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Report: Steelers Retaining Mike Sullivan, Assessing Role for Him

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a new quarterbacks coach but that does not mean that Mike Sullivan is gone from the organization.



Pittsburgh Steelers OC Mike Sullivan
Pittsburgh Steelers play caller Mike Sullivan against the Baltimore Ravens, Jan. 6, 2024 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers are likely keeping former quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan on the team and seem to be in discussion for the arrangement in which Sullivan could return to the team, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 in Houston and Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

This arrangement is unclear whether Sullivan would recede into a quality control position or potentially receive an elevation to the passing game coordinator role. Wilson reported that he would be kept as the quarterbacks coach, but that has since been debunked.

Sullivan did not get either of the offensive coordinator jobs that he interviewed for in the New York Giants and New Orleans Saints. Now, it appears that his status in Pittsburgh is going to change as they shift his role, but it’s unclear just what role he will assume. They are hiring Tom Arth as their new quarterbacks coach and Zach Azzanni as their new wide receivers coach.

Arth, 42, comes to the Steelers after two seasons as pass game specialist for the Los Angeles Chargers, where he helped work with quarterback Justin Herbert. Before that, he had a long tenure as a college head coach.

A college quarterback at Division-III John Carroll near Cleveland, Arth spent three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts as a backup to Peyton Manning and bounced between the NFL Europe, CFL, practice squads and the Arena Football league after that.

Azzanni, 47, comes to the Steelers from the New York Jets, where he spent the 2023 season. He has also had stops coaching wide receivers in the NFL with the Denver Broncos from 2018-22 and the Chicago Bears in 2017.

Perhaps of most significant note for Steelers fans is Azzanni’s connection to legendary Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. Azzanni was the assistant head coach and wide receivers coach at his alma mater, Central Michigan from 2007-09, and he was instrumental in coming to campus in 2007. 

As for now, Sullivan will have to wait find out his new role on the staff, and whether it is a demotion or a new role entirely that the team will create.