pounds, but—using his experience, skill, and maybe a few extra pounds—could Cam Heyward play NT for the Steelers next season, opening the way for new DEs, drafted or signed FAs??- DCBill

A: I don’t think. He’ll play that defensive tackle/end role while Benton plays nose. If he here younger, maybe, but there’s no real reason to have him gain wait for a spot that’s already locked down. If anything, he can have a Jerome Bettis-esc role where he still gets meaningful snaps but mentors a draft pick for a year to eventually take that spot. Even so, Benton is more than capable of sliding over and taking reps.

Q: Amarius Mims or Taliese Fuaga at pick 20 if given a chance to improve the right tackle position? Who is CB1 on your Big Board?- Pittsblitz56

A: I would go Mims (and I’d actually put him at LT and keep Broderick Jones at RT). CB1 for me is Terrion Arnold from Alabama. Kalen King from Penn State is another one who I really like. If you want a guy who will go Day 2 to watch, Caelan Carson from Wake Forest is a fun one.

Q: it looks to me like there is no way the Steelers can earn a compensatory pick for losing free agents this off season. Is that another reason that the team should be interested in getting as many free agents as it can? I’d like them to get at least one offensive lineman that is a sure starter, another linebacker, wide receiver and defensive back. Should not count on more than one or two players from draft as big contributors in 2024.- Ecbucs

A: I think that should be the focus anyway. I’d rather them be more aggressive in pursuing proven talent.