On Monday it was announced the Pittsburgh Steelers are planning to promote assistant coach Adrian Klemm to the role of offensive line coach. Although the Steelers had spoken to other candidates, ultimately they decided that Klemm was the best candidate for the position.
Of course, many Steelers fans and media were left scratching their heads at the decision. If the Steelers were set on Klemm being their guy, why did they take the time to interview other candidates? After all, when Mike Munchak moved on from Pittsburgh in 2019, it only took several hours for the Steelers to announce the promotion of Shaun Sarrett.
One thing Adrian Klemm brings to the Steelers is NFL playing experience as he was the first draft selection by Bill Belichick in New England. With only two years coaching at the NFL level in Pittsburgh, some fans are still apprehensive as there was controversy with Klemm’s release from UCLA and allegations of player mistreatment.
If you are seeking some positives behind the hire of Klemm, look no further than some current and former Pittsburgh Steelers to ease your mind. Not long after the report, former Steelers offensive lineman Trai Essex took to Twitter to explain that Klemm was most likely responsible for the development of outstanding rookie guard Kevin Dotson in 2020.
The assistant OL coach often works closely with the rookies thru out the week while the OL coach gets the starters ready for the game. Dotson’s performance this year w/o training camp should give you confidence in Coach Klemm’s potential. #SteelerNation— Trai Essex (@TraiDay79) February 1, 2021
As for players who have worked directly with Klemm in the past, Steelers offensive tackle Zach Banner commented about those questioning the hire.
Y’all don’t kno Klemm. We do. And that’s all that matters...— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) February 2, 2021
Additionally, Chukwuma Okorafor, who started 15 games for the Steelers in 2020, took to Instagram to show his support of his new offensive line coach. This is per Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Steelers tackle Chuks Okorafor pleased to see Adrian Klemm promoted to OL coach, per Instagram pic.twitter.com/DcprY5epcC— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) February 2, 2021
Most notably may be former Steelers offensive lineman Ramon Foster who played his final season with Clem as the assistant offensive line coach. Foster gave a ringing endorsement for Klemm as a response to reports about the Steelers’ selection.
He’s damn good. He has his own philosophy, and loves guys who play with an edge. Ask around, he’s solid.— Ramon Foster (@RamonFoster) February 2, 2021
And for those who don’t follow Foster on social media, he also offered his typical comical responses to various things, in this case people being bothered about a position coach from where fans don’t generally even pay attention to the players throughout the game.
How are y’all upset about an OL coach hire when y’all don’t even notice us unless we are making penalties . Lineman and O-Line coaches matter!!! pic.twitter.com/AxMq8LpuWJ— Ramon Foster (@RamonFoster) February 2, 2021
Whether or not Adrian Klemm is the man’s to turn the Steelers offensive line into the best it can be remains to be seen. But unless the Steelers back out of the decision before the official announcement is made, he’s going to get an opportunity to prove what he can do in 2021. The fact several Steelers linemen have endorsed the selection may help ease any apprehension fans have about Klemm’s ability to get the job done.