The Pittsburgh Steelers have officially named Arthur Smith as their new offensive coordinator, the team announced on Friday. Smith’s contract is finalized on a three-year contract to make the former Falcons head coach the team’s play-caller.
Smith believes that the opportunity to join the Steelers and work with Mike Tomlin is the perfect fit for both sides.
“It’s such a unique opportunity to be able to work for an organization like the Pittsburgh Steelers,” Smith said to the team website.. “With the history and the culture here, and the opportunity to work with Mike Tomlin, to me it’s a perfect cultural fit.”
Smith was just fired by the Falcons after three unsuccessful seasons as their head coach. In three years running the show in Atlanta, Smith went 7-10 in each season, finishing no better than third in the NFC South.
He also was unable to find a develop a quarterback to replace franchise mainstay Matt Ryan. Smith brought Marcus Mariota, who had been with him with the Tennessee Titans, to Atlanta and also used a third-round draft pick on Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder and brought in free agent Taylor Heinicke, but none proved to be an answer at quarterback.
Smith also faced criticism for his usage of the Falcons’ skill position players, with former first-round picks Drake London, Kyle Pitts and Bijan Robinson failing to reach their full potential.
Though things did not go well in Atlanta with Smith as the head coach, he had a strong stint as an offensive coordinator with the Titans. Smith started in Nashville as a quality control coach in 2011 and worked his way up to offensive line and tight ends coach before taking over as offensive coordinator in 2019.
The Titans finished 10th and scoring and third in rushing in his first season, leaning on a strong offensive line and the talents of running back Derrick Henry. That provided the blueprint for the franchise, as they finished fourth in scoring in 2020, all the while having a below-average passing attack.
But the Steelers see Arthur Smith as a natural fit to help out their quarterback situation moving forward, and they believe that his run game aptitude and can keep that continuity going on the ground game.