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Kaboly: Tomlin now favors experience with coaching staff


TomlinMike Tomlin has never been shy with giving an assistant coach a chance at the highest level.

During his tenure as the Steelers head coach, Tomlin has hired Randy Fichtner (wide receivers), Scottie Montgomery (wide receivers) and Carnell Lake (defensive backs) despite not having a lick of NFL coaching experience on their respective resumes.

That’s way of thinking has changed dramatically over the past two years.

The last four Tomlin hires – Danny Smith (special teams), Richard Mann (wide receivers), Mike Munchak (offensive line) and, the most recent, James Saxon (running backs) – have a combined 70 years of NFL coaching experience between them.

Not only experience, but the recent hires have been older as well – Mann 65, Smith 59, Munchak 53 and Saxon 47.

It may just be a coincidence, but it’s likely not.

After a pair of 8-8 seasons, Tomlin wanted a more seasoned coaching staff and now has one of the most experienced group of coaches in the league when it comes to NFL experience.

Ironically, Tomlin is the youngest full-time coach on the Steelers’ staff at 41-years-old. The Steelers assistant coaches average 56.7 years old and 18.5 years of NFL coaching experience.

Here is the list of Steelers coaches and current ages/years of NFL experience including Tomlin:

Dick LeBeau (DC): 76 years old/40 years NFL coaching experience.

Richard Mann (WR) 66 years old/29 years NFL coaching experience.

John Mitchell (DL) 62 years old/23 years NFL coaching experience.

Mike Munchak (OL) 53 years old/20 years NFL coaching experience.

Danny Smith (ST) 60 years old/19 years NFL coaching experience.

James Daniel (TE) 61 years old/17 years NFL coaching experience.

Todd Haley (OC) 46 years old/17 years NFL coaching experience.

Keith Butler (LB) 57 years old/15 years NFL coaching experience.

James Saxon (RB) 47 years old/14 years of NFL coaching experience.

Mike Tomlin (HC) 41 years old/13 years of NFL coaching experience.

Randy Fichtner (QB) 50 years old/7 years of NFL coaching experience.

Carnell Lake (DB) 46 years old/3 years of NFL coaching experience.




Author: Mark Kaboly

Mark Kaboly is the Pittburgh Steelers beat writer for the Tribune-Review. Mark has covered more than 300 NFL football games in all 32 NFL cities as well as four Super Bowls -- XL in Detroit, XLIII in Tampa, XLV in Dallas and 50 in San Francisco. A Belle Vernon Area graduate, Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a specialization in journalism from California University of Pennsylvania. Mark lives in Port Vue with his wife, Jennifer; daughter Briella; and boys Rocco and Bugsley Pug

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