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Tomlin ‘Acknowledges Possibility’ Coaching Changes Could Soon Happen

In standard Mike Tomlin fashion, he punted the question of if there will be any changes to his coaching staff after a bitter end to their season. But he did leave the door open for the team making moves as part of the natural team-building process where the only constant is change.

“We haven’t had any of those discussions,” Tomlin told reporters Wednesday. “Change is a part of our business. So I’ll acknowledge the possibility for that. We’re just beginning the process of having those types of meaty discussions. They usually produce changes or non-changes. And so it is that time of year. I anticipate those discussions happening and rather soon as we plot a course to move forward.”

Though their season just ended, there’s been no reports or rumors to Pittsburgh making any significant shakeups to its coaching staff. Under Kevin Colbert and Tomlin, the organization has been more willing to make minor tweaks around the edges than big shakeups to their coaching staff.

That’s generally meant keeping the coordinators in place and swapping out positional coaches. Two positional coaches who could be on their way out include RBs coach Eddie Faulkner and OL coach Shaun Sarrett (and potentially Sarrett’s assistant, Adrian Klemm). The Steelers are coming off a historically bad season running the football, rushing for their fewest yards since 1966 and repeatedly struggling in short-yard situations. There’s also been a looming question over TEs coach James Daniel and if/when he’ll retire. He’s been with the team since 2004.

All of that is speculation, not based on concrete reporting, and sometimes positional coach changes can surprise. No one saw RBs coach James Saxon exiting after the 2018 season. And there’s always a chance Pittsburgh bucks their trend and dumps Fichtner or Butler. Tomlin was asked to evaluate his OC and DC specifically.

“I think I’m not ready to individually assess anything at this juncture. There’s a level of disappointment in all of our performances collectively starting with my own as I sit here. And that’s what I’ll be doing in the subsequent days in the upcoming days as I begin to meet and talk.”

With draft season about to get underway, the Steelers should make any and all of their decisions soon enough. The sooner a coach gets let go, the quicker his replacement can be found, and the more prepared they will be to tackle the Senior Bowl, the Combine, and Pro Days, assuming those things still occur in this COVID landscape.

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