Conflicting Reports Emerge on Steelers’ 2 Newest Offensive Hires
Multiple insiders reported on February 8 that the Pittsburgh Steelers will hire Tom Arth as an offensive assistant. But not all of those reports agreed about what Arth’s role will be.
KPRC 2 Houston’s Aaron Wilson reported first that the Steelers were hiring Arth for a passing game position. That’s the previously role he had with the Los Angeles Chargers.
However, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac reported about a half hour later that the Steelers were hiring Arth as their new quarterbacks coach.
Dulac also added in his report that the Steelers were hiring Zach Azzanni as wide receivers coach and were still considering the team’s former quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan for a new role.
“Steelers have hired former NYJets assistant Zach Azzanni as WR coach and former Chargers assistant Tom Arth as QB coach, per team sources,” Dulac wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “They are still in discussion for some arrangement with former QB coach Mike Sullivan.”
Steelers have hired former NYJets assistant Zach Azzanni as WR coach and former Chargers assistant Tom Arth as QB coach, per team sources. They are still in discussion for some arrangement with former QB coach Mike Sullivan.
The Athletic’s Mike DeFabo supported Dulac’s report with his own tweet another a half hour later.
“Reports of a passing game coordinator are inaccurate,” wrote DeFabo.
Per team source, the Steelers have hired former Jets assistant Zach Azzanni as WR coach and former Chargers assistant Tom Arth as QB coach.
Reports of a passing game coordinator are inaccurate.
Pittsbugh Steelers Adding Tom Arth to Coaching Staff
Clearly, there’s some confusion about what Arth’s role will be. But regardless of his position, the Steelers are landing a coach with experience working with a former first-round quarterback. Arth also has college head coaching experience on his resume.
Arth served as a pass game specialist with the Chargers from 2022-23. During his first season in Los Angeles, quarterback Justin Herbert threw for 4,739 yards and 25 touchdowns. He also saw an increase in his completion percentage (although his yards per attempt average dropped).
The Chargers didn’t retain Arth after hiring Jim Harbaugh as their new head coach this offseason.
Prior to joining the Chargers, Arth was a college head coach for three different programs from 2013-21. He started at Division III’s John Carroll, where he led the school to a 40-8 record in four seasons.
However, Arth was far less successful at his next two stops. He led Chattanooga to a 9-13 record and then went 3-24 as Akron’s head coach from 2019-21.
After playing college football at John Carroll, Arth spent time with the Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers from 2003-06. But he never appeared in an NFL regular season game.
Steelers Also Hire Zach Azzanni as WR Coach
There were no conflicting reports about Azzanni’s title. The Steelers hired Azzanni as wide receivers coach.
Azzanni has been an NFL wide receivers coach since 2017. He started with the Chicago Bears that season before moving on to the Denver Broncos from 2018-22. This past season, he was the New York Jets wide receivers coach.
Early in his coaching career, he worked under Urban Meyer at Bowling Green.
The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly wrote on X that both Arth and Azzanni were “Arthur Smith hires, or at least suggestions.” Kaboly also added that although Arth is the team’s quarterbacks coach, that doesn’t mean he won’t have responsibilities that other teams give to its pass game coordinator.
If Dulac is correct, the Steelers could be adding Arth and Azzanni while bringing back Sullivan. But it’s apparently undecided what role Sullivan may have on the new Pittsburgh coaching staff.
Sullivan was the team’s quarterbacks coach from 2021-23. He also assumed play calling duties when the Steelers fired Matt Canada in November.
Dave Holcomb is a sports reporter covering the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions for Heavy.com. Originally from Pittsburgh, Holcomb has covered college and professional sports for outlets including Fansided, Rotowire and Yardbarker. More about Dave Holcomb