The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: Are the changes to the coaching staff completed for the 2018 season?
It wasn’t guaranteed that there would be any changes to the coaching staff coming out of this season, though there were at least two that were well within the realm of predictability. There were inklings of a departure from Todd Haley as offensive coordinator. And Richard Mann had been talking about retirement for a couple years already. He kind of already was retired before Mike Tomlin hired him.
But then followed the resignation of Carnell Lake and the hiring of Karl Dunbar, with the coinciding shifting of John Mitchell full-time to his pre-existing designation of assistant head coach. The Steelers also added a coaching assistant to the staff on top of that.
Steelers President Art Rooney II said that there were still some things being finalized about staff contracts, which to me leaves open the possibility of both arrivals and departures. But he also said that Tomlin might add somebody because they looked from within to replace the offensive coordinator.
Which of course sounds to me as though it remains a possibility that there will still be another addition to the offensive side of the coaching staff. Maybe an assistant quarterbacks coach, for example, or simply somebody to take over the quarterbacks coach role altogether so Randy Fichtner doesn’t have to split duties.
One thing that we probably should have learned over the course of the past few days is that we should not assume that everything is settled. Really, the past year altogether has been filled with excess ‘drama’ in the form of unpredicted occurrences, both troublesome and benign.
There are a lot of details about coach contracts that the Steelers do not divulge or otherwise make easily available, so it’s not immediately obvious what Rooney meant specifically when he talked about contract matters. Is somebody due for an extension? Was he referring to Mitchell’s transition? Or new contracts being signed? Maybe a contract being terminated? I will we should keep our ears to the ground over the course of the next couple of weeks at least in case more changes are imminent in what has been a rather tumultuous year.