Jim Caldwell, Todd Haley, Hue Jackson, Randy Fichtner, and Tom Clements have all been rumored candidates for the Steelers Offensive Coordinator position (Clements was just named the Packers OC today). Another name has surfaced according to ESPN’s John Clayton tonight:
@ClaytonESPN: If RB coach Kirby Wilson gets healthy soon, he’ll likely end up as Steelers offensive coordinator. They seem to be waiting for him.
While Kirby is not technically a new name, he is a bit of a surprising one at this juncture. Had Wilson not been involved in the tragic house fire that’s had him intensive care since just before the wildcard game, he would have been a front runner. It’s been widely speculated that he was going to be an eventual candidate to run the offense if and when Bruce Arians was no longer with the team. Arians is gone but as of right now Wilson is in no position to do anything but hopefully heal to a full recovery. The team released a statement yesterday his status: “Mr. Wilson remains in serious condition in the Trauma Burn Center at UPMC Mercy in Pittsburgh. His status is stable, and he has started his physical rehabilitation. The Wilson family would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support.”
There is no timetable at this point for Wilson to be able to come home that we’ve heard, let alone resume coaching. Considering the severity of the burns he suffered one would think it’s going to be quite some time before he can resume the rigorous schedule of being an assistant coach in the NFL.
One thought process is that he knows the offense and how the Steelers like things done, plus the terminology would most likely remain intact so the learning curve for the offensive players would be less than if the team brings in someone from the outside. That being said, current QB Coach Randy Fichtner also presents a viable option for Tomlin to explore but as of yet we’ve received no word on a possible interview for him, or if one was previously done.
It’s a risk if indeed Tomlin is waiting to see how Kirby recovers because should something happen where he is unable to return in the near future, the team could find themselves in a pressure situation to get a coordinator hired and start putting the new offense together. We’ll have to wait and see how this pans out in the coming weeks but it’s something to keep an eye on.