During his Tuesday morning press conference, in which he addressed the recent and sudden passing of the team’s wide receiver coach Darryl Drake, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked what his current plans are to fill that huge void on his staff. Tomlin respectfully said that the team was currently in the process of developing a plan in regard to that topic but that he didn’t believe it was the appropriate time or place to discuss the intimate details of it. However, during Tuesday’s rain-shortened training camp practice we may have gotten a clue as to how the Steelers might go about handling the coaching of their wide receivers moving forward.
According to several Tuesday media reports on Twitter, longtime NFL and college coach Ray Sherman was spotted again on the field helping out with the Steelers wide receivers along with the team’s current offensive assistant Blaine Stewart. Sherman has reportedly been helping out throughout training camp this year.
While Mike Tomlin says they are still in the process of developing a plan for Coach Drake’s successor, today former Steelers Offensive Coordinator &longtime WR coach Ray Sherman helped out Blaine Stewart. (Coaching Assistant). Sherman has been here helping out in various things
— Bob Pompeani (@KDPomp) August 13, 2019
Working with the wide receivers is Ray Sherman, a longtime NFL assistant who last coached in league with Rams from 2012-15. He was Steelers offensive coordinator in 1998. Coaching assistant Blaine Stewart, son of former WVU coach Bill Stewart, also is helping run position drills. pic.twitter.com/bW7NpJbULk
— Kevin Gorman (@KGorman_Trib) August 13, 2019
If Sherman’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he was once the Steelers offensive coordinator during the 1998 season. That season, Sherman’s offense featured a running attack that finished seventh in the NFL. However, after the Steelers went 7–9 that season, Sherman bowed out.
“They came to a mutual conclusion that Ray would resign and pursue other NFL coaching opportunities,” Sherman’s agent Ray Anderson reportedly said at the time, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Reports at that time indicated that then-Steelers head coach Bill Cowher had planned to fire Sherman the following week had he not resigned as the team’s offensive coordinator in early January of 1999.
Sherman, who originally broke into the coaching ranks in 1974 as a graduate assistant at San Jose State, has since coached for 9 different NFL franchises since first breaking into the league in 1988 with the Houston Oilers as a running backs coach. Most-recently, Sherman was the wide receivers coach of the St. Louis Rams from 2012-2015. You can read Sherman’s last full NFL team bio from the 2015 season, his last with the Rams, below.
As for Stewart, he is now in his second season as a coaching assistant with the Steelers, after being named to the position on February 6, 2018. He is the son of the late West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart. He had previously played wide receiver as a graduate student at the Division-II University of Charleston (W.Va.) a few years ago.
We should find out fairly soon if Sherman has been hired to take over the Steelers wide receivers room. With such a young group of wide receivers currently on the Steelers roster, another older and experienced coach might be what Tomlin thinks that group of players needs right now. We should find out soon if that’s indeed the case.2015_Rams_Media_Guide-pages-49-50