Let’s take part in a little hypothetical. What if the Steelers did the unthinkable and actually moved on from a head coach. The popular argument against this of course is who out there would actually be a better option. After all, Mike Tomlin has had nearly unparalleled success during his coaching tenure. It will make ten years this upcoming season since the Steelers have made it to a Super Bowl however. The whispers have begun to grow louder with every year this talented team continues to under achieve. Here’s a list of candidates that could possibly replace Tomlin if the team made the move this offseason…….hypothetically of course:
- Urban Meyer – One of the most successful college head coaches of our generation, Urban Meyer should be near the top of any coaching list the Steelers put together. Meyer has three national titles under his belt, two with Florida and another with his current Ohio St. squad. Getting Meyer to leave Ohio St. wouldn’t be easy, or cheap. Pittsburgh would likely have to make him the highest paid coach in the NFL to get him to leave the Buckeyes. Then there’s the issue of control. Most high-profile coaches like Meyer demand control over player personnel. That could be a potential sticking point in negotiations.
- Wade Phillips – I know what you’re thinking, Phillips has had multiple head coaching opportunities, and not been very successful. What Phillips has proven though is that he’s basically a defensive genius. His work as a defensive coordinator speaks for itself. Transforming the Rams defense in 2017 is just further proof of what he can do. Hiring him to fix the defense, and possibly having him allow the offensive coaching staff to stay intact would be the perfect scenario.
- Frank Reich – This may be a bit of a flavor of the month choice, but Reich’s work is pretty impressive. You can’t help but marvel at the way the Eagles offense shredded the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Keep in mind they did it with a back-up quarterback as well. Reich has developed an offensive system that is very difficult to defend. Imagine what he could do with all the weapons the Steelers offense possesses.
- Greg Schiano – Schiano has had quite the eventful last couple of months. He was set to be named the head coach at Tennessee until a firestorm over his possible involvement in the Penn St. abuse scandal starting getting legs. He’s never been linked to any of that, and was the victim of an unfair smear campaign. As far as football goes, Schiano is known for being a great defensive mind. He’s also known as a bit of a strict disciplinarian, something that caused him trouble as head coach of the Buccaneers. Defense and discipline are two things the Steelers are in short supply of right now.
- Dabo Swinney – Swinney has managed to turn the Clemson football program into a perennial national championship contender. He also has years of experience working under Nick Saban as a position coach at Alabama. Swinney has never actually hinted at being interested in an NFL job however. Getting him to leave a fantastic job like Clemson wouldn’t be easy. The lure of trying to be successful at the NFL level has enticed almost every great college coach in the past. Given the option of coaching a franchise like the Steelers would be hard for any coach to turn down.