As it went with their other assistant coach hirings, the Steelers have quickly filled the vacancy left by wide receivers coach Scottie Montgomery. The Steelers announced that they’ve hired former Tampa Bay Bucs wide receivers coach Richard Mann.
Mann is originally from Aliquippa, so this is sort of a homecoming for the 65 year old. Mann has been a wide receivers coach his entire coaching career. From 1982 to 2009, Mann has coached for the Colts, Browns, Jets Ravens, Chiefs, Redskins and Bucs. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is already familiar with Mann – he was with Tampa Bay as the defensive backs coach prior to moving up as the Vikings defensive coordinator.
So Mann hasn’t coached in the league since 2009. That’s not a very long time of being removed from the game, and more importantly players. That is my biggest concern with ANY coach coming into the Steelers organization. Can they relate to the players, and more importantly, can they relate to the young players that are quickly becoming the foundation of the next generation of Steelers? The Steelers receiving core is young. Antonio Brown (24), Emmanuel Sanders (25), David Gilreath (24), and Derek Moye (24) are still very young in the NFL. Depending on how free agency goes for them – and let’s face it, Wallace is gone and maybe Burress too – they will more than likely be drafting one receiver in this year’s draft. Communicating and inspiring these young players to stay committed to development will be absolutely key to the success of the 2013 offense. Brown wants to step up and lead, but he’s still going to need some very solid coaching.
Welcome aboard and welcome to Steeler Nation, Richard Mann.