The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offseason is less than a week old, and changes have already started to happen on the coaching staff. During his end-of-season press conference on Wednesday, Mike Tomlin spoke about the possibility of changes on his staff.
The first to go? Outside linebackers coach Joey Porter.
Steelers fire Joey Porter.— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) January 4, 2019
Fans will demand more, namely defensive coordinator Keith Butler, but the team deciding to not renew Porter’s contract is telling. This is a coach the team has stuck with throughout the 2016 playoff mess after the Steelers beat the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Wild Card round and Porter was arrested after in a bar for disorderly conduct.
Will this be the only coach relieved of their duties? I highly doubt it. What it does show is how the Steelers are at least not about to get complacent with the same staff, expecting different results.
Moving forward, the Steelers will have a choice to make regarding Porter’s vacancy. Before Porter took over as outside linebackers coach, Keith Butler was the linebackers coach, coaching the inside and outside linebackers. Jerry Olsavsky was brought in for the inside ‘backers, and Porter to coach the outside.
Will the Steelers bring back just the linebackers coach, or opt to have a pass rushing specialist to help improve the skills of T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree?
Porter had a great run as a player with the Steelers, and plenty of memorable moments as a coach. Who can forget the 2015 AFC Wild Card win where Porter made his way onto the field and coaxed Adam Jones into a personal foul, only to have Jones call Porter “Jerry” after the game.
This from head coach Mike Tomlin:
Steelers moving on from OLB coach Joey Porter.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 4, 2019
From Mike Tomlin: “These are difficult decisions when it comes to someone like Joey who has meant a lot to this organization as both a player and coach. I want to thank Joey for his coaching efforts over the past five years.”
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes regarding the Steelers, and their coaching changes, as the offseason progresses.