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Art Rooney II Details What Steelers Want in Next OC

The Steelers have specific traits they wnat in their next offensive coordinator hire.

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Steelers Art Rooney Kevin Colbert
Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II and former general manger Kevin Colbert before a game against the New England Patriots on Dec. 7, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers have interviewed three candidates so far for their open offensive coordinator job, while expressing interest in at least four. Mike Tomlin has named his ideas for the next offensive coordinator as someone who has experience and can help develop quarterbacks. Team president Art Rooney II echoed many of those sentiments.

“We’re looking forward to having someone come in, take a fresh approach, and help our young players grow and perform,” Rooney said. “…I think Mike identified that we want somebody that has some experience. Somebody that has, let’s say a track record, that we can look at and feel comfortable with. So those are things that Mike is looking for.”

Talking with Rob King on Steelers.com, Rooney said the team needed to go outside the organization to find a completely new voice and approach to how they run their offense. They felt that was severely lacking throughout Matt Canada’s tenure.

”We saw a little bit of success at the end of the season,” Rooney said. “But overall, when you look back at the last couple of years, we just haven’t had the type of offensive production we need to see. And so I think that’s probably a major reason why we’re gonna look outside to bring in a new, fresh approach to it.”

That being said, Rooney expects that the offense will follow certain principles that they’ve long established, and will have to fit the currently existing personnel.

“We have an idea of what we want the Steelers offenses to look like,” he said. “Start with that. We have a certain roster mix … you can’t completely change your roster overnight. So you kind of have to have a coordinator that feels like they can work with this roster and be successful with it. Somebody that believes in that and can come in and work with this roster, do what’s kind of already built here in terms of the roster and some of the skillsets that we have, that’s what we’re looking for.”

So if Rooney and Tomlin are looking for experienced play-callers with the ability to win with this offense, current candidates Arthur Smith and Thomas Brown, with running game backgrounds, would seem to have the best chance at succeeding with this roster, while quarterback developers like Jerrod Johnson might get more out of Kenny Pickett.

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