2023 Offseason Questions: Why Did Steelers Part Ways With Jerry Olsavsky?

The Steelers are now in their offseason after failing to reach the playoffs in 2022, coming up just a game short of sneaking in as the seventh seed. They needed help in week 18 and only got some of it, so instead, they sat home and watched the playoffs with the rest of us.

On tap is figuring out how to be on the field in January and February instead of being a spectator. They started out 2-6, digging a hole that proved too deep to dig out of even if they managed to go 7-2 in the second half of the year.

Starting from the end of the regular season and leading all the way up to the beginning of the 2023 season, there are plenty of questions that need answering, starting with who will be the offensive coordinator. Which free agents will be kept? Who might be let go due to their salary? How might they tackle free agency with this new front office? We’ll try to frame the conversation in relevant ways as long as you stick with us throughout this offseason, as we have for many years.

Question: Why did the Steelers part ways with Jerry Olsavsky?

The decision was made, one way or another, so there was obviously a reason. The question is, what was the specific reason? A former linebacker for the team, Jerry Olsavsky has spent the better part of the past decade on the Steelers’ coaching staff, during most of that time as a position coach for the linebackers.

The Steelers announced yesterday that Aaron Curry is their new inside linebackers coach, however. It was concurrently reported that Olsavsky would no longer be a member of the staff. No reason was given behind the decision.

While the team said nothing about Olsavsky, they did remove his biography page from the team’s website when they updated it with Curry’s information. I don’t believe the status of his contract has been reported.

It’s possible that it was Olsavsky’s decision to step away and that the move to hire Curry was in response to that. He’s been in the game for a long time now, but people’s priorities change. He lost his wife about a year and a half ago.

Perhaps after going through a full season in the wake of that, he decided that it’s not something he wants to do right now or feels he can fully commit to. That is pure speculation on my part, however, and should be taken as just that and nothing more.

It’s equally possible that the team indeed decided it was time to go in another direction after the inside linebackers produced zero takeaways or sacks in 2022. Like Olsavsky, Curry is also a former linebacker, though he is much earlier in his coaching career. He did spend time coaching linebackers, but has also worked with defensive linemen. But his playing background is as a stand-up linebacker.

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