Like it or not Jim Caldwell was near the top of the list for the Steelers as Bruce Arians replacement at offensive coordinator. He showed up for an interview with the Steelers (or discussion, but it’s still an ‘interview’), and just like that, he’s already out of the running. ESPN reports that it is of his own doing because he’s reportedly joining the Ravens as the quarterbacks coach. Well fine, let Flacco deal with him.
I wrote yesterday that Caldwell joining the club would be a really bad idea. Turns out he thought so as well. I bet Rooney had a lot to do with that, however. Let me try and recreate how the conversation probably went:
Rooney: Hi Jim, thanks for stopping out here. Have a seat. Let me be frank – Arians is gone because he didn’t run the ball like I had asked for the past couple of seasons. He was a bratty little snot that openly defied my wishes. Can you do that for me?
Caldwell: Well I prefer to throw. I have a poor track record with trying to run the ball, so I’ve always focused on the passing game. Roethlisberger is a great QB and I feel I could really utilize his skills and…
Rooney: Thanks for coming, Jim. Now get the hell out of my office. Good luck.
Ok, so maybe it wasn’t that short. But I’m guessing that Rooney told Caldwell how he wanted the offense run and Caldwell realized he couldn’t deliver. To the Ravens he went and probably for the better – for he and the Steelers.
So now the search continues with Fitchner still being the favorite within the organization and a handful of candidates with suspect track records from the outside. I don’t think the Steelers will drag their feet for too much longer on this. They can’t afford to. I imagine within the week they will have something worked out. The thing we can’t forget throughout all of this is that this will mainly be Rooney’s pick – not Tomlin’s. I know that Tomlin gets to have a large say in picking his guy, but the commandment has come down from on high. Tomlin really doesn’t have a choice but to agree to a guy who will run the ball more and focus on ball control for the offense. This actually takes a bit of pressure off of Tomlin should the pick not work out for the Steelers – Rooney is digging his own grave with whomever he agrees to.