While all signs were pointing to quarterback coach Randy Fichtner as a sure-bet to replace Bruce Arians as offensive coordinator, the Steelers might not be ready to pull the trigger quite yet.
I received a tip that Mike Tomlin met with former Indianapolis head coach Jim Caldwell on Saturday morning at swanky Terrace restaurant inside the Omni William Penn Hotel.
Tomlin was dressed in jeans and a Steelers long-sleeved shirt with a Steelers hat on while Caldwell was wearing a black shirt and a black leather jacket while the two met in a secluded area of the restaurant.
The Omni William Penn is where the team stays the nights before home games.
So what does this mean?
Well, it means something and nothing at the same time.
Just because Caldwell had a meeting with Tomlin doesn’t make him the favorite for the job. But still, where there is smoke, there is fire.
Tomlin and Caldwell have a history together, and that can’t be ignored.
The two were first-year assistants under Tony Dungy in 2001 while at Tampa Bay. Caldwell went to Indy the next year with Dungy while Tomlin stayed with the Buccaneers.
Look at Tomlin’s coaching staff – he feels very comfortable hiring people he has coached with in the past.
When he was hired by the Steelers in 2007, Tomlin brought on Randy Fichtner, Amos Jones, Larry Zierlein, Kirby Wilson and Garrett Giemont – all of whom he worked with before.
It is not a coincidence that the two known candidates for the job once worked with Tomlin – Caldwell and Fichtner.
Sure, Caldwell is 20 years older than Tomlin, but he hired Wilson, who is 15 years older, and Zierlein, who is 30 years older.
Is it a possibility that Caldwell could be the next Steelers offensive coordinator?
Well, you just don’t bring a guy to town to have breakfast with him and say hello.
Keep in mind, being a candidate doesn’t mean you are going to get the job. You’d hate to have Tomlin just promote from within without scanning the open market first.
We have no idea of that is what he was doing Saturday morning or not. But it appears he is doing his due diligence about the coordinator spot.
Either that, or Caldwell was being interviewed about the quarterback coach job that will come open when Fichtner is hired.
We just don’t know.