Steelers shakeup could be coming

With the Steelers plunging from 6-2 to 6-7 despite returning 19 starters and all coaches from the team that won Super Bowl XLIII, the team is expected to make some changes in the offseason.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the coaching staff “is expected to undergo a considerable makeover” during the offseason.

Schefter identified special teams coordinator Bob Ligashesky as being the most vulnerable.  Also mentioned are offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and offensive line coach Larry Zierlein.

Head coach Mike Tomlin inherited Arians; Tomlin hired Ligashesky and Zierlein.

Other holdovers from the Bill Cowher regime are defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, linebackers coach Keith Butler, defensive backs coach Ray Horton, defensive line coach John Mitchell, tight ends coach James Daniel.

Tomlin hires include quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson, receivers coach Randy Fichtner, and running backs coach Kirby Wilson.

Any of the pre-Tomlin coaches who are fired might find themselves landing on Cowher’s staff with his next team, whoever it may be.

32 responses to “Steelers shakeup could be coming

  1. Steelers fans have been screaming about the ineptness of Arian’s call playing long before the Superbowl. Have any of you actually watched a Steelers game?
    It will be worth tanking the season just to get him a one way ticket out of town.

  2. Well… we all know it can’t be the head coaches fault… or the players. Assistants make convenient scapegoats.

  3. Everyone talks about Palomalu being out and forget that Aaron Smith is out, which makes a huge difference.
    The Steelers won the SB last year IN SPITE of the OC and ST coaches.

  4. Spyboots is right, our Special Teams have been awful for about 4 years now. The offense is only successful because of Ben’s ability to extend the play, which is getting less dangerous the worse the O-line plays. The fact that Legashesky still has a job is proof that all that matters is winning when it comes to the hiring/firing coaches, now that we are losing games and breaking records the wrong way on ST there is no life raft for some of these guys.

  5. It’s got to happen! For those of us who have watched every snap this year it’s clear to see that the offense has become very predictable. Not sure why Tomlin hasn’t stepped in and tried to make changes on the offensive side. Arians wasn’t his guy when he inherited this team. Curious to see who Tomlin would pick for OC, this would ultimately be a huge decision b/c if he did nothing and the Steelers do the same thing next year it may be Tomlin that goes.

  6. LOL @Tomlin would be gone if they falter next year…Do you actually know who the Rooneys are?? If we gave Cowher 15yrs to win one…we surely arent gonna fire someone who has ALREADY one in 3yrs…LOL thats some silly non sense.
    Its clear Arians needs to go.. he has been for some time.,,also the special teams was pretty damn good last yr so its puzzling this year was such a downfall,but the most important thing i would think that needs addressed is the O LINE!
    i cant help but think with a healthy Aaron Smith n Polamalu back the Defense tightens up..i do hope we retain Clark too.And as far as Ike goes i still think he has what it takes but noone is playing with heart out there.

  7. Bones22 says:
    December 13, 2009 5:26 PM
    Beat the heck out of Rodgers and the fudge packers next week.
    There’s no way the Steelers will beat the Packers. You couldn’t beat the Browns. You may not win another game the rest of the season.

  8. I didnt like Arians his 1st year when the Steelers played the Jaguars. Ben had shaky start and brought the team back to take a 2 point lead in the 4th quarter. It was 3rd and 6 on about the Steelers 30 yd line. He decided to run a naked bootleg with no option to pass. He wanted slow Ben to gain 6 yds with his feet after he’s played well bringing the team back. Needless to say, we punted the ball the Jaguars scored and the rest is history. Pittsburgh won the SuperBowl despite BA not because of him.

  9. I’m no big fan of Arians, but it’s not all on him!
    In case no one noticed the D cannot hold a lead against ANY team. That’s not on Arians. The D has some serious age issues, starting with Farrior. Aaron and Casey aren’t spring chickens either. Sure Troy being out hurt a lot but there is more to it them that.
    Special Teams have simply been putrid as well.

  10. I didnt like Arians his 1st year when the Steelers played the Jaguars. Ben had shaky start and brought the team back to take a 2 point lead in the 4th quarter. It was 3rd and 6 on about the Steelers 30 yd line. He decided to run a naked bootleg with no option to pass. He wanted slow Ben to gain 6 yds with his feet after he’s played well bringing the team back. Needless to say, we punted the ball the Jaguars scored and the rest is history. Pittsburgh won the SuperBowl despite BA not because of him.

  11. There is no WAY Cowher would pick up Arians again..He would prefer Chan Gailey or a new hot shot OC with CREDENTIALS…

  12. special teams problems covering kicks since tomlin’s been there, age on the DL, problems w/the OL, how this became the fault of Arians is beyond me,

  13. Please, please let tomlin pick his own coaches………that would be great for the rest of the AFC North!!!Last years SB was Cowhers!

  14. Wow, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!! At least I can hope … given some of the off-the-mark reporting by Schefter and Mort this year, you have to take anything they say with a grain of salt. But the coaches I’ve been aiming at for weeks have been Ligashesky and Zierlein, along with Arians, so if this report is true, I’m a happy girl.
    @Krow and East Bay Ray …
    Um, no, there’s nothing sudden or scapegoating about it.
    We had the same special teams issues during Legashesky’s first year that we’re having this season. Supposedly those issues were resolved last year. Obviously, whatever he did was a temporary fix that has now completely unraveled. Time for a permanent solution.
    Our offensive line has been weak from the moment Zierlein took over for Russ Grimm. Yes, some of that can be attributed to personnel, but there’s been no serious effort to adjust personnel. And when the entire line, including the good players, seem confused, sloppy, undisciplined, and poorly coached–that usually indicates poor coaching at that position.
    As for Arians, his play-calling is predictable and unimaginative. He has called some good games. But he’s inconsistent and seemingly incapable of changing course when things aren’t working. Steelers fans have known this from the time he took over the position. It’s become obvious to everyone this year.
    If these changes occur, it will be because Tomlin’s doing what he’s been hired to do–running the team, not scapegoating innocents. Love Cowher but he made plenty of mistakes. Let’s not confuse him with Noll–he didn’t draft and coach a team for the ages.

  15. @ Rafterman…
    No, it’s not all on Arians. And you’re right about the defense, to a point, but we’re not losing ANY of these games by more than 1 score. Whether that score is a FG or TD…it’s still 1 score. If the offense wasn’t so inept, these “collapses” in the 4th qtr would be meaningless. If you ask me, and I’m not happy in any way about the 4th qtr comebacks, our defense gives our offense every opportunity to put the game away in the first 3 qtrs. We’re still top 5 in the NFL w/o Troy and Smith, you can’t depend on your defense EVERY GAME to bail you out in the end. Where is the offense late in the game? Wait…they are non-existent. They repeatedly hand the ball back to the opposing team. Where are all the scoring opportunities early in the game? Wait…they are there, we are just squandering those opportunities. This year isn’t last year. IMO the defense is pretty much doing as much as you can ask them to do with their 2 cornerstones out, while the offense is puttering and unable to move the football in ANY way.
    It doesn’t help either that in the Browns game it appeared we weren’t playing with any heart whatsoever. That’s the first time I’ve EVER seen this team just “give up”.

  16. @ SuzyKolberisawesome…
    Last year our Kick and Punt coverage teams were each #1 in the league I think. And if they both weren’t #1, they were both definetely top 5. They were bad Tomlin’s first year, absolutely great last year, and absolutely horrible this year.

  17. If Bruce Arians is fired then this season will have been worth it. I’ll believe it when I see it. The offensive line coach might be a position to take a look at. The offensive line isn’t always consistant as a group.
    Special teams have been terrible this year. So why were some of last years special teams players released this summer? If you have a group that excells then logic dictates that the group should remain together.

  18. So NBC won’t let you post anything where someone calls idiots who believe anything you post an Obamaite. Sellout. Way to go. I understand about NBC they have been in his hip pocket since 2008, but you Florio? Shame on you. There goes your integrity too.

  19. @dodo, um, I mean, yoyo …
    Are you lost? This is a football blog, and this article is about potential coaching changes within the Steelers organization, not your political views. If you’re looking for a political blog, you might try

  20. I remember back when Tom Moore left the Steelers everyone was so happy!!! Look what he has done with Payton Manning & The Indy Colts over the years!!! However the Head Coach is ( NEW ) yet here they are 13-0 Why is it The Steelers can’t have a productive season like that let alone go through the play-offs also?? Look at the Players also maybe time is on there side….Contracts some time make players play lackluster too!!! Go back to the OLD SCHOOL put all POSITIONS up for grabs come next year…That will get the FIRE back on The Team!!

  21. @ Vox’s Mommy
    “It doesn’t help either that in the Browns game it appeared we weren’t playing with any heart whatsoever. That’s the first time I’ve EVER seen this team just “give up”.
    You get a BIG amen on that one.
    To me, letting McFadden go has gotten to be a bigger problem as the season wore on.
    Also the end of the Raider fiasco still stings. So sad that Gradkowski looked like Manning against our D.
    Agreed, the O isn’t producing points early in games and that is Arians problem. I’m far from an Arians booster, its just not all on him. I’m hoping we can win a couple of games to try to right this. Still the FO is going to be pretty busy this off season.

  22. @R.O.B. ….
    You can’t credit Moore with creating Manning. He was already an exceptional QB when he left Tennessee. As for Indy’s new coach getting them to 13-0. Yes, that’s impressive. But why can’t we have a productive season and go all the way through the playoffs? In his first season, our new coach recaptured the division. In his second, he won the Super Bowl–which means he went all the way through the playoffs. That 13-0 won’t mean anything if Caldwell isn’t hoisting the Lombardi at year’s end.
    @Vox’s Mommy & Rafterman …
    So true. And while we have to address the offensive coaching issues and some player issues–especially at corner–no coach can give them heart. That’s something they have to find within themselves. It’s like they’ve gotten it into their heads they can’t win–sort of the way Limas has it in his head he can’t catch. I’m waiting to see them start playing for that pride Hines talked about. If I see that, I’ll breathe easier even if our season ends in December.

  23. I agree that poor special teams performance can account for several losses especially when you factor in the kicking game and missed field goals by Jeff Reed. Additionally, there does not seem to be any pride taken in performing on special teams. That seems to have carried over to BOTH sides of the ball. I am NOT a Bruce Arians fan but the Steelers organization has paid Ben $100M to make some very poor decisions with offense as well. Remember fans that Ben Roethlisberger is also calling plays on the field in the heat of battle as well. His choices to force the ball into Hines Ward and NOT throw to Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth also leave me wondering why he complained when Plaxico Burress left and then when he got big receivers fails to utilize them when it counts inside the red zone! The Steelers FO went out and signed Stefan Logan to augment a lack luster Special Teams squad and he has done nothing to create any significant excitement this season. Overall a poor performance by the entire team. Loss of McFadden didn’t help. Limas Sweed has not stepped up and assumed the role he was intended to take over. Most importantly the Steelers ARE NOT RUSHING the football effectively!!! The Steeler MUST rush the ball with a full back in to lead block!!!…Thought they might promote “Redzone Redman” to manage this role because although Rashard Mendenhall has showed signs of brilliance this season, it does not appear that there is confidence in his ability to hit the opposition in the mouth and rush the ball hard! Bright spots: Rashard Mendenhall (at times), Vincent, and nice passing by Ben even under pressure! He can not continue to do this though. (Ben is really getting beaten up!) Ben needs help and lots of it! I still wish they had Byron Leftwich but Dennis Dixon did a nice job when Ben was not able to go against the Ravens. There are problems with the Steelers…reading this blog tells me that there are SOME coaching concerns but nothing that can’t be fixed with some coaching changes, but to suggest that Tomlin needs to be concerned is completely off base. Cowher was inept and they kept him for 15 years! I don’t blame them for letting him go! He has realized his maximum potential…

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