During his season wrap-up press conference, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was non-committal about fully retaining his coaching staff as it was at the conclusion of the 2017 season. Shocking, I know.
Tomlin is always non-committal, especially during these pre- and post-game press conferences. He very rarely divulges information that he doesn’t have to, and he has the convenient excuse of saying that he still has to go through the full exit meeting process with all players and coaches before he can get his mind around everything.
That in no way should be taken as an indication that there are plans for changes, big or small, to be made. In saying that, I don’t mean to say that there will be no changes made. But his comments during yesterday’s press conference should not be construed as evidence to that effect.
There are decisions to be made, though. On the immediate front, if it is true that wide receivers coach Richard Mann is actually going to retire after a couple of years of attempting to walk away from the game, then naturally they are going to have to find another wide receivers coach. And we’ve already had a couple of articles on that very topic today.
Next on the agenda is making a decision on offensive coordinator Todd Haley, whose contract expires after this season. During his six years in Pittsburgh, the offense has put up some of its best numbers in team history, particular in the points column, which is the most important offensive statistic. And at least 10 wins in the past four seasons doesn’t hurt, either.
Will the Tequila Cowboy ride again with the Steelers, or will he ride out into the sunset? It remains to be seen, and opinions over whether or not it will—and especially whether or not it should—have been widely divergent.
Then there is Keith Butler, the defensive coordinator, whom everybody now wants fired. The communication issues have been a glaring and ongoing issue, and the tackling has been troubling for years now, though both issues predate Butler’s stint in this role.
To fire him, though, would be a clear response primarily to just one game, and that is not typically how the Steelers conduct their business, something of a kneejerk response. There are legitimate reasons for struggles at times this season related to injuries, something that will be taken into consideration.
What about Danny Smith? He had three punts blocked this year and a kick returned for a touchdown. He converted a fake punt and prevented one from happening. He blocked a field goal. He also had a field goal and an extra point blocked.
Mike Munchak is reportedly one of a couple of primary candidates to take over for Bruce Arians as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. If he does, he will be the third Steelers coach to hold the job since Tomlin has been in Pittsburgh, amusingly, but more troublingly, it would require another job to be filled.