According to league sources who spoke with ESPN, the Steelers plan to appoint Arthur Smith, the former head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, as their next offensive coordinator.
The Steelers owner, Art Rooney II, stated on Monday that the team is anticipating a new hire for the position. “We’re looking forward to have someone come in and take a fresh approach who can help our young players grow and perform and have the offense perform at a consistently high level,” Rooney II said. The hire is expected to happen rather soon.
Smith had three straight 7-10 seasons with a 21–30 record, but no postseason trip; the Falcons fired him earlier this month. Smith was as the offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans from 2019 to 20 prior to his time in Atlanta. Prior to being promoted to offensive coordinator, Smith worked as an offensive quality control coach, offensive line coach, assistant tight ends coach, and tight ends coach when he first joined the Tennessee staff in 2011.
The qualities coach Mike Tomlin is seeking in an O-coordinator are as follows: “I think Mike identified we want somebody that has some experience, and somebody that has, let’s say, a track record that we can look at and feel comfortable with,” Rooney stated on Monday.
Smith’s Falcons offence was erratic and frequently drew criticism in Atlanta for the way he handled the quarterback position and used tight end Kyle Pitts and running back Bijan Robinson. In the 2022 draft, quarterback Desmond Ridder was chosen by Smith and the Falcons, two rounds after quarterback Kenny Pickett was chosen by the Steelers. After starting four games as a rookie, Ridder moved up to the starting lineup in 2023. Despite this, he was benched twice this season and finished with 12 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
However, Smith has managed an impressive rushing attack in the past. In 2022, the Falcons were third in terms of rushing yards, while the Titans, during Smith’s last season in Tennessee, had the second-highest total.
Rooney stated on Monday that he wanted to go back to a ground game and enhance Pickett’s growth as well as the quarterback position.
The Steelers amassed 2,010 yards of rushing in the regular season with their running back combo, which included a late surge of two 100-yard rushing performances by Harris in the final two games of the regular season.
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