Who Should Be The Steelers 2023-24 Offensive Coordinator?

Joe Brady should be considered to be the Steelers' offensive coordinator in 2023-24
(AP Photo/Doug Murray)

Who should be the Steelers 2023-24 offensive coordinator? That’s the question everyone is asking themselves as we near the end of the regular season. Pittsburgh’s offense has certainly been disappointing this year, which was to be expected after the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger. To this point in the season the Steelers are 27th in points, 26th in yards and 18th in Offensive DVOA. Things have started to turn for the better as of late, but with a young offense including a rookie quarterback fans want to know that the right person is running the unit.

With that said, let’s take a look at a few possibilities for the Steelers 2023-24 offensive coordinator.

Joe Brady – Quarterbacks Coach, Buffalo Bills

  • William & Mary (2013–2014)
    Linebackers coach
  • Penn State (2015–2016)
    Graduate assistant
  • New Orleans Saints (2017–2018)
    Offensive assistant
  • LSU (2019)
    Passing game coordinator & wide receivers coach
  • Carolina Panthers (2020–2021)
    Offensive coordinator
  • Buffalo Bills (2022–present)
    Quarterbacks coach

This is my favorite name on the list. Joe Brady was highly touted after the 2019 LSU season and after he made the leap to the NFL was thought to be the next big head coaching candidate. But after a disappointing season and a half in Carolina he’s found himself as the Quarterbacks Coach in Buffalo.

I always thought he was prematurely let go in Carolina as an attempt for Matt Rhule to pass the blame. With Rhule gone just a year later that thought looks valid. Brady also has connections to the Steelers that should appeal to Head Coach Mike Tomlin. Not only was Brady a grad assistant at Penn State, but he worked and even played at William & Mary, Tomlin’s alma mater. And what position did he play there? Wide Receiver – same as Tomlin.

Brian Johnson – Quarterbacks Coach, Philadelphia Eagles

  • Utah (2010–2011)
    Quarterbacks coach
  • Utah (2012–2013)
    Offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach
  • Mississippi State (2014–2016)
    Quarterbacks coach
  • Houston (2017)
    Offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach
  • Florida (2018–2019)
    Quarterbacks coach
  • Florida (2020)
    Offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach
  • Philadelphia Eagles (2021–present)
    Quarterbacks coach

Philadelphia Eagles Quartberack Jalen Hurts credited a lot of his development in Philadelphia to having the same offensive staff for the last two seasons. Brian Johnson and my next candidate are both part of that staff. The Eagles offense has been tremendous this year and a big reason is its expanded passing offense from last year.

This year Hurts has been much improved in his timing and reading of the field, anticipating throws down the field in different areas than the deep go routes he was doing last year. Johnson has had a big hand in helping with that development, leading to one of the best offenses in the league. He’s also had experience as an OC twice at the college level. But as a longtime QB Coach he could make a major impact on Kenny Pickett.

Kevin Patullo – Pass Game Coordinator, Philadelphia Eagles

  • South Florida (2003–2004)
    Graduate assistant
  • Arizona (2004–2006)
    Graduate assistant
  • Kansas City Chiefs (2007–2008)
    Offensive assistant & offensive quality control coach
  • Buffalo Bills (2010–2011)
    Offensive quality control coach
  • Buffalo Bills (2012)
    Offensive assistant & assistant wide receivers coach
  • Tennessee Titans (2014)
    Assistant wide receivers coach
  • New York Jets (2015–2016)
    Quarterbacks coach
  • Texas A&M (2017)
    Senior offensive analyst
  • Indianapolis Colts (2018–2019)
    Wide receivers coach
  • Indianapolis Colts (2020)
    Pass game specialist
  • Philadelphia Eagles (2021–present)
    Pass game coordinator

The other candidate from Philadelphia is Kevin Patullo who has been the pass game coordinator in Philadelphia since 2021. So while Johnson has had the direct hand in developing Hurts, Patullo is more directly involved in putting the offense together Hurts is executing. With QB Coach Mike Sullivan and assistant QB Coach David Corley on staff in Pittsburgh, you could argue having more of an architect would be beneficial for the team.

A dot to connect for both Philadelphia candidates – they’ll be very familiar with Pittsburgh’s new Assistant General Manager Andy Weidl who was in Philadelphia when both coaches were hired.

Rob Calabrese – Quarterbacks Coach, New York Jets

  • Oviedo HS (2013)
    Quarterbacks coach
  • UCF (2014–2015)
    Graduate assistant
  • Wagner (2016)
    Running backs coach
  • Wagner (2017–2018)
    Offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach
  • Denver Broncos (2019–2020)
    Offensive quality control coach
  • New York Jets (2021–present)
    Quarterbacks coach

This one may seem strange, but you have to ignore the Zach Wilson games for New York in Rob Calabrese’s tenure. The Jet’s offensive system actually lends itself to good QB production and putting up points. In seven appearances Mike White has thrown for 1,905 yards and eight touchdowns (and yes – 10 interceptions). Even Joe Flacco in six contests has passed for 1,240 yards and eight touchdowns (just three picks). This offense under Mike LeFleur works, and Calabrese has a hand in that.

Shea Tierney – Quarterbacks Coach, New York Giants

  • NC State (2011–2012)
    Graduate assistant
  • Philadelphia Eagles (2013–2015)
    Football analyst & coaching intern
  • Alabama (2016–2017)
    Offensive analyst
  • Buffalo Bills (2018–2019)
    Offensive assistant
  • Buffalo Bills (2020–2021)
    Assistant quarterbacks coach
  • New York Giants (2022–present)
    Quarterbacks coach

Shea Tierney has a very interesting resume. After a few intern and GA stops he got a position at Alabama where he eventually started working with Brian Daboll. Daboll has Brough Tierney with him to every stop ever since. Tierney was part of Daboll’s offensive staff through the Josh Allen development and turning the Bills into a dynamic offense. He’s now the QB Coach in New York with the Giants who have found the best ways to make Daniel Jones a successful quarterback.

These last two candidates have been pretty green, but Tierney in particular has gotten some great tutelage under the wing of Daboll.

Bobby Slowik – Pass Game Coordinator, San Francisco 49ers

  • Washington Redskins (2011–2013)
    Defensive assistant
  • San Francisco 49ers (2017–2018)
    Defensive quality control coach
  • San Francisco 49ers (2019–2020)
    Offensive assistant
  • San Francisco 49ers (2021)
    Offensive pass game specialist
  • San Francisco 49ers (2022–present)
    Offensive passing game coordinator

Bobby Slowik is part of the famed Shannahan-McVay coaching tree, starting in Washington back in 2011. Slowik took over the pass game after the aforementioned Mike LaFleur was hired in New York to be their offensive coordinator. A similar path should follow for Slowik as there really hasn’t been a drop off in the 49ers pass game, despite the QB carousel they’ve had.

Slowik also has experience coaching on the defensive side of the ball, and Tomlin knows the value of having experience on both offense and defense.

Dave Canales – Quarterbacks Coach, Seattle Seahawks

  • Carson HS (CA) (2004–2005)
    Offensive coordinator
  • El Camino College (2006–2008)
    Special teams/tight ends coach
  • USC (2009)
    Assistant strength coach
  • Seattle Seahawks (2010–2017)
    Wide receivers coach
  • Seattle Seahawks (2018–2019)
    Quarterbacks coach
  • Seattle Seahawks (2020–2021)
    Passing game coordinator
  • Seattle Seahawks (2022–present)
    Quarterbacks coach

Dave Canales has been with Pete Carrol since the start of his Seahawks days. Canales has held a number of roles on the offensive side of the ball which has given him a lot of different experiences. Focusing on the quarterback position and passing game since 2018 has led to a chance to have a big hand in how the offense has worked the last few seasons.

Something I’d be really interested in hearing in a potential interview, is how the introduction of Offensive Coordinator Shane Waldron has influenced Canales. Waldron came from the Los Angeles Rams and the offense they succeeded with with Jared Goff. That offense has translated well to Geno Smti this year. Learning how Canales could bring some of that offense, with the other things he’s used over the years, would make for an interesting discussion in an interview.


Now all these possibilities are fun, but let’s not forget, Matt Canada COULD be back as the Steelers’ 2023-24 offensive coordinator. No it’s not my preference, and I’m not vouching for it. But let’s just look at the facts. Pittsburgh rarely fires a coach/coordinator. If they want to move on, they normally just let a contract run out. Canada could still have one more year on his deal if they gave him a new contract when he became the OC. But that information isn’t public for us. And I have to admit – the offense HAS looked better over the last couple of weeks. I do think the play designs and play calling has gotten better – to the point you can see a world he returns. Again – it’s not great, or even GOOD, but I’m just saying it’s possible.

But in the event Canada and the team do part ways after this season, I’d love to see a few of the candidates, and perhaps even a finalist or the actual new OC, come from the list above. We’ll just have to wait until the spring to find out who the Steelers’ 2023-24 offensive coordinator will be.

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