Sometimes the NFL is a strange business. Tuesday was one of those days when the Pittsburgh Steelers saw their former running backs coach Kirby Wilson jettison to the Minnesota Vikings for the same job, and the Steelers brought the Vikings running backs coach James Saxon in as the team’s new coach of the backfield.
After the coach swap, it’s time that Steelers fans learn a little about the man that will now be coaching Le’Veon Bell and the other running backs this season. Unlike Wilson who preceded Saxon in Pittsburgh, Saxon has NFL playing experience as a fullback. Drafted in the 1988 draft, Saxon played for the Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins and the Philadelphia Eagles in his seven year stint in the league.
After his playing career ended, in 1997 he was given the title of running backs coach for Rutgers University until 2000 when he was hired by the Buffalo Bills to coach their backfield. He has held the same position for the Chiefs, Dolphins and Vikings, and now the Steelers can be added to this list.
Saxon brings experience in coaching along with being able to handle the egos of the NFL. Saxon helped Adrian Peterson garner 1,000+ yards in two of the three seasons he was with the Vikings, and he oversaw the 2012 season where Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards and nearly broke the all-time rushing record for a season.
Saxon will be joining elite company as the running backs coach for the Steelers as he is only the third coach to coach the backfield since Chuck Noll was the coach of the team. Saxon will get to work with one of the bright, young potential stars in the NFL in Le’Veon Bell and an offense that looks to be very versatile and dynamic. Saxon could add some expertise to the mix of making the Steelers offense the best that it can be.