Minor news when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ coaching staff. After serving as an assistant coach working closely with the Steelers’ QBs, Matt Symmes has taken another job. No longer listed on the Steelers’ website, he is now a senior defensive analyst for East Carolina.
According to his ECU bio, he took the job March 1st. His bio also listed his role with the Steelers, noting:
“Most recently, assisted with the Steelers’ passing gameplan and keyed the unit’s RPO development in 2020…”
We noted Symmes’ hire back in May of 2018.Though it came with the generic label of assistant coach, he primarily worked with the Steelers’ QBs, especially in 2018 and 2019 when Randy Fichtner double-dipped as OC and QBs coach.
Here’s how Fichtner described Symmes’ role shortly after the hire.
“Matt Symmes is working with us now, and he’s doing a lot of the quality-control type things,” Fichtner said on Tuesday, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “(But) he has a quarterback background, so you’ll see him at times in individual periods and at times when I potentially have to do other things, he’s talking, guys are working with him. So it’s a nice way to work out that relationship — and we are working those kinks out, too.”
In December of 2019, Fichtner praised the job Symmes had done in a year where they had lost starting QB Ben Roethlisberger and forced to develop several young QBs on the fly.
“He has done a fantastic job working with the young guys”, Fichtner added. “And the best part about it was these were some of the guys he worked with when I was working with others, so the relationship he has with these guys is awesome and I am thankful he was here”.
Perhaps Symmes had staying power on the coaching staff because of Fichtner’s affinity for him and the job he did. With the team parting ways with Fichtner and new OC Matt Canada taking over, Symmes may have decided to go elsewhere (or simply not retained by the team).
Pittsburgh hired Matt Tomsho as their new quality control/assistant coach, essentially Symmes’ old role. Tomsho assisted Canada at several previous stops, working together at NC State, Pitt, and Maryland. Canada getting his guy may have pushed Symmes out the door.