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For the second time this week, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin met with the media, and this time around, he was much more amicable. 

During his end-of-the-season press conference Thursday, Tomlin was willing to answer almost any question that was thrown his way, which was a stark contrast from earlier this week, when he stormed out of his postgame press conference after a reporter asked him about his contract. 

The Steelers coach clearly has a solid sense of humor, because he opened things up on Thursday by making fun of himself. 

"Good morning. In a better mood today. Anybody got any contract questions?"

Not only did Tomlin answer a question about his contract during Thursday's presser, but he also was willing to talk about the Steelers' plans at both quarterback and offensive coordinator, which are two of the team's biggest question marks heading into the offseason. 

Tomlin's contract

The reason Tomlin was asked about his contract this week is because it's set to expire after the 2024 season and there had been some speculation that he might take a year off from coaching. Tomlin made it clear on Thursday that not only does he plan on coaching the Steelers in 2024, but he also expects a new contract to get worked out at some point. 

"Yes, I expect to be back," Tomlin said. "I'd imagine those contract things are going to run their course. Art [Rooney] and I have a really good, transparent relationship. We communicate continually, often. I don't Imagine it's going to be an issue and I imagine it's going to get done in a timely manner at the appropriate time. My mindset is to coach this football team."

The Steelers have only had three coaches since 1969, and it doesn't sound like that number will be going up anytime soon. Tomlin is coming off a season where the Steelers went 10-7, which means he's now gone an NFL-record 17 seasons without a losing record. 

Future at QB

Kenny Pickett might end up being the Steelers starting quarterback in 2024, but he's going to have to earn the job. Tomlin made it clear that there will be an open competition for the QB job after he was asked if Pickett would go into the upcoming season as the No. 1 QB on the depth chart. 

"He will, but there will be competition," Tomlin said. "There's always competition in this thing. We don't anoint anyone. I'm appreciative of his efforts and where he is and excited about continuing to work with him, but certainly, he will be challenged from a competition perspective moving forward. Competition brings the best out in all of us."

Kenny Pickett
PHI • QB • #8
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Pickett wasn't horrible this season, but his problem is that the Steelers got a taste of how good their offense can be when Mason Rudolph took over as starter late in the year. Although he only started three regular-season games, Rudolph was much more efficient than Pickett, which is a big reason why Pittsburgh went 3-0 with Rudolph on the field. 

Mason Rudolph
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Although Pickett will be battling to keep his job, it's not yet clear if Rudolph will be involved in that battle. The 28-year-old is set to be a free agent and there's no guarantee he'll be returning. 

"He's a free agent and it is free agency, so we'll see where that leads us," Tomlin said of Rudolph. 

Tomlin was also asked if he thinks the team's 2024 starting QB is on the roster, and he gave a simple one-word answer: "Yes." 

Even if there's a competition this year, that should make Pickett feel good about his chances of winning the job. 

Offensive coordinator job is open

The Steelers haven't had an offensive coordinator since Nov. 21 when they fired Matt Canada. After Canada was let go, the OC job was shared by quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan and running backs coach Eddie Faulkner. 

Although the offense improved with Sullivan and Faulkner running the show, Tomlin said that it's unlikely that either one of those guys will be getting the job. The Steelers coach said the team will most likely look outside the organization for a new OC. 

"Not at this juncture," Tomlin said when asked if he was thinking about promoting Sullivan or Faulkner. "I'm looking at outside candidates and lining up the pecking order there."

Pickett was stuck playing in Canada's system for most of 2023. He only got to play one full game without Canada before getting injured and that was one of his best games of the year (He threw for a season-high 278 yards in a 16-10 win over the Bengals). That might be enough for Tomlin to believe that Pickett can thrive with a new OC.

Anyway, if you're scoring at home, here's what we learned from Tomlin on Thursday: The Steelers will definitely have a new offensive coordinator in 2024, they might have a new starting quarterback, but they definitely won't have a new head coach.