The Steelers have made the first change to their coaching staff of the offseason.
The team announced Friday that offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. has been fired. Bicknell was hired last year after Sean Kugler left to become the head coach at UTEP and had previously coached the offensive lines for the Chiefs and Giants.
“I have decided to go in a different direction with respect to the coaching of our offensive line,” coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement on the team’s website. “I want to thank Jack for his contributions during the 2013 season, and I wish him well in the future.”
In interviews conducted with the Steelers website, tackles Marcus Gilbert and Kelvin Beachum said they felt that the line had grown and improved as the year progressed and there was some statistical evidence to support this as the Steelers allowed only seven sacks in the final seven weeks. The team also lost starting center Maurkice Pouncey and backup Fernando Velasco to season-ending injuries, along with assorted other aches and pains necessitating six different starting units, but the team’s decision-makers obviously felt that there either wasn’t enough or the right kind of progress made under Bicknell’s tutelage.
Photo via Steelers.com