A couple of months ago, if anyone asked me to name one person that wouldn’t be a part of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ organization at the start of the regular season, I would have said Mike Wallace. Can you really blame me? I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one to have had that thought run through their mind.
However, with that being my answer, I would have been wrong.
Steelers special teams coordinator Al Everest was fired today by the organization.
The Steelers hired Everest in January of 2010. Prior to his tenure in Pittsburgh, Everest was the special teams coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers.
Pittsburgh’s assistant special teams coach Amos Jones will fill in as special teams coordinator immediately.
This isn’t the first time the 15-year NFL special teams coordinator has been terminated. Everest was given his walking papers by the 49ers after the 2009 season.
This firing was caused by an ill-advised reverse play on a punt return that wasn’t clearly relayed to then 49ers head coach Mike Singletary. The play resulted in a lost fumble by San Franciscoin the 20-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on December 6th.
The reason for Everest’s termination is unknown. However, it is strange that any team in the league will make such a change halfway through the preseason.
Teams are still gelling, and players are still getting use to schemes. Something this drastic usually comes in the middle of the regular season.
It remains to be seen what caused the Steelers to give Everest the pink slip, but it could cause some worry with fans in Pittsburgh.
Special teams is an often-underrated part of game. In fact, special teams is just as important as the offensive and defensive phases of the game.
Other than putting three points on the scoreboard, special teams is a major part in dictating field position, and can make situations better or worse for offenses and defenses.
Well, the only thing that Steelers fans can do is trust management. The same way that fans have to trust activating Rashard Mendenhall, Casey Hampton, and Max Starks off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list after tearing their ACLs less than a year ago, is the same way that fans have to trust that releasing Everest is the best thing for the team.
I said it before, and I’ll say it again. This will be an interesting season.
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