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Opinion: The Case For Shane Waldron As Steelers Next OC

I don't know about the rest of you, but Mike Tomlin's season-ending press conference was music to my ears.

As stubborn as he generally is regarding the need for changes, he finally acknowledged the one area that has plagued this team for years is the need for a good offensive coordinator.

Most teams generally look outside their organization to find out what brings the best out of their team. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, they have relied on finding their solution internally. As a result, we have had the likes of Randy Fichtner and Matt Canada, who was the last straw for internal promotions, in my opinion.

Now that Tomlin has officially set his sights on hiring a coordinator externally, allow me to introduce who I believe is the right candidate; his name is Shane Waldron.

If they were not in such high demand for head coaching jobs, I would have suggested either Bobby Slowik of the Houston Texans or Ben Johnson of the Detroit Lions. All you need to know about Shane Waldron, though, is that he turned a quarterback who was on the verge of obsolescence—Gene Smith—into a Pro Bowl player the previous season. Maybe he can work that kind of magic on Kenny Pickett, make him a more effective and prolific quarterback.

When you look at the Seattle Seahawks offense during the time he was there, their overall improvement was dramatic. During his three-year tenure, they ranked 12th in EPA (expected points added) and13th in success rate. In 2022, the Seahawks offense had one of the best offensive units in the NFL. That year, he helped produce a 4,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher, and two 1,000-yard receivers. They would finish ninth in total points and points per game, while having a bottom-tier offensive line.

Waldron had some decent talent to work with in the Seahawks organization. I can state with certainty that the talent he possessed there is incomparable to what the Steelers have. Consider this: despite having a subpar offensive scheme, this squad managed to produce 1,000-yard receiver George Pickens and 1,000-yard rusher Najee Harris in the previous season while playing under Canada and then Eddie Faulkner with Mike Sullivan as their coordinators.

Having said that, fans should be excited about the potential of this offense with an innovative coordinator who knows how to put his players in advantageous positions.

Are there any other deserving applicants to fill the position of offensive coordinator? Yes, is the response. To be honest, any coordinator they hire from outside will likely be far more qualified than the ones they have had since 2018.

In all, they need the type of coordinator who can fully optimize the offensive talent on this team. In my humble opinion, Waldron is the guy they need to help take this unit and the Steelers into contender status.

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