Most of Steeler Nation was aghast at the thought of Steelers’ running backs coach Kirby Wilson going to rival Baltimore to be their offensive coordinator. He did interview with them twice after all.
Wilson is leaving according to the Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette but it isn’t for Baltimore and it isn’t for a coordinator position. Wilson is making a lateral move to Minnesota where he will coach the running backs.
While lateral moves are fairly odd, they aren’t entirely uncommon but this move reeks of potentially several ugly scenarios.
We know that Wilson was going to be the OC in Pittsburgh following Bruce Arians but his tragic house fire and subsequent injuries ended that. We then learned that he had increased duties this past year and was heavily involved in game-planning.
This was a good sign that maybe Wilson would finally get his OC chance should the Steelers part ways with Todd Haley.
With Haley staying aboard, Wilson may have read the writing on the wall. His opportunity to become the OC was again in the distance and maybe change is what he is seeking.
There will be speculation about whether he and Haley got along or whether incoming offensive line coach Mike Munchak has other philosophies regarding the running game. We know for certain that Mike Tomlin had a very good relationship with Wilson which unfortunately brings up the Art Rooney II question. Could he have made this decision? We can’t rule out Tomlin himself for whatever reason and we can’t rule out GM Kevin Colbert either. Of course maybe Wilson was just ready for a change.
Much like other scenarios where assistant coaches have left abruptly, I doubt we’ll get much of an answer so don’t hold your breath on this one.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 730pm ET talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.