None of us should be shocked that the Steelers have not said a word about any potential candidates for their vacant Offensive Coordinator position. While we’d all love to dissect the news that so and so is being interviewed or this guy contacted the team, it’s not likely to happen. That’s just not how the Rooney’s operate went it comes to their franchise. They do what they need to do and then tell you about it when a plan of action is decided upon and executed.
It’s no secret that the Steelers handle their business in house, behind closed doors. They don’t like being in the spotlight especially when it brings out questions and criticisms from the media, which is inevitable. If you’ve ever watched a Mike Tomlin press conference for example, they are generally quite dull to be honest. It’s mostly politically correct, status quo comments from the Steelers head coach. He will give you the latest injury news, thoughts on the upcoming opponent, and that’s about it. When asked directly about a specific subject you won’t get much in the way of insight or particulars. He’s not interested in giving anyone bulletin board material or starting media frenzy over a comment he makes about a player or situation. He’s made it quite clear in the past that if he didn’t have to give press conferences or talk to the media, he’d be just fine with that. Beyond all else, the Rooney’s mission is to protect the integrity of the team and the values it’s been built on. Pittsburgh has a proven track record of success and the way they run their business is widely respected around the world. I tend to liken it to a parent raising their children. You deal with your internal problems within the confines of your family, find a solution and move on. It’s not everybody’s business how you solve them or what your reasoning is.
In today’s social media craze that’s a pretty tough thing to accomplish. With Twitter, Facebook, and just the internet in general word can travel across the world literally within seconds. The Steelers front office is not shaken though, they stand fast to the principals they were built on. As long as the Rooney’s own this franchise, that will be the case.
Other than the obvious, “mum is the word” philosophy the team takes with talking to the media another reason is that Mike Tomlin was down at the Senior Bowl practices for most of this week. He came back a couple days ago and his staff will return to Pittsburgh this weekend. Coaches are known to network at events like this, do interviews, and gather information on potential candidates for openings but to date nothing has been said officially. Many feel that an announcement of some kind will be revealed this coming week but even the local media, well known for their insider access has nothing concrete they can report. That’s not to say that they haven’t already had interviews with some candidates, or that some reports won’t surface in the coming days but they won’t go out of their way to start a big fuss about it.
There has been no shortage of rumors though about whom they are considering. Most feel the candidate is QB Coach Randy Fichtner. He’s the odds on favorite according to most at this point because he knows how the offense works, has a good rapport with the players, and the Steelers generally like to promote from within whenever they can. Plus, sometimes when you say nothing, the more obvious choice is the most likely one. Other rumors have Tom Clements from Green Bay being a candidate but the Packers are making a hard push to retain him as their OC. He’ll actually be calling the plays for the NFC in the 2012 Pro Bowl this Sunday. Jim Caldwell has been gaining in popularity as well. He’s got ties to Tomlin through Tony Dungy, whom Tomlin coached with in Tampa Bay. Todd Haley was another name that was tossed around but that seems unlikely, although not impossible, at this point. He has ties to the team, his father worked for the Steelers; however I’d be mildly surprised if he got the job based on how things went down in Kansas City. Kirby Wilson, the Steelers RB Coach would have been a leading candidate but that’s on hold indefinitely as he recovers from burns suffered in his house fire just before the Wildcard game.
I wouldn’t be shocked if the team announces their new Offensive Coordinator to be a name that nobody expected; it wouldn’t be the first time so stay tuned.