The Steelers have begun their search for a new offensive coordinator, requesting permission to interview Los Angeles Rams’ pass game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Zac Robinson for the position. However, despite some fans wanting a full change, the defensive side of the ball will look largely familiar.
According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers are going to bring Austin back as defensive coordinator.
While the search for an offensive coordinator has begun, the Steelers do not have to find a coordinator on the other side of the ball.
Teryl Austin, whose two-year contract expired after the season, is expected to return as defensive coordinator after the Steelers ranked sixth in the league in fewest points allowed in 2023 (19.1 per game).
It is difficult to evaluate the overall performance of the defense because of the number of injuries to starters, especially key ones. The Steelers allowed more rushing yards (115.1) and passing yards (227.1) per game than the previous year, but defensive end Cam Heyward (six games) and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (seven) combined to miss 13 games, and inside linebackers Cole Holcomb (nine) and Kwon Alexander (eight) missed a combined 17 games.
The defense had its own issues, but they finished the season seventh in EPA per play and eighth in success rate in spite of a medley of injuries. It’s not surprising that Austin would be brought back after those kinds of numbers.