PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said that he did not look outside his organization when it came to finding a replacement for recently fired offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
Tomlin said that running backs coach Eddie Faulkner will be promoted to offensive coordinator and that quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan will largely be calling plays, as the duo share the responsibilities of the departed Canada, who was fired after two antd a half years on the job.
But he said Tuesday that he did not look outside the organization for answers at coordinator.
“I hadn’t considered that realistically at this juncture,” Tomlin said.
Among those that could have been external candidates include recently fired Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey; former Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, who interviewed for the job before Canada was hired in 2021; and former Steelers quarterback and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Byron Leftwich, who has professed a desire to return to his old club.
The problem with bringing in an outside coach at this juncture is the lack of time to make big changes to the playbook. The Steelers will make the change with just three days of practice before leading into a key divisional game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Tomlin insisted that the move does not mean that they club is giving up on the season, and he expressed his faith in Faulkner and Sullivan to get the job done, saying that they “won’t be graded on a curve.”
When asked if success in the position could be an audition for the job going forward, Tomlin deferred, saying his focus is on beating the Bengals.
Sullivan has been an NFL offensive coordinator twice before, with the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Faulkner was briefly an offensive coordinator once at Ball State.