Many wondered who the Pittsburgh Steelers would target to replace Kirby Wilson after he left town to join the Minnesota Vikings over the weekend.
According to the following tweet by Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, it looks like the Steelers will replace their former running backs coach with the very person he replaced in Minnesota:
Steelers hire James Saxon as running backs coach. #Steelers
— Alan Robinson (@arobinson_Trib) January 28, 2014
An eight-year veteran as a player (1988-1995), James Saxon will also bring plenty of coaching experience with him to Pittsburgh this fall.
In addition to his eight-year NFL career, Saxon has spent the last 14 seasons as the running backs coach for the Buffalo Bills (2000), Kansas City Chiefs (2001-2007), Miami Dolphins (2008-2010) and the Vikings (2011-2013). During that span, Saxon coached the likes of Preist Holmes, Larry Johnson, Ricky Williams and Adrian Peterson.
Saxon will definitely have his work cut out for him in Pittsburgh. Le’Veon Bell is the only running back on the team who is not set to hit the free agent market this March. In addition, the veteran coach must find ways to help a running game which ranked tied for 26th last fall in rushing yards per game.
I am intrigued to see how this ‘trade’ of running backs coaches pans out for Pittsburgh, but Saxon will have some big shoes to fill with Wilson now in Minnesota.