The 2024 NFL hiring cycle for head coaches is officially a wrap, with each of the eight league vacancies being filled as of Thursday, February 1.
The Steelers will get plenty of exposure to the new head coaches from this hiring cycle in 2024, set to face four of the eight teams with a new HC this season. Those four teams include a matchup against the LA Chargers at home and road games against the Atlanta Falcons, Las Vegas Raiders and Washington Commanders.
Interestingly, though each of these four head coaches will be new to their respective teams, none of them are first-time NFL coaches.
Here’s a look at the new head coaches the Steelers are set to face in 2024.
LA Chargers hire Jim Harbaugh
The LA Chargers made headlines after announcing Jim Harbaugh as their new head coach Jim Harbaugh, who’s spent the last nine seasons coaching the Michigan Wolverines, having dominated the Big Ten with an 89-25 in that span, punctuated with a College Football Playoff National Championship just this season. Harbaugh spent four seasons as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, who ranked as a top-10 defense in both points and yards per game allowed in each of his four seasons. In that span, the 49ers also ranked among the best-rushing offenses in the league with running back Frank Gore at the helm and Greg Roman at offensive coordinator. Could Harbaugh and Roman potentially be set for a reunion? Time will tell.
Atlanta Falcons hire Raheem Morris
The Atlanta Falcons opted to hire Raheem Morris as their head coach in an interesting turn of events. Morris worked as the interim head coach for the Falcons just back in the 2020 season after they fired now-Commanders head coach Dan Quinn. That wasn’t his first go-around as a head coach either, having started his head coaching career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Morris’ overall record as a head coach over three and a half seasons is 21-38. On the plus side, though the Falcons are still in search of a franchise quarterback, he will be surrounded by some top tier talent on offense, including running back Bijan Robinson, wide receiver Drake London and tight end Kyle Pitts. The Falcons also made plenty of moves on defense in free agency last season which much improved their defense, so we’ll see how it pans out.
Raiders officially hire Antonio Pierce
The Las Vegas Raiders, meanwhile, hired former linebackers coach Antonio Pierce. Pierce was an in-house candidate who was promoted as their interim head coach just last season after Week 8, when it was announced that they’d fired then-head coach Josh McDaniels. His defensive acumen will make this once laughable squad one to watch moving forward. From Week 9 onward, the Raiders defense led the league with 16 points per game allowed and tied for third in the league with 30 total sacks.
Washington Commanders hire Dan Quinn
The Washington Commanders were the last of the bunch to lock down their future head coach, opting to hire Dan Quinn, who’s spent the past three seasons working as the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys. Quinn previously coached the Atlanta Falcons from 2015 through 2020, when he was eventually fired after an 0-5 start. His best seasons came in 2016 and 2017, where the Falcons had a combined 21-11 record, with a supporting staff including (at various points) Kyle Shanahan, Matt LaFleur, Mike McDaniel, and the aforementioned Raheem Morris.
Though Quinn is a defensive coach, his teams have historically been a bit pass-heavy, ranked top-eight in pass attempts in four of his six seasons and top-eight in passing yards in each of them. His coaching staff has yet to be announced, but some have speculated the potential return to the NFL for Chip Kelly as his offensive coordinator.
Here’s a look at the full list of Steelers opponents in the 2024-25 NFL season.
Steelers opponents 2024
Home (8 games)
- Baltimore Ravens
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Cleveland Browns
- New York Giants
- New York Jets
- Dallas Cowboys
- Kansas City Chiefs
- LA Chargers (Jim Harbaugh)