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steeler_fan_in_t.o.
02-18-2011, 10:31 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 23454.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_723454.html)

Of those listed here I would discount Washington and Henderson. Henderson especially since he was just fired by Horton. If Horton believes that he is not the guy then I doubt that his mentors would feel differently.

As for Washington, wouldn't it be ironic landing in Pittsburgh after being replaced at his last two posts by former Steelers?

Cecil is very qualified, but as a former DC does it create a difficult situation having a former DC and a DC in waiting together on the staff?

Look for Woods to emerge as a strong consideration. Tomlin may be comfortable enough to now put his own stamp on the coaching staff. He stayed with holdovers on both sides of the ball coming in, and now he has a chance to bring someone who he likes enough that he brought him with him once before. They must have worked closely together with Tomlin's being the DB coach in TB before bringing him to fill that role when Mike became a DC.


For the first time under coach Mike Tomlin, the Steelers must replace a key member of their defensive coaching staff.

Secondary coach Ray Horton's departure last week to become the Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator under Ken Whisenhunt marks the first significant loss on that side of the ball since Tomlin took over in 2007.

With the NFL Scouting Combine scheduled for Feb. 23-March 1, it's important, though not imperative, that the Steelers hire Horton's replacement before front-office members, scouts and the coaching staff depart for Indianapolis.

This should be a considered a plum job. Horton parlayed his gig with the Steelers into a major promotion.

Here are some potential candidates:

Chuck Cecil: Has reportedly interviewed with the Steelers, according to ESPN.com. Spent past two seasons as Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator. Also served as Tennessee's secondary coach from '07-08 and safeties and nickel backs coach from '04-06. Fiery individual who played safety and was considered among the most vicious hitters in league history.

Lionel Washington: Washington coached Oakland's defensive backs the past two seasons. He was let go earlier this week when the Raiders hired Hall of Famer and former Steelers cornerback Rod Woodson. In his first NFL coaching stint, Washington was a nickel back/cornerbacks assistant with Green Bay from '99-08 before being replaced by former Steelers assistant Darren Perry. Played defensive back for 15 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Denver and Raiders twice.

Donnie Henderson: One of Horton's first moves as Arizona's defensive coordinator was replacing Henderson and making longtime Cincinnati Bengals assistant Louie Cioffi his new secondary coach. Prior to the Cardinals, Henderson coached Jacksonville's defensive backs in '08 and had brief stints as a defensive coordinator with Detroit and the New York Jets.

Corwin Brown: Departed New England after only one season as secondary coach focusing on safety play. Also coached New York Jets secondary and was an assistant under Charlie Weis at Notre Dame.

Joe Woods: He's been Minnesota's secondary coach since '06, where he followed Tomlin from Tampa Bay. Tomlin was the Vikings' defensive coordinator for one season before taking over the Steelers; it was rumored that Woods would join Tomlin in Pittsburgh at that time. Woods is expected to have an expanded role under Vikings coach Leslie Frazier. He recently interviewed for the Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator opening that went to Juan Castillo.

Notes: The Steelers re-signed six players from last season's practice squad, including wide receiver Tyler Grisham, defensive end Sunny Harris and safety Damon Cromartie-Smith. Other practice players to re-sign with the club include tight end Eugene Bright, linebacker Chris Ellis and tackle Kyle Jolly. Wide receiver Wes Lyons, a Pittsburgh native who attended Woodland Hills and West Virginia, also signed ... Defensive end Brett Keisel, whose long beard received national acclaim during Super Bowl XLV, will host "Shear the Beard'' on Feb. 24 beginning at 7 p.m. at the Diesel Club Lounge on East Carson Street to benefit cancer programs at UPMC's Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Celebrity barbers will be on hand to shave Keisel's beard.