Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin named the Los Angeles Rams' Sean McVay and San Francisco 49ers' Kyle Shanahan among the coaches he'd target if he was a general manager starting to build a staff.
Tomlin also listed Steelers senior defensive assistant Brian Flores, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid as preferred head coaching options in response to a question from former NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall on Saturday's episode of I Am Athlete (3:30 mark of video).
Here's what Tomlin said about his choices:
- McVay and Shanahan: "I love my young go-getters out west, McVay and Shanahan. Man, I've been boys with those guys a long time. They're challenging schematically. They take it personal. They're trying to put their foot on your throat each and every week, and I think their players sense that and buy into that."
- Flores: "I feel really good about having the ability to get his services, if only for a short time. It's a rental. I understand that, but I'mma enjoy him while I got him."
- Morris: "I think he was significant in terms of getting [the Rams] over the top this year. His presence is always felt. Wherever he's been, whatever side of the ball he works on, he's always getting after it."
- Reid: "I love Andy Reid. I've always loved Andy Reid because of his organizational skills. ... I've had an opportunity to work with people that have worked for him, and I just feel and see the comforts of the structure and the environment that he provides."
If there's someone who knows about building a successful culture in the NFL, it's Tomlin. The Steelers haven't endured a losing season since he took over the staff in 2007.
Pittsburgh has posted a 154-85-2 record with 10 playoff appearances over that span, highlighted by a triumph over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII at the end of the 2008 season.
The Steelers are facing an uncertain 2022 as they work through a quarterback competition featuring Mitchell Trubisky, Mason Rudolph and Kenny Pickett following the retirement of future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger.
Yet, Tomlin had a simple message for the doubters in a recent interview with NBC Sports' Peter King.
"Bring it on," he said. "Bring it on."
Tomlin, Flores and the Steelers kick off the regular season Sept. 11 when they visit the reigning AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals.