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James Saxon will lead LeBackfield with experience having previously coached multiple high-producers

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A successful NFL running backs coach gets to try and recreate some magic he's performed in the past.


Having known beforehand they were going to be aggressive in the veteran free agent running backs market, the Steelers also knew they had to bring in a guy who has been successful coaching guys with two different styles to produce at a high level.

How about one who handled Priest Holmes as the rookie Larry Johnson was drafted? How about a guy who coached Ricky Williams, only to see his team draft Ronnie Brown at No. 2 overall the next year?

Enter James Saxon.

The Steelers didn't have a running back with a single professional carry behind Le'Veon Bell - a player who missed three games and a lot of training camp with injuries in 2013. Saxon, the team's new running backs coach and one of the low profile hirings the Steelers made this off season, has been given a gift. One that he's been able to play with before in previous jobs.

That gift is two very talented backs, who's styles compliment each other quite well. LeGarrette Blount, with the smashmouth, north-and-south power, and Bell, with the shifty, ankle breaking, and hurdling style.

More than anything, though, Saxon's experience with multiple running backs under his leadership will be critical. Holmes was the NFL Offensive Player of the Year with the Chiefs in 2002, and the Chiefs drafted Johnson in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft.

In 2009, the season after Ricky Williams suffered a torn pectoral muscle after a game against the Steelers, the Dolphins drafted RB Ronnie Brown with the second overall pick. The two shared Miami's rushing duties that season, and Williams topped 1,000 yards.

The Steelers have Bell in place, and they sign Blount. It's deja vu all over again for Saxon.

If fans are excited over the possibilities of those two toting the rock, imagine how James Saxon feels. He may have just gotten a Red Ryder BB gun, with this thing that tells time and a compass in the stock.