The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the regular season, where everything is magnified and, you know, actually counts. The team is working through the highs and lows and dramas that go through a typical Steelers season.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: If you could hire one former Steelers player realistically to serve on the team’s current coaching staff, who would it be?
The Steelers announced yesterday that they hired two of their own former players—both of them players who had stints with other organizations in the middle of their career—to join their staff in 2019 as coaching interns. William Gay was a fifth-round pick at cornerback in 2007, and will work with the wide receivers. David Johnson was selected as a tight end in the seventh round in 2009, and will work with that group.
Mike Tomlin hasn’t shied away from hiring former players to serve on his staff. Carnell Lake was his defensive backs coach for years. Joey Porter worked with the outside linebackers for a few years. Jerry Olsavsky continues to work with the inside linebackers. You could technically even include Karl Dunbar, who was drafted by the Steelers but never played for them. Who would you want to add?
I’m just going to assume that the overwhelmingly most popular answer is going to be Kevin Greene. Not only was he a successful and well-liked player, he also has a coaching resume that is legitimate, and he even fairly recently offered his services when Porter was getting into trouble.
Byron Leftwich is another person I would have otherwise named as quarterbacks coach, but he has been promoted to the status of offensive coordinator under Bruce Arians with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year.
Here’s another one: Alan Faneca. He has already spent the past couple of seasons himself serving as a training camp intern working with the offensive line. Mike Munchak is gone. They already hired Adrian Klemm to assist Shaun Sarrett though. Of course, there’s always Charlie Batch as well.