Steelers fire offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr.

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.

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38 responses to “Steelers fire offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr.

  1. If Roethlisberger wouldn’t hold on to the ball for 15 seconds every pass play, it would probably make the OL and thus the OL coach look a little better too.

  2. It’s crazy how the most notorious line in the world (belonging to the Miami Dolphins) still employs it’s position coach, offensive coordinator, head coach, and general manager, yet, the Steelers proactively and swiftly make a move they needed to make.

    The incompitence of Stephen Ross and the Miami Dolphins is literally out of this world.

  3. His zone blocking scheme didnt even make it out of training camp. Haleys playcalling and Bens no-huddle kept the offense clean toward the end of the season. The Steelers finally have some players on that line, and they need to be counted on in all situations, not just the no huddle.

  4. not quite sure why tomlin decided to do this. offensive line was not that bad this year especially considering all the injuries they had to deal with. hopefully they bring in a new guy and he helps bring back the running game to the steelers

  5. yea his zone blocking scheme didn’t make it past the preseason due to injuries and Haley & Ben going to the no huddle in an effort to keep Ben alive. Now Hopefully the next person(s) to go in no particular order are ..LeBeau, Woodley & Gay.

  6. Well they will still be a .500 team at best for the next decade or two, so this isn’t really newsworthy. #missingplayoffsagain

  7. “I have decided to go in a different direction.”

    Translation: To save my job, I’m giving your job to someone new.

    But that’s okay because “As we all know, football is a business.”

    I get so tired of people in the NFL not calling a spade a spade and using these trite euphemisms instead.

  8. Man. That’s rough. Most injury-riddled OL in the league this season, but it seemed like they were pulling it together the last 6-7 games of the season.
    Must be something going on us mere mortals aren’t privy to.

  9. When are people going to realize that tomlin is overrated. I’m a Viking fan living in pa. The guy talks a great game and stepped into a great situation. Now it’s his team and they are slowly getting worse. I told my neighbor, who’s a steelers fan, that the next 5 years is 8-8 or worse. Called the first year right out of the gate!!!!!

  10. Statistically teams are realizing that they will have to deal with injuries at multiple positions on the O line throughout the season. O line coaches are being called to build an entire interchangeable unit instead of just 5 or 6 guys. The steelers have invested big time draft picks in their O line, yet continue to get very poor performance overall from it. Not a surprising decision.

  11. I hope that was a needed move, and not a scapegoat move. Ben does sometimes hold onto the ball, but they are first and second round picks on that line. I fell they should have played better. If I was the coach I would evaluate both coordinators also.

  12. When it comes to personnel decisions, nothing Tomlin does surprises me. Here’s all you need to know about Tomlin’s decision-making skills: He went through four punters this season. That might be an NFL record.

  13. They had a nice second half of the season, but no line has be worst over the last 4-5 seasons. Ben does hold onto the ball too long sometimes, but most of it was because there were defenders in the backfield almost immediately. Haley has not been bad for Ben,(scoring didn’t improve)he has improved stat wise the last 2 years and he played the full season this year, first time in about 5-6 seasons. Hopefully they get a good line coach(whoever said Grimm, we won’t ever see him back till at least Tomlin is gone due to being overlooked and I think he got fired)and keep the progress they made in the second half if the season.

  14. Further evidence Tomlin is a stooge. The guy is the most overrated coach in football. A db coach under Dungy with all those pro bowlers who then gets a d coordinator job and what happens? The pass d is among the worst in the league. The Rooney rule of course got him the job where he is trusted so little he is forced to keep the same coordinators that Cowher had. With all that talent and facing one of the worst defenses in SB history in the Cardinals, they manage to win. The drafts during his tenure have been average at best. His time management and game management has been abysmal the whole time he’s been here. So many empty big worded promises that he could never keep “we’re gonna unleash hell!” lol.
    Now this…firing the one guy that actually got results. His line has been among the worst in the league all these years and then once it actually turns into a semi strength you fire the guy?

    Ugghhh..I wish it was easier for the Steelers to fire him but the Rooney rule is named after them so we are stuck with this albatross for at least another year.

  15. These desperation moves are pretty typical when it’s obvious that mediocre seasons are going to be the rule rather than the exception. Steelers have lost their fire, that’s for sure. Complacency is SOP.

  16. “I have decided….”

    Does Tomlin actually have authority to unilaterally change coaches or is it management decided and told to Tomlin and he is making it look like he made the decision?

  17. Joemontanaflacco | Jan 3, 2014, 6:57 PM EST
    These desperation moves are pretty typical when it’s obvious that mediocre seasons are going to be the rule rather than the exception. Steelers have lost their fire, that’s for sure. Complacency is SOP.

    Skippy, to you losing your fire is losing your lighter. The steelers finished with more fire than JumpBallJoe and the rat birds

  18. Tomlin isn’t going anywhere. If that makes your suffer then oh well. The Rooney rule hurt your feelings. Good.

    At the end of the season the Steelers were the best team in the division. The Ratbirds have so many holes to fill and stars to cut, Jumpball will be in the dead money part of his deal before they can fix it. That pathetic offense will take 5 years to get right.

    When’s the last time that people could say that the Steelers oline was the strength of the team? S

    Seven sacks given up over the last seven games.
    Steelers 2014 AFC North Champs

  19. jtbsteeler:
    Evaluating seasons in halves rather than in their entireties, is that what it’s come to?
    The Steelers started the 2012 season 6-3, then went 2-5 the rest of the way. This season, they started 0-4, then 2-6, before finishing 6-2 (both loses over the final five games, each against non-playoff, .500 teams).
    I suppose between the two seasons, there was one good one in there somewhere… Hurray!!!!

  20. Once again, someone has to take the fall for Bottom Third Ben’s ranking 20th in total offense level of ineptitude.

    For those who say he was improving … right … Big Bum had a super strong finish against the Browns racking up 20 points with only two interceptions and a fumble.

    For you stats geeks, he was a blistering 19 of 31 for 179 yards and a QBR of 28.1

    No matter who is the offensive line coach or offensive coordinator as long as Big Bum is the quarterback look for more of the same in 2014.


  21. The Steelers finish last half of the season strong no matter what the individual stats were… For the stats geeks. Its a team game and Big Ben has led his team to two championships and three super bowls. It was obvious as the season went along the no huddle improved this team. So yes it is a resounding Go Steelers! If you dont like Steelers nation then dont come and post on a steelers page. Thats the bottom line.

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