View Full Version : Whisenhunt wants to stay in Pittsburgh

01-09-2007, 09:45 PM
PITTSBURGH -- Ken Whisenhunt has met with four NFL teams since last week. He doesn't hide which job he wants.


The Steelers' offensive coordinator was interviewed by team officials for three hours Tuesday, and it was evident he doesn't want to leave Pittsburgh to be an NFL head coach unless there's no other option.

"This is the place I want to be," Whisenhunt said. "I've been very grateful to be a part of this organization for six years and I'm just excited to get this opportunity."

Whisenhunt, who has run the Steelers' offense since quarterback Ben Roethlisberger arrived in 2004, and assistant head coach Russ Grimm appear to be the clear front-runners to succeed Bill Cowher.

Whisenhunt, who turns 45 next month, met with owner Dan Rooney, team president Art Rooney II and director of football operations Kevin Colbert about what the coach said were "a lot of things."

"I'm just honored to be included in this search," Whisenhunt said. "A lot of the coaches and players have helped me get to this spot, and I'm very grateful for that."

Grimm interviewed Monday with the Steelers before meeting Tuesday with the Arizona Cardinals. Whisenhunt talked with the Cardinals last Friday and met with the Falcons and Dolphins. Atlanta has since hired Louisville coach Bobby Petrino.

What Whisenhunt can offer the Steelers is a relatively easy transition, with little change needed on either side of the ball --- if Whisenhunt or Grimm is hired, 69-year-old defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau may return, too.

With Roethlisberger coming off the poorest of his three seasons, plus a disruptive offseason in which he made two hospital stays, the Steelers don't want to make numerous changes in strategy, personnel or terminology.

Retaining Whisenhunt would mean a seamless transition from one staff to another, whereas bringing in a coach from the outside would likely mean hiring a new coordinator and installing a new system.

Whisenhunt, a former Georgia Tech and Atlanta Falcons tight end, was the Steelers' tight end coach for three seasons before succeeding Mike Mularkey as offensive coordinator in 2004. He is considered one of the NFL's best play-callers, helping Roethlisberger make a quick and successful transition while still retaining a successful running game.

The Steelers also met Sunday with Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera and will interview Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin on Wednesday. They haven't said if they will interview any other candidates -- an apparent change from 1992, when Dan Rooney talked with about a dozen candidates before hiring Cowher following a 3 1/2-week search.

The Steelers haven't promoted one of their own assistants to head coach since Mike Nixon in 1965, his only year on the job. He was let go following a 2-12 season.

And before the Steelers can hire a new coach, their former coach had to make room for him.

Cowher did that Tuesday, cleaning out his office during a brief return to town. After resigning Friday, he spent last weekend watching his three daughters play basketball.

The Associated Press News Service

do the something with the OL and make sure Ben is back in form and he can be the HC...LOL

01-09-2007, 09:50 PM
Im glad to see he wants to stay here, that works out great for us in many ways. It reinforces the thinking that all the jobs he's interviewed for ever the last few years were not just that they didnt want him but that he may have turned many of them down for the chance to stay here.

House of Steel
01-09-2007, 09:52 PM
I am smelling a real good hiring here. I love what this article had to say, I say HIRE WHIZ and keep the other two on board and we are set to go. We will just need a good OC. Hell like Whiz do both.

01-09-2007, 10:05 PM
grimm will not be back if whiz is hired, grimm will take a head coaching job somewhere, he's getting old and he probably wants to do it now

01-10-2007, 10:23 AM
Where has Grimm been interviewed??? Arizona??? :dunno:

House of Steel
01-10-2007, 10:29 AM
Yes, Chris. I think that is the only one thus far beside us.

01-10-2007, 11:49 AM
I thought Grimm was interviewed in Pittsburgh, but he was questioned about it when he interviewed for the cards job as well, about the possibility of coaching in pittsburgh.

01-10-2007, 04:04 PM
Wisenhunt and Grimm have the same agent. Good or bad?

01-10-2007, 04:40 PM
Of cousre he wants to stay who wants to coach the card or the phins

01-10-2007, 08:23 PM
Great news ,,,, I think he'll make a great HC