Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receivers’ coach Scottie Montgomery has announced he’ll be leaving for his Alma mater Duke University. Montgomery will become the offensive coordinator there under head coach David Cutcliffe who was Montgomery’s boss when the former Steelers’ WR coach held the same capacity at Duke for three seasons.
Montgomery now becomes the third assistant to part ways with the Steelers since the disappointing 2012 season ended. Offensive line coach Sean Kugler left to become the head coach at UTEP while Special Teams’ assistant Amos Jones left to be the special teams’ coach in Arizona.
Sadly, I was not surprised to see the clamoring for Hines Ward to be named to fill Montgomery’s position. For whatever reason, when a former player is available to coach his former position it almost seems a forgone conclusion that he ‘must be the guy for the job.’ I know, I know… If Carnell Lake came back to coach the DBs and he was a DB then it only makes sense for Ward to come back right? Wrong!
Let me remind you of a couple things here. First, Lake was brought back at a time when absolutely zero of his contemporaries were on the Steelers’ roster. There is nothing more difficult for a former player than to have to coach (be the boss of) a former teammates. Trust me, it very seldom works out well.
Secondly, Carnell Lake and very few others for that matter had a cushy, prime time showcase on a major network doing television every week. I recall everyone saying Bill Cowher would never stick with that TV crap and would need to get back into coaching. Ya, how many years ago was that now?
Ward would probably be a nice coach, not a great one, but a decent one. His experience in blocking, route-running and catching the ball in traffic would itself be bevy of information, but I just don’t see Ward in that capacity and I don’t believe the Steelers do either. He will always be one of my favorites, but I also know how Hines Ward functions.
Hines is enjoying life away from football right now anyway. How often do you get to be a zombie for a TV show too right?
I believe the Steelers and Mike Tomlin will look elsewhere for a new WR coach in 2013.
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 4pm ET talking Steelers.