The Pittsburgh Steelers had a glaring vacancy on their coaching staff since the offseason began. After the passing of Darryl Drake during training camp at Saint Vincent College, the team coaxed Ray Sherman to stay on staff for the season to take over for the late coach.
Mike Tomlin was adamant the move was temporary, but after the season there was no news of any new hire, until now.
Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports reports the team has finally filled the role of wide receivers coach, and they have gone to the college game to do so by hiring former South Carolina coach Bryan McClendon.
Mike Tomlin has dipped into the college ranks to fill his wide receivers coaching position.https://t.co/tUAvIGe8kv— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) February 9, 2020
McClendon has been in the coaching game since he graduated from the University of Georgia. After being a graduate assistant with the Bulldogs, he was promoted to running backs coach from 2009-2013. From 2014 to 2015 McClendon served as the recruiting coordinator for Georgia. On January 12, 2015, he was promoted and given the title of assistant head coach. He served as interim head coach for Georgia after Mark Richt left the team late in 2015.
After Georgia hired Kirby Smart as their head new coach, McClendon left to become the co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at the University of South Carolina. On January 5, 2018, McClendon was promoted to offensive coordinator for the Gamecocks.
Jon Ledyard provides more context to the players McClendon coached at Georgia, as well as the wide receivers he has developed in his time in the college ranks.
This is my way of saying "help Randy Fichtner design a good run scheme too". But even at South Carolina, McClendon switched to WRs and developed Deebo Samuel, Bryan Edwards and Shi Smith.— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) February 9, 2020
The Steelers adding McClendon looks as if it is much more than a wide receivers coach, but possibly another set of eyes to help build the running game, an area the Steelers struggled mightily in 2019.
This isn’t the first, or likely the last, time Tomlin has turned to the college game to fill coaching needs. He did it when he hired Eddie Faulkner as the running backs coach, Tom Bradly as the secondary coach and Karl Dunbar as the defensive line coach.
Will McClendon make an impact for the Steelers in 2020 and beyond? The product on the field will be the first indicator. However, it looks as if the Steelers have solidified their coaching staff for the 2020 regular season.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they continue to press on throughout the offseason.