Sunday, January 29, 2012

The next offensive coordinator?

It was nice that of the Steelers to organize a news conference for Chris Hoke, one of our favorite players, an 11-year stalwart as a reliable backup at nose tackle and all-around good guy. Hokey will do fine in whatever he chooses to do -- he'd be great in the media.

It was a good thing, as it turns out, that the Steelers didn't organize a similar type of news conference for the Bruce Arians "retirement" send-off. The Indianapolis Colts and new coach Chuck Pagano hired Bruce Arians to pick up the pieces of the Peyton Manning mess. Since only the Steelers -- and not Arians -- announced his retirement, there was nothing to stop him from taking another job, just as we surmised on Tuesday -- "What happens if he takes a coaching job with another team?  He says he's already had five or six teams contact him about coaching this year. No longer an employee of the Steelers, he would be well within his rights to take a job with another team."

Well, now that's accomplished, and there's no real harm done (is there?), except for the egg on the face of Art Rooney II. 

The question now is, who will the Steelers hire to replace Arians?

The only candidate from within the organization seems to be quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner. Maybe it will be Fichtner, and maybe he will be great, but if Rooney wanted to make a change so badly, you'd think he wouldn't stay with the guy who has been working with Ben all along in the Arians-led offense. 

All of which raises the question: If it was Rooney's decision to fire Arians, whose decision will it be to hire his replacement? Rooney? Mike Tomlin? Decision by committee?

Whomever, if they are looking outside the organization, who, who, who?

The Browns hired Brad Chilly Childress to be their offensive coordinator, so he's out, thank goodness.  

Jim Caldwell?  No thanks. It was Tom Moore's and Peyton Manning's offense in Indianapolis, and Caldwell appeared totally ineffectual without either of them around. 

Todd Haley? Joey Porter's Pit Bulls aren't crazy about the idea. Haley seems paranoid and unstable, and his reputation is that he doesn't play nice with others, including and maybe especially quarterbacks.

Time, Time Time Is on Our Side
The Steelers can take their time making a decision.  

Just having the position open gives you leeway to talk to people and pick their brains -- maybe that's what the Packers are doing -- and the Senior Bowl this past week provided an open job fair for assistant coaches. The Steelers can wait till after the Super Bowl to announce a new coordinator, and the longer it goes, the more it smells like maybe they are looking at one of the coaches with one of the Super Bowl teams. 

We know it's not not going to come from the Patriots, since those guys are already spoken for (Bill O'Brien is going to Penn State, Josh McDaniels takes over the offense next year), which leaves ... the Giants. And we know it's not going to be Kevin Gilbride, the offensive coordinator, so that leaves ... the quarterbacks coach, Mike Sullivan, and that's a name that may be totally off base, but it could make sense on a number of levels.  Our favorite part of his bio:

"Sullivan is a graduate of the U.S. Army Airborne, Ranger and Air Assault schools. Sullivan recently earned his Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu."

For Joey Porter's Pit Bulls, that alone gets him an interview for the job.