Eli Manning’s former right-hand man looks to be on the verge of returning to the coaching scene to work alongside the final quarterback standing from Manning’s 2004 draft class.
According to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in talks with Mike Sullivan for their quarterback coach vacancy. Sullivan last coached in the NFL in 2018 where he served in the same position for the Denver Broncos.
The vacancy emerged in Pittsburgh after the Steelers announced the promotion of Matt Canada to offensive coordinator on January 25.
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Sullivan Captured 2 Super Bowl Trophies Over His 1st Stint in NY
Sullivan, a 16-year NFL assistant, got his start in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars, spending two seasons (2002-03) in Duval, one of which came alongside then-head coach Tom Coughlin.
Coughlin would go on to take the New York Giants‘ head coaching gig in 2003, the following season he and Sullivan would reunite, as New York brought the assistant in to serve as the team’s wide receiver coach. Sullivan manned the role for six seasons, including in 2007 when the Giants topped the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. In 2010, Sullivan was moved to quarterback coach, a role he would man for the next two seasons.
In 2011, under the watchful eye of Sullivan, quarterback Eli Manning enjoyed arguably the most prolific campaign of his illustrious 16-year career. The former No. 1 overall pick amassed 4,933 passing yards on the season, which to this day remains a franchise record. Backed by Manning’s strong play and alongside a stellar defense, the Giants proceeded to knock off the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI that season, notching Manning his second Lombardi Trophy.
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Sullivan’s Return to New York
Following the Super Bowl victory, Sullivan was hired as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator ahead of the 2012 NFL season. In his first year, Sullivan led the Bucs offense to a top-10 finish, ranking as the ninth-best total offense in all of football. However, things came crashing down in 2013. The offense plummeted to dead last in the NFL, averaging nearly 87 ypg fewer than the year prior. Subsequently, Tampa finished the season with a 4-12 record, leading to the organization cleaning house on their coaching staff, Sullivan included.
After a one-year hiatus from the coaching ranks, Sullivan reemerged in New York by reprising his old gig as the Giants’ quarterback coach in 2015. He and Manning quickly rekindled their magic that season, as the potential Hall of Famer tossed a career-high 35 touchdowns on the season to go along with 4,432 yards through the air.
The following year Sullivan was promoted to offensive coordinator, where he served for two seasons, before moving on to Denver in 2018.
Operating as the team’s quarterback coach in his lone season with the Broncos, Denver ranked 19th in the NFL in passing offense, averaging 230.9 ypg on their way to a 6-10 finish with journeyman quarterback Case Keenum at the helm.
Since being out of the league, Sullivan has returned to his alma mater at West Point, serving as the director of recruiting at Army.
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