First it was Randy Fichtner…then the Steelers lost three more coaches.
There was bound to be a lot of turnover in the Steel City, especially following a resounding playoff defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field last weekend. Whether Mike Tomlin expected it or not, the front office is moving forward without four members of his coaching staff — for now.
Along with offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, the Steelers have announced the departure of offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett, defensive backs coach Tom Bradley and long-time tight ends coach James Daniel.
The exodus on Thursday is just the beginning, as the Steelers are in the midst of a multi-year overhaul. It likely won’t happen at the pace fans would hope, but it’s a start.
Who’s next to go in Pittsburgh?
It won’t be defensive coordinator Keith Butler. At his advanced age, Butler is likely to rework his contract on a year-to-year basis, as his coaching career is reaching its conclusion sooner rather than later.
The core of Tomlin and GM Kevin Colbert will remain in place as well, obviously, with perhaps some low-level assistants being shown the exit, if anything.
As for outgoing free agents, the Steelers have to choose between paying Bud Dupree, James Conner, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Joe Haden, among others. Unfortunately for the Steelers, they’re significantly over the salary cap thanks largely to Ben Roethlisberger’s contract. And despite his age he’s probably not going anywhere until after his deal is up.
Change is occurring in Pittsburgh. But as is always the case with the Steelers, it’s happening slowly.