As is going to be the case a lot over the next four weeks, NFL insider Peter King addressed the problems for the Pittsburgh Steelers offense while appearing on 93.7 The Fan on December 12.
While he didn’t suggest specific candidates, King described in great detail what the Steelers should be looking for in their next offensive coordinator under Mike Tomlin.
“Think about the quarterback coach who’s really young or even the assistant quarterback coach or think about whatever, who’s got a commanding presence, who can command a room,” King said while appearing as a guest on The Cook & Joe Show on December 12. “Find a guy, and also find the guy who Sean McVay doesn’t want to lose. Find the guy who Kyle Shanahan doesn’t wanna lose. Matt LaFleur.
“Find that guy and then you’re gonna know that this is the guy we ought to interview and consider strongly for this job.”
King assumed in the conversation that Tomlin would remain head coach of the Steelers in 2024.
During the discussion, 93.7 The Fan’s Joe Starkey proposed San Francisco 49ers passing game specialist Klint Kubiak as a potential offensive coordinator candidate for Pittsburgh. Kubiak is the eldest son of former NFL head coach Gary Kubiak, who led the Denver Broncos to a championship during the 2015 season.
While King stressed that Steelers fans and media shouldn’t be concerned about names, he was highly complimentary of the 49ers passing game specialist.
“I am a fan of Klint Kubiak,” King said. “I think he’s really smart, I think he has a lot of his father in him, and I think he’s got a lot of cutting edge in him as well.”
Why Klint Kubiak Could be a Candidate for the Steelers’ Offensive Coordinator Opening
Kubiak is only 36 years old, but he already has an interesting resume. He’s currently in his first season as passing game coordinator under Kyle Shanahan for the 49ers.
But Kubiak’s NFL experience began in 2013 with the Minnesota Vikings. He then joined his father’s coaching staff as an offensive assistant in Denver the year after they won the Super Bowl.
Kubiak remained in that position for two more seasons even after his father retired following the 2016 season.
In 2019, though, Kubiak again coached with his father in Minnesota. Gary came out of retirement to join the Vikings staff as an assistant head coach. He then became the team’s offensive coordinator in 2020.
Klint served as the team’s quarterbacks coach both seasons. He then replaced his father as the team’s offensive coordinator in 2021.
Klint returned to Denver as the Broncos quarterback/passing game coordinator last year before joining the 49ers.
In his lone season as Vikings offensive coordinator, Minnesota finished 12th in yards and 14th in points. The Vikings were also 11th in passing yards and 17th in rushing yards while having the fewest interceptions in the league.
Peter King Proposes Main Question That Steelers Need to Answer in Offseason
Other than complimenting Kubiak, King remained general with the changes he suggested the Steelers make this offseason.
But that doesn’t mean they weren’t important points. After all, the Steelers can’t hire the right offensive coordinator until they devise a direction for the unit.
“I think the one thing that Art Rooney really needs to do when it comes to the postseason decision is you gotta decide, are we gonna try to bring in somebody from the outside to revamp, maybe redesign, our offense?” King said.
It’s difficult to argue that the Steelers offense doesn’t need revamping. Pittsburgh hasn’t been better than 21st in points or yards since 2020. Furthermore, the Steelers haven’t been above 23rd in offensive yards since 2018.
This season, the Steelers are 27th in points scored and yards.
The transition from Ben Roethlisberger is likely the main reason for those offensive struggles. But more was expected from Pittsburgh’s offense in 2023 and the unit regressed in Matt Canada’s third season as offensive coordinator.