The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.
The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.
How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?
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: Who will be the Steelers’ next wide receivers coach?
At least for the time being, this is the most immediate of the significant questions unanswered for the Steelers this offseason. The wide receiver position is presumably the only vacancy that they have to fill on the coaching staff, following the passing of Darryl Drake.
At one point in the past week, we thought we knew the answer to this question, and indeed it remains entirely possible that that is the answer. Either the team has not yet officially announced who the wide receivers coach will be, or they actually have not yet decided.
It was indicated that Bryan McClendon would be, like Matt Canada, culled from the college ranks to fill the position that Ray Sherman filled last season on a temporary basis. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette later reported that it has not yet been decided, and that former Steelers wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery had previously been interviewed for the position.
The Steelers have a young group of wide receivers, with none of their top three set to be older than 24 years old by the time the 2020 season starts, between JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, and Diontae Johnson.
One would think under those circumstances that they might favor a coach with experience, as was the model with Sherman, Drake, and Richard Mann. The candidates that we currently know of do not represent that line of thinking, though we don’t know who else might have been discussed.