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: Will the Steelers’ next defensive backs coach be an outside name?
When it comes to predicting or wishing for new coaches, it is most easy for fans to simply call up names that are familiar to them, most often former players or coaches. We talked about Hines Ward when Richard Mann was retired. Instead, the Steelers hired Ward’s college wide receivers coach.
Now that Carnell Lake as resigned in order to spend more time with his family, the team is in search of its next coach for that spot as well. A few popular names have already popped up, all of whom are available, and all of whom are linked to Pittsburgh.
There is Rod Woodson, who had a Hall of Fame career as a cornerback for the Steelers and has since become a coach. Darren Perry played with Woodson and has had an even more successful career as a coach. He even coached with Pittsburgh. So did Ray Horton, a Dick LeBeau protégé. Some have even mentioned former defensive coordinator Dom Capers.
All of these coaches are currently available, and it’s certainly possible that the Steelers might have interest in speaking with some or all of them. At the moment, we don’t know. But Mike Tomlin has had a mixed history in terms of when and where he prefers to look outside the organization.
His first offensive coordinator, for example, was an in-house promotion, but his second came from the outside, and now his third is again an in-house assignment. That current offensive coordinator was previously the wide receivers coach, who moved in-house to quarterbacks coach when their quarterback coach retired.
With Tomlin asserting more control on the defensive side of the ball, chances are he will be extremely hands-on when it comes to selecting a defensive backs coach who is going to instill the concepts in the secondary that he wants his group to play, an opportunity presenting itself with Lake’s resignation.