Mike Tomlin Defends Steelers Small Coaching Staff: ‘There’s Benefit in Small Numbers’
PHOENIX — For several years now, the Pittsburgh Steelers have had one of the smaller coaching staffs in the NFL, and with the team’s recent run of only average results on the field, that has becoming a talking point about the organization and its commitment to winning.
The Steelers 2023 coaching staff currently has three coordinators (Teryl Austin, Matt Canada and Danny Smith), nine position coaches (DB Grady Brown, ILB Aaron Curry, DL Karl Dunbar, RB Eddie Faulkner, WR Frisman Jackson, OLB Denzel Martin, OL Pat Meyer, TE Alfredo Roberts, QB Mike Sullivan, two assistant position coaches (QB David Corley, OL Isaac Williams) and two quality control coaches (Matt Tomsho and Jason Brooks).
They might not be done adding to the coaching staff for 2023, but that is even smaller than the team’s staff was in 2022, when they had an assistant head coach, three coordinators, a senior assistant, nine position coaches, three assistant position coaches and one quality control coach.
Most other teams have far more coaches. The 2022 Baltimore Ravens had an assistant head coach, three coordinators, nine position coaches, two assistant position coaches and eight other assistant coaches. The 2022 Super Bowl participants, the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles each had a total of 22 coaches on their staffs.
At the 2023 NFL Annual meeting on Monday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the smaller size of his coaching staff, why that’s his preference and why he thinks it can be a positive.
“I’d rather overwork them than underwork them, you know what I mean?” Tomlin said. “I think there’s benefit in small numbers. It’s easier to keep the group coordinated and on accord, to have that one voice that is critical and culture-building. So small is better for me, but you’d better have enough to get the job done and I realize that we’re probably on the smaller side as far as staffing goes but that’s the agenda for us.”
So it seems that the decision to keep his coaching staff relatively small is an intentional one on Tomlin’s part and not a lack of commitment by the organization to give him what he needs to succeed.