12:59pm: Sullivan’s offseason itinerary now includes two OC interviews. The Saints will also meet with the veteran assistant, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. The Raiders meeting will come first. The Saints now have eight OC candidates on their radar. Sullivan also has a short history with Derek Carr, which came from working with the then-Fresno State prospect before the 2014 draft, Garafolo notes. It is unclear if the Steelers will make any effort to retain Sullivan.
9:22am: The Raiders’ offensive coordinator search now includes a seventh candidate. After his two-month period calling the shots in Pittsburgh, Mike Sullivan is in the mix to become the play-caller in Las Vegas.
Sullivan is set to interview for the Raiders’ OC gig, per NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo. The veteran assistant has ties to Antonio Pierce dating back to the latter’s playing days in New York. The Giants employed Sullivan during multiple stints; the first encompassed Pierce’s run in the Big Apple. Tom Coughlin, who hired Sullivan twice in New York, remains in place consulting Pierce on potential hires.
When the Giants hired Coughlin in 2004, they brought Sullivan in as wide receivers coach. He stayed on for eight years, being moved up to QBs coach in 2010 and collecting a second Super Bowl ring a year later. Sullivan parlayed that 2011 success into the Buccaneers’ OC job under Greg Schiano. After two years there, he returned to coach under Coughlin during his final season on the sidelines. Sullivan also spent the 2016 and ’17 seasons as Ben McAdoo‘s Giants OC, but Pittsburgh effectively placed him in such a role after Matt Canada‘s firing.
The Steelers gave running backs coach Eddie Faulkner the interim OC title but installed Sullivan, 56, as their play-caller. Pittsburgh’s offense did improve under Sullivan, immediately snapping what had become an infamous run without a 400-yard showing. The Steelers crafted a fairly surprising stretch — though it probably should not have been, given Mike Tomlin‘s penchant for avoiding losing seasons — around third-string QB Mason Rudolph. The veteran steered the Steelers to three straight wins to close out the regular season and fared decently in Pittsburgh’s wild-card loss in Buffalo.
After making in-house promotions to fill his OC position since Todd Haley‘s exit, Tomlin pointed to an outside hire filling the Steelers’ play-calling post this offseason. Sullivan’s time as Pittsburgh’s QBs coach lasted three seasons.
Pierce was with the Giants from 2004-09. Sullivan marks the first assistant from his time with the Giants to land on the Raiders’ OC radar. With that in mind, here is how that search looks:
- Luke Getsy, former offensive coordinator (Bears): To interview 1/26
- Kliff Kingsbury, quarterbacks coach (USC): Mentioned as candidate
- Dan Pitcher, quarterbacks coach (Bengals): To interview 1/24
- Zac Robinson, quarterbacks coach (Rams): Interview requested
- Mike Sullivan, quarterbacks coach (Steelers): To interview
- Alex Van Pelt, former offensive coordinator (Browns): To interview
- Shane Waldron, offensive coordinator (Seahawks): Mentioned as candidate