The Pittsburgh Steelers created an extra coaching position to hire former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores two years ago. All Steelers Talk’s Noah Strackbein and Stephen Thompson argued the Steelers should do something similar for Mike Vrabel.
In fact, the co-hosts argued the Steelers should be so excited about potentially hiring Vrabel that they should make him an offer he can’t refuse.
“If you can get Mike Vrabel, you go get Mike Vrabel; it’s really not a question of ability or anything,” Thompson said on the All Steelers Talk’s February 2 episode. “It’s a guy that I’m not even sure that you really have to seriously interview, it’s more about, ‘Hey do you want to come here?’
“It’s a pretty one-way street there. If Mike Vrabel wants to come, the Steelers should want him to come. I don’t know how much an assistant like that would get paid or anything.
“But I think you almost write him a blank check and say, ‘Yeah, we’d love to have you here.’”
Vrabel spent six seasons as the Tennessee Titans head coach from 2018-23. Although he posted losing records in his final two seasons, he registered a 54-45 record overall.
In the 2019-20 season, Vrabel led the Titans to an improbable AFC championship game appearance. The Titans were the conference’s sixth seed that postseason.
As a player, Vrabel won three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots. Ironically, he began his playing career with the Steelers in 1997.
Could the Steelers Hire Mike Vrabel?
Strackbein agreed with his co-host that the Steelers should pursue Vrabel as a high-level defensive assistant. Strackbein also concurred that money should be no object for the Steelers bringing in Vrabel.
“I don’t know where that comes out. I don’t know the finances of coaching staffs and where it comes from and all that,” Strackbein argued. “[But] Art Rooney makes a billion dollars a year. Go sign Mike Vrabel.”
Strackbein added that investing in Vrabel could actually lead to more of a profit for the Steelers.
“You aren’t sweating the couple mill that you’ve got to pay this guy to make your defense that much better. And if you make the Super Bowl and go on a run and have one crazy defense, chances are you’re going to make more money.
“Because people are going to buy jerseys and come to games and so on and so forth. So it’s all going to work out in your favor anyways.”
Strackbein described the idea of the Steelers adding Vrabel as a high-level defensive assistant “so unrealistic” when the Titans first fired him. That’s because it seemed to be a foregone conclusion around the league that Vrabel was going to be a head coach somewhere else in 2024.
But all the NFL head coach vacancies are filled, and Vrabel is still available. That now makes the Steelers adding Vrabel a distinct possibility.
Steelers to Interview 3 Candidates for Pass Game Coordinator: Report
Vrabel isn’t the only potential addition on the table for the Steelers coaching staff. Strackbein reported on February 3 that the Steelers are planning to interview three candidates for a potential offensive assistant role.
“The Steelers are set to meet with Los Angeles Chargers passing game specialist Tom Arth, Tennessee Titans quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator Charles London and New York Jets wide receivers coach Zach Azzani, according to league sources,” wrote Strackbein.
“They are also expected to interview candidates for their open strength and conditioning coaching roles.”
Strackbein wrote that it’s unclear if these candidates could be an addition in a new role or a replacement for someone from the 2023 coaching staff.
But judging that the Steelers have one of the smaller coaching staffs in the NFL, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Steelers hired one of these offensive assistants as an addition to their staff.
Pass game coordinator is an obvious title the Steelers could use for a potential addition. Two of those candidates, Tom Arth and Charles London, have passing game coordinator experience.
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