The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive line situation has been in flux at least since former position coach Mike Munchak opted to leave for a lateral position with the Denver Broncos to be nearer to his daughter and grandchild. We’re already on the third different coach since then.
That would be Chris Morgan, who takes over for Adrian Klemm, promoted from assistant this season. Morgan was hired this year to be the assistant under Klemm for the 2021 season, but with the latter taking a job now at Oregon, he gets the final two games to sort of put together a resume for himself.
Head coach Mike Tomlin talked about using these final two games as an opportunity to evaluate Morgan and how he acts as an outright position coach. While the players are familiar with him—especially Trai Turner—they, too, are looking to see what he does. Asked how he differs from Klemm, Turner said yesterday, “I’ll let you know in a few days”.
Prior to being hired by the Steelers, Morgan had a long coaching career in the NFL already. Most recently, he had been the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive line coach from 2015 to 2020, including one game also as run game coordinator. Prior to that, he also worked in Seattle, Washington, and Oakland as an assistant, going back to 2009.
“I know a lot about Coach C-Mo. I was able to play against him a few times”, Turner said. “I like the way that he coaches. A lot of energy that he brings. I’m excited to get to work with him full-time. It’s not like he’s a new face, a fresh face. I’ve seen him since we started, since I’ve been here. We already have good rapport, so I don’t expect it to be too much of a new thing”.
With Klemm departing suddenly with two games left to play, there is obviously some adjustments that need to be made, but a guy like Turner who’s been around understands that “It’s just the way that the business is run”.
“It’s no different than the players coming in each week. It’s one of those things that you have to deal with”, he said. “You have to adjust and know that it’s a part of the cycle that we’re in, a part of the business, and not to let it be a distraction. Just keep moving forward and keep playing forward. We’ve got a game to win on Monday”.
That is a pretty big game against the Cleveland Browns, and it wouldn’t be too dramatic to say that their season is on the line. Lose and they effectively have no chance of reaching the postseason. Win and they’ve still got a pretty reasonable shot, though even then it’s still far from a sure thing.