Sean Kugler, Offensive Line
There’s not much point in talking about Kugler’s job security since he’s leaving the Steelers to take the head coaching job at UTEP, but if he were staying Kugler couldn’t be questioned. He’s done more with less than any position coach on the team.
The Steelers will have to put a high premium on finding another line coach that is as resourceful and talented as Kugler. His loss might be felt more than anyone else who may or may not return next season.
James Daniel, Tight Ends
Daniel has been with the Steelers since 2004 and has presided over Heath Miller’s rise to be one of the top tight ends in the NFL. He’s also worked to develop guys like Weslye Saunders and David Paulson.
Daniel’s job is safe. There’s no reason to make a change at a position that is the most consistently productive and steady on the offensive side of the ball. I could see him eventually moving up to a bigger role, but I don’t think that will happen this season.
Scottie Montgomery, Wide Receivers
The way the wide receivers have collectively hit a wall this season is just not impressive. Mike Wallace returned from his holdout to become one of the most maddeningly inconsistent receivers in the league. Antonio Brown has followed him down the slippery slope too.
Even Emmanuel Sanders has lost his previously impressive consistency and steady play.
This position is a mess. Part of the blame lies with the coordinator, but much of it will fall at Montgomery’s feet. Without a lot of ties to this staff, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Steelers make a move here.
Randy Fichtner, Quarterbacks
Fichtner was originally the team’s receivers coach but moved over to quarterbacks in 2010 when Ken Anderson retired.
The Steelers may want to move him back to receivers. During the past three seasons, the play at quarterback and receiver have been choppy. The Steelers were not able to effectively replace an injured Ben Roethlisberger in 2011 or 2012.
I would say that the best way for this to go is that Fichtner goes back to coaching the receivers and the Steelers find a quarterbacks coach that is adept at both handling a star and developing younger passers.
Kirby Wilson, Running Backs
Wilson replaced Pittsburgh legend Dick Hoak in 2007. Since then, the Pittsburgh rushing attack has steadily lost steam. Originally, the blame seemed to lie with former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. Arians abandoned the team’s rushing identity in favor of a pass-heavy attack.
Under Todd Haley, the Steelers were to devote more effort to running the ball. They have definitely put running plays on the field more often than under Arians, but the effectiveness is still missing.
It’s hard to beat up on Wilson too much, but he never developed Rashard Mendenhall and hasn’t gotten much out of Isaac Redman or Jonathan Dwyer either. At some point, the lack of an effective running back is going to fall back on him. It could be this year.