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Arthur Smith Raves About Steelers OC Opportunity: ‘Home Run for Me’

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Pittsburgh Steelers Arthur Smith
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith during OTAs on May 21, 2024. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith has crossed paths with a lot of former Steelers coaches/players throughout his career. Guys like Mike Vrabel, Ken Whisenhunt, Mike Mularkey, Russ Grimm, Deshea Townsend, Dick LeBeau and Tom Moore.

He heard all of the stories about the Steelers organization. That’s why he was stoked when Mike Tomlin called about the offensive coordinator job opportunity.

Smith was on a layover in Dubai on his way to the Maldives with his wife when he got the call from Tomlin. He didn’t cut his vacation short, but he accepted the offer to be interviewed without hesitation.

“Hell yeah, I’m interested,” Smith recalled at minicamp on Tuesday. “I have such an appreciation of the history of this game and guys that have been big mentors to me had either coached here or played here. And I could go on and on … There’s so many guys, players and coaches, that swear by this place. And so when Mike called me, funny how timing in life works. I wanted him to know, hell yeah, damn straight I was interested, and I wanted this job and to work for Mike and what this place means.”

Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith

Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith at Steelers rookie minicamp on May 11, 2024. — Ed Thompson/Steelers Now

Smith thinks it’s a home run opportunity to learn under Tomlin.

“I got to know Omar a little bit over the years through the league meeting and whatnot and certainly Mike,” Smith said. “And that was very appealing. You know, it’s rare when you have a guy that’s been in one spot, had the success he’s had that’s older, done it for a long time. Somebody you can learn from that has really a shared belief. So really, it was a home run for me.”

At the NFL owner’s meeting in March, Tomlin touched on why Smith was a fit on his staff.

“First and foremost, man, I’ve competed against him over the years,” Tomlin said of Smith. “We’ve had some battles against Tennessee and then obviously we played him when he was in Atlanta. I respect his approach, the ball, his values are very evident in looking at his tape and they are aligned with things that we value controlling the game through our bigs and building from there and then I also got close relationships with some people who were really significant in his development and helped him establish some things that he strongly believes in, guys that I’ve had an opportunity to work with like much for example, and so it was really a great deal of comfort and beyond comfort. It was a great deal of excitement in terms of bringing him on board.”

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Nick Farabaugh contributed reporting from Pittsburgh.