By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
click to enlarge
About the writer
John Harris is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review sports columnist and can be reached at 412-481-5432 or via e-mail.
Ways to get us
Be a Facebook fan
Follow us on Twitter
On your mobile
Bobby April, a candidate for the Steelers' special teams coordinator vacancy, left town without a contract following his interview Sunday with coach Mike Tomlin and team officials because he was scheduled to meet with at least three other NFL teams.
April later met with San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Singletary during this week's American Football Coaches Association convention in Orlando, Fla., at which Singletary was a speaker.
April, who coached the Buffalo Bills' special teams the past six seasons, also has interviews with a couple of other unidentified teams, Chicago-based representative Frank Murtha said Tuesday.
"He had serious discussions with Coach Tomlin and other members of the Steelers' organization," Murtha said. "It might be a few more days. We really don't have a timetable. He hasn't made any hard and fast decisions until he at least finishes the interview process."
Asked if the Steelers or any other team made an official offer to April, Murtha replied, "I can't really get into that, but, obviously, teams have expressed an interest in having him as their special teams coach."
April, regarded among the top special teams coaches in the NFL, was the Steelers' special teams coordinator from 1994-95; his last season was the year the Steelers played in Super Bowl XXX.
In addition to his special teams duties, April also served as Buffalo's assistant head coach. It was believed that April might be named interim coach when Dick Jauron was fired during the season; however, that position went to defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, who was released along with the rest of the coaching staff.
"I definitely wanted — want — to be a head coach. That's an ongoing goal of mine," April told reporters in Buffalo.
April opted out of the final two years of his contract so that teams knew he was available,
April, 56, would be a welcome addition to a Steelers' special teams unit that allowed four kickoff returns for touchdowns this season under former coordinator Bob Ligashesky, who was fired last week. No other team allowed more than two kickoff returns for touchdowns this season.
April won the 2008 Special Teams Coach of the Year award, voted on by the league's coaches. The award is presented by Professional Kicking Services. April also won the award in 2004.