Thursday, January 14, 2010

Steelers hire new o-line coach

The Steelers have hired Sean Kugler as their new offensive line coach to replace Larry Zierlein.

Zierlein was fired last week after three seasons with the team.

Kugler was fired by two weeks ago by the Buffalo Bills. He's also spent time with the Detroit Lions.

Kugler coached a Buffalo offensive line that last season set a team record for allowing just 26 sacks - just over half the total the Steelers allowed in 2009.

His hiring leaves the Steelers with two openings on their coaching staff, special teams and quarterbacks coach.

The team must also find a new defensive assistant after Lou Spanos left to accept a position with the Washington Redskins as their linebackers coach.

32 comments:

Ben said...

Dale, do you think Keith Butler will take the DC job in Miami, or stick with a good thing in Pittsburgh and hope to inherit LeBeau's job when he retires?

I've gotta think he'll take the job, but here's hoping...

Anonymous said...

If it's true that Butler is the heir to LeBeau, why would the Steelers give Miami permission to interview him?

They refused Arizona when they wanted to interview him last year, so what changed since then?

Ben said...

He would be interviewing for a promotion this time. Arizona wanted him to be a LB coach, a position he already holds in Pittsburgh. If he's a candidate for a coordinator job, the Steelers couldn't prevent him from taking it.

Anonymous said...

I thought John Mitchell was the heir to LeBeau?

Anonymous said...

I'm reading the the Bills allowed 46 sacks last year.

Anonymous said...

They allowed 46 sacks THIS year.

Hoov said...

The Bills allowed 46 sacks this year and the Steelers allowed 50 with a QB who holds the ball for an eternity.

Bills' QBs were hit 103 times in 2009, which was worse than only one other team - Jacksonville, with 125 In this category, the Steelers ranked 17th with 77 hits on the QB allowed.


Not exactly a giant leap forward from Zierlein, is it?

Robert said...

It is hard to judgethe guy, that oline lost its best player then was beset by injuries. It started 2 or 3 rookies BEFORE injuries set in.

marc said...

dale,
have you heard anything positive about kugler? was he fired by the bills just because they're getting a new head coach?

firing zierlein is understandable if they already had a couple names to replace him and an idea of what they want to accomplish with the new coach. if they fired him without any forethought as to who would replace him then that is just poor.

Hoov said...

Robert...I understand that injuries are part of the game. The Steelers have had injuries too, not to mention poor drafts and bad personnel decision, but position coaches still got fired.

I'm not down on Kugler, I hope he's the best coach in the history of the NFL, but his 2009 numbers are sad.

Todd said...

The consensus around the league is that this was not a good hire

marc said...

todd,
what do you base that on?

Anonymous said...

Buffalo's line was full injuries and replacements last year.

Levitre was not what they thought he would be, Eric Wood was good and got injured halfway through the season. Demetrius Bell was very good in 2008 when he they allowed 2 sacks. Got injured on 2009 though

I mean common, richie incognito and Kendall simmons?? That's less thatn what Zierlin had to work with

I'll give this guy a chance. Steelers must have hired him for a reason

Anonymous said...

*26* sacks

Hoov said...

I'll give him a chance too but I'd feel a lot better if he was coming off of a strong season with a proven O-Line. Or...you know...wasn't fired.

Anonymous said...

Just wish he had more of a resume. Detroit? Fired by Buffalo? Those ain't championship teams...not even playoff teams...actually not even mediocre teams.

adamg said...

All the coaches were fired in Buffalo regardless of their competence (see April, Bobby).

Buffalo's line was decimated this year. Buffalo's qbs don't scare anyone either. I'd say averaging 4.4 ypc and giving up 4 fewer sacks than the Steelers did under those circumstances is pretty good.

Robert said...

When we criticize Lerlein and our oline this past season the sacks are not what we should look at. The pass pro was not THAT bad this past season. Besides a few games it was actually pretty decent. It was just this year Ben held onto the ball beyond all reason. A qb that got rid of the ball might have been sack 25 times or less behind this oline. If you want to fault Zerlien for something fault him for the run blocking, but eventhat is more due to draft/Arians terrible playcalling. I swear he sabotages the run so he can call more passing plays.

Anonymous said...

I thought Arizona wanted Butler as defensive coordinator to replace Pendergast.

marc said...

arians got fired in cleveland because his philosophy and play calling stunk. and it hasn't gotten any better here.

he has no regard for the symbiotic relationship between pass/run/defense. his philosophy is detrimental to the success of a team in exchange for perceived success of the offense. i consider that selfish and egotistical and it has no place on any team, let alone the steelers.

often times fans gravitate towards players' egos as causing locker room problems. well, coachs' egos should not be immune to that discussion. i don't know the guy, i don't wish him any ill-will, but i do hope the steelers get rid of him as soon as possible.

steelerark said...

Todd,

I'm curious how you can make a statement 'the consensus around the league'. Are you employed somewhere around the league?

j said...

Bills OL under Kugler:

2007 ... 26 sacks allowed
2008 ... 38 sacks allowed
2009 ... 46 sacks allowed

Hoov said...

To be fair:


Here's what Boise State head coach Chris Petersen told Tim Graham of ESPN.com about Kugler.

``There's absolutely no question that he's the best football coach I've ever been around, He's unbelievable, and I think the work that he's doing right now (in Buffalo) speaks louder than anything else he's ever done.''

deljzc said...

marc,

I couldn't have said it any better about Arians.

While all the numbers seem better, there is something missing about what he does towards making the team better.

adamg said...

With all the criticism of the defense that has been posted here, isn't it interesting that the most coaches being poached by other teams, for promotions no less, are on the defense? No one seems too interested in offering any of our offensive coaches, including the ones who were fired, jobs.

marc said...

great point!

Anonymous said...

I believe they were able to prevent Butler from interviewing for D. Coordinator with Arizona because they had already taken one or two other coaches with them. There is a clause that let's you prevent your entire coaching staff from being raided by one team.
This is just from my memory, so I could be wrong though.

Mitch Saulsberry said...

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Patrick said...

So no April in January for the Steelers...

Guess it was too much of a disaster to come here.

Anonymous said...

I'm probably a little too young to remember clearly, but what is the big deal about April? I don't remember our special teams being that impressive under him. I only remember the onside kick he suggested in Superbowl XXX and not liking Cowher yelling at him all the time.

marc said...

what's the status with Khan?

when will free agent decisions start being made? (parker, hampton, clark)

based on article with rooney in PG it seems arians will be on short leash next year. good.

Anonymous said...

Butler turned down the Miami DC job to remain LB coach in Pgh.