The Steelers have or have plans to interview Dallas Cowboys secondary coach Joe Whitt Jr. for their vacant defensive coordinator position, according to a report by Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Whitt, 43, has been an NFL assistant for 15 seasons, but has never been a coordinator, but has been a top name for team with coordinator vacancies this cycle.
In addition to secondaries coach, Whitt also held the title of pass game coordinator with the Cowboys, a position he also had with the Atlanta Falcons in 2020, Cleveland Browns in 2019 and Green Bay Packers in 2018.
He spent significant time in Green Bay under head coach Mike McCarthy, who Whitt was reunited with in Dallas. He started as a defensive quality control coach in Green Bay in 2008 and was promoted to cornerbacks coach in 2009. He was part of the team’s Super Bowl XLV win over the Steelers after the 2010 season.
An Auburn, Alabama native, Whitt played for his hometown Tigers as a wide receiver before an injury ended his playing career. He immediately transitioned into coaching while still a student at Auburn, and worked as a student coach for two seasons.
After he graduated, Whitt was wide receivers coach at The Citadel for one season before getting a big opportunity and moving to the other side of the ball with the Louisville Cardinals. He spent four seasons in Louisville under Bobby Petrino and moved with Petrino to the Atlanta Falcons for the 2007 season before joining McCarthy in Green Bay.
Whitt’s father, Joe Whitt Sr. was a defensive assistant for Auburn for 25 years, coaching under Pat Dye, Terry Bowden, Bill Oliver and Tommy Tuberville. He retired in 2005 and was awarded the AFCA Outstanding Achievement award in 2018.
Whitt is the third external candidate identified for the position, which opened when Keith Butler retired on Saturday. The Steelers have also interviewed or requested to interview New York Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham and New Orleans Saints defensive backs coach Kris Richard.
The lone internal candidate appears to be senior defensive assistant Teryl Austin. Butler said on Monday that he expects Austin to get the job.