Steelers fans will want to jump into the Allegheny if Pittsburgh makes disgraced OC hire

If the Pittsburgh Steelers hire Arthur Smith as their next offensive coordinator, the city will explode.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

It is amazing what can happen to a man's reputation in only three years. Arthur Smith was the hotshot offensive coordinator on Mike Vrabel's Tennessee Titans staff. He became the Atlanta Falcons' head coach in 2021, and then promptly ran what was a pretty good passing offense into the ground. His ground-centric approach, poor in-game management and prickly personality wore people out fast.

Smith was kicked to the curb after three seasons in Atlanta. While he will find work as an offensive coordinator somewhere this offseason, teams like Pittsburgh are running out of good options. Kellen Moore is going to Philadelphia and Zac Robinson is going to Atlanta. Smith might actually fit exactly what Mike Tomlin is looking for offensively, but this underperforming team is already so stubborn.

At this point, if you were just going to spite hire Arthur Smith, you might as well have asked Tomlin to leave and hired a better, more modern Mike in Vrabel. He actually played for the Pittsburgh Steelers back in the day, if you can believe that. Overall, if Smith is the guy Tomlin wants to work for him, expect for the entire Steelers offense to be run through fullback Connor Heyward going forward.

As if George Pickens needed another reason to have a blowup, Smith to Pittsburgh would do that.

Look for Kenny Pickett to look a lot like Taylor Heinicke did running this offense Smith uses.

Steelers will run offense entirely through Connor Heyward if they hire latest OC interviewee

Conceptually, I think this potential partnership could work out quite decently in Pittsburgh. Like Vrabel, Tomlin is a defensive-minded head coach, one who prefers to see the run open up the pass. Smith is a former offensive guard from his playing days at North Carolina. When it went well at times in Atlanta, the big uglies mauled the opposition and the Falcons took flight on their fast home track.

The problem I have with Smith potentially going to Pittsburgh is this: Aren't the Falcons' offensive weapons better than what the Steelers have? I may be biased, but I think the combination of Drake London, Kyle Pitts and Bijan Robinson eclipse what Pittsburgh has to counter in Pat Freiermuth, Najee Harris and George Pickens. The quarterback play isn't great in either spot, but Atlanta is upgrading.

See, that is the big thing I cannot get behind in Pittsburgh. Hoping to see if Pickett can be a guy in year three doesn't do it for me. The fact we don't know means we do know. He's not the guy. For better or worse, Atlanta and the rest of the NFL found out pretty quickly that Desmond Ridder is in fact not the guy for the Falcons. It is why they will either draft a guy or trade for a savvy veteran.

While there is theoretical alignment between Smith and Tomlin, Yinzers are going to hate it so much.

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