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Mike Tomlin replacements for Steelers

Mike Tomlin replacements: 5 candidates Steelers should target to replace current HC

Mike Tomlin has served as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers since the 2007 NFL season. His impressive career includes winning a Coach of the Year award as well as a Super Bowl ring. He has also never had a losing season in any year since becoming a head coach.

Any coach with Tomlin's long list of accomplishments would presumably have plenty of job security, but apparently, that isn't rumored to be the case in Pittsburgh. Some reports have indicated that if the Steelers miss out on the NFL Playoffs again this year, they could be looking for a new head coach in the offseason.

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Following their disappointing loss to the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football in Week 14, the Steelers have put their Wild Card hopes in serious jeopardy. They do still have a winning 7-6 record, so Mike Tomlin is still on pace to continue his streak of never finishing a season with a losing record.

However, that may not be good enough as the Steelers are said to be contemplating a change. This is rare territory in Pittsburgh, as they have incredibly had just three head coaches since the 1969 NFL season. Though they don't make changes often, when they have, they seem to prefer hiring young up-and-comers, with head coaching experience not necessarily a requirement.

The Steelers followed this formula when Bill Cowher replaced Chuck Noll and again when Mike Tomlin replaced him. The strategy has worked for them, as all three have won Super Bowl rings.

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Considering their history, here are five candidates they could consider for the head coaching position if they do fire Mike Tomlin:

Mike Tomlin's potential replacements for Steelers in 2024

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Mike Tomlin

#1 - Ben Johnson

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is expected to be one of the most popular head coach candidates during the upcoming 2024 NFL offseason. In two years in his current position, he has helped turn around Jared Goff and made the Lions a dominant offensive team. They have ranked among the top five NFL teams in yards and points in both of his seasons.

#2 - Kellen Moore

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In each of the past two offseasons, Kellen Moore has been a candidate to land one of the open head coaching positions. He was a finalist for the Miami Dolphins last year but ended up becoming the Los Angeles Chargers' offensive coordinator after leaving the Dallas Cowboys. He should be a candidate again this year, so the Steelers could consider him to potentially replace Mike Tomlin.

#3 - Eric Bieniemy

Andy Reid has a long history of his assistant coaches going on to become successful when they are hired by a new team. Doug Pederson and Sean McDermott are two recent examples. Eric Bieniemy departed the Kansas City Chiefs this year to become the offensive coordinator for the Washington Commanders. He has helped develop Sam Howell into a star passer, as he is leading the NFL in passing yards. If he were to replace Mike Tomlin, he could have a major impact on improving Kenny Pickett.

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#4 - Lou Anarumo

The Cincinnati Bengals have featured an underrated defense over the past three years and have excelled despite a relatively weak defensive roster. Lou Anarumo is partially responsible for this, as he has designed their scheme as the defensive coordinator. Many around the NFL believe he will get an opportunity to be a head coach at some point. With the Steelers often preferring defensive head coaches, and being familiar with him in their division, he could potentially replace Mike Tomlin.

#5 - Sean Desai

With the Steelers hiring young candidates with little experience for each of their past two head coaches, Sean Desai fits their trend. He is just 40 years old and is currently serving as the defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles. Desai replaced Jonathan Gannon, who was hired by the Arizona Cardinals in a similar situation to his, so he could be in the mix during the upcoming 2024 offseason.

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Edited by
Veer Badani
 
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