With the Steelers in their offseason after failing to reach the playoffs in 2022, coming up just a game short of sneaking in as the seventh seed. They needed help in week 18 and only got some of it, so instead they sat home and watched the playoffs with the rest of us.
On tap is figuring out how to be on the field in January and February instead of being a spectator. They started out 2-6, digging a hole that proved too deep to dig out of even if they managed to go 7-2 in the second half of the year.
Starting from the end of the regular season and leading all the way up to the beginning of the 2023 season, there are plenty of questions that need answered, starting with which free agents will be kept? Who might be let go due to their salary? How might they tackle free agency with this new front office? How might they tackle the NFL Draft? We’ll try to frame the conversation in relevant ways as long as you stick with us throughout this offseason, as we have for many years.
Question: What is the impact of the hiring of Glenn Thomas as an offensive assistant?
The Steelers announced the hiring of Glenn Thomas Wednesday to the role of offensive assistant. He is now the only coach on the staff designated strictly as an unspecified assistant for offense or defense, though there is a defensive quality control coach, a general quality control coach, and assistants for specific position groups.
Suddenly the Steelers’ on-field coaching staff is up to 19, including nine offensive coaches, with Thomas the latest addition. He was on the Temple staff when Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett initially committed to play there before rerouting to Pitt—where he was recruited, of course, by Matt Canada, who then left.
So now he has two coaches on the roster who successfully recruited him in college yet never played for. Amusing but not very relevant, perhaps, outside of a distant familiarity.
Thomas has seven years of NFL experience, though now some time ago, including as a quarterbacks coach and as an offensive assistant, both with the Atlanta Falcons. Both before and after that stint from 2008 through 2014, he has been in the college ranks. He has held titles of offensive coordinator or co-coordinator at several different schools since 2016: Temple, Baylor, UNLV, and most recently Arizona State.
It’s often difficult to ascertain exactly what most position coaches do, sometimes even coordinators, let alone general assistant coaches. Thomas’ college background as a coordinator and quarterbacks coach is interesting, but how notable is it?
Brian Flores as a “senior” defensive assistant seemed to have an outsized influence on the roster, but Thomas isn’t Flores. Given the many comments head coach Mike Tomlin has made over the years about the openness of his staff, one can presume Thomas’ influence will reach as far as it is valuable.