Cardinals hire Steelers special teams coach Amos Jones

Pittsburgh will look to hire two position coaches - offensive line and special teams - after Amos Jones is hired by former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians for the same position.

If the Cardinals are playing "Former Steelers Coaches Bingo," they're now very close to the prize.

Arizona has hired a former Steelers offensive coordinator (Ken Whisenhunt and new head coach Bruce Arians, who had served previous stints as the team's tight ends and wide receivers coach, respectively), secondary coach (Ray Horton, who is now the defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns), offensive line coach (Russ Grimm) and, as of Jan. 26, special teams coach.

Amos Jones, who replaced Al Everest in the middle of the 2012 preseason, was named the Cardinals new special teams coach Saturday, leaving the Steelers with their second coaching vacancy this offseason.

Offensive line coach Sean Kugler was named the head coach of the University of Texas-El Paso before the regular season ended.

Arians, the former Steelers wide receivers coach as well as offensive coordinator, is working for his third team in three years. Between Pittsburgh and Arizona he served as Indianapolis's offensive coordinator and interim head coach.

The steam of the interim job landed him his first head coaching gig.

Incidentally, current Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley interviewed for Arizona's head coaching position that eventually went to Arians. Haley and head coach Mike Tomlin still has an offensive line coach to hire, and Tomlin will search for a new special teams coach.

Special teams is a good example of the team's regression from 2011 to 2012, although the amount of responsibility the several costly penalties early in the season is questionably placed on the coach. Technique and design practices doesn't usually include active sessions on how to hold properly, although it seemed that way when the Steelers' landslide of special teams penalties pushed them to the dubious distinction of being the most penalized team in the NFL in the earlier parts of the year.

If Jones must take blame for those penalties, then he deserves praise for the career 180 pulled by kicker Shaun Suisham. He carried a perfect streak at Heinz Field into Week 16 (the home finale of the year), where he had a kick blocked against Cincinnati, and then asked to attempt a ridiculous 53-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. His only other miss of the year came at Tennessee, another 53-yard attempt. He was a perfect 12-for-12 from 40-49 yards this year, and was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week twice in 2012.

There is no early word on replacements.


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