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Pittsburgh Steelers 2015 Mid-Season Grades: Special Teams and Coaching

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are 4-4 at the midway point of the 2015 season. Time to give out mid-season grade reports, with today's focus being the special teams and coaching.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
In the final installment of or three-part series grading the various units of the Pittsburgh Steelers through the second quarter of 2015, BTSC takes a look at the Steelers Special Teams and Coaching.

Special Teams: C-
Kickers: A

The Field Goal Unit received a grade of an F in the first quarter of the season, what a difference four games makes. The arrival of the untested Chris Boswell has reversed the fortunes of the kicking game in Pittsburgh. Boswell is perfect so far replacing the much-maligned Josh Scobee, who was dreadful. At 8/8 on field goal attempts and 6/6 on point afters, Boswell took a liability of a unit and made it an asset.

Boswell has displayed a strong leg on kickoffs, as well.

Punters: D+

Jordan Berry was so impressive in training camp that his presence forced the Steelers to trade the incumbent, Brad Wing, to the New York Giants. However, Berry has been struggling as of late. The Australian punter has averaged 42.4 yards-per-punt, ranking him at 29th in the league. However, his 17 punts landing inside-the-20 puts him in a four-way tie for best in the league.

Kick Returners: F

As I type these words, I'm elated to learn that the Steelers have made a change at kick returner. As much as I hate to see Dri Archer lose his job, his size and hesitation proved to be his downfall. His production was minimal, at best. Averaging 25.3 yards-per-return on 14 attempts, Archer ranked 10th of the 15 return-men that qualified.

Jacoby Jones, who has had quite a history playing against Pittsburgh, will replace Archer. Jones is averaging 21.3 yards-per-return.

Punt Returners: C

Brown, who is always a threat to take a punt to-the-house, has shown less urgency in the role this year and has been less effective. Nearly half of punts his way have resulted in a fair catch. Antonio has 12 returns and is averaging 8.2 yards-per-return with 11 fair catches (7th most in the league). Brown's return average earns him a ranking of 14th in the NFL.

Coaching: C
With a .500 record, an average grade was warranted. There have been bright spots in coaching with some units surprising.  As the head coach, Mike Tomlin is responsible for the whole team and has veto power over decisions. Some units have improved dramatically, but
his continued, poor clock-management and questionable play-calling on crucial downs late in games were some key factors in the grade. It's true that Tomlin has dealt with more major injuries this year than usual and that is duly noted. But this team should be better than their record. I'm usually a Tomlin apologist, but the clock issue is glaring and patience is starting to wane.

The following is a list of select Steeler coaches and the grades assigned to them are based on the performances of the units they oversee.

Head Coach: Mike Tomlin C-

Offensive Coordinator: Todd Haley C+

Offensive Line Coach: Mike Munchak A

Defensive Coordinator: Keith Butler B+

Defensive Line Coach: John Mitchell A

Inside Linebackers Coach: Jerry Olsavsky A-

Outside Linebackers Coach: Joey Porter B+

Defensive Backs Coach: Carnell Lake C+

Special Teams Coordinator: Danny Smith D+