Assistants Arians, LeBeau will return next season for Steelers
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Steelers could experience significant roster turnover this offseason.

There will be very little, if any, when it comes to Mike Tomlin's coaching staff.

Both offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will return in 2012.

The two were at Steelers' headquarters yesterday as various players went through exit meetings and interviews with their position coach, as well as Tomlin.

Cornerback Keenan Lewis said LeBeau had a simple message to the players that will take time off before returning to Pittsburgh to start training for the 2012 season.

"He just told us to come back ready to win a Super Bowl," Lewis said.

The Steelers finished first in the NFL this season in scoring defense (14.2 points allowed per game) and total defense (271.8 yards ppg). They were 12th in total offense (372.3 yards per game) and tied for 21st in scoring (20.3 yards per game).

The Steelers had to weather significant injuries on both sides of the ball.

Wilson has surgery

Running backs coach Kirby Wilson, badly burned Friday in a house fire, underwent surgery Monday.

"He's strong enough to go through surgery, so that's always a good thing," Steelers running back Isaac Redman said.

Redman visited Wilson and his family Tuesday at UPMC Mercy Hospital. Wilson has been hospitalized since suffering significant burns on his arms and legs early Friday.

Wilson, who recently completed his fifth year on Tomlin's staff, was injured late last week when a fire started in the kitchen of his Seven Fields townhouse.

Starks 'devastated' by injury

Max Starks sustained a right knee injury last Sunday in Denver, and it sounds as if the mammoth left tackle tore his ACL.

"I know he is devastated going into a free-agency year," guard Trai Essex said of Starks, who turned 30 on Tuesday. "It's unfortunate that he had this happen to him, but I know he will bounce back. He is a warrior."

Starks, an eight-year veteran, will be an unrestricted free agent in March.

He started the Steelers' final 13 games at left tackle after re-signing with the team in early October. The Steelers released Starks in July because of concerns over the salary cap and Starks' weight.

Gay hopes to return

Cornerback William Gay, who won the starting job opposite Ike Taylor early in the season, said the fifth-year veteran hopes to return to the Steelers next season.

Gay, one of the Steelers' most improved players this season, will be an unrestricted free agent at the start of the NFL's new year in March.

"I don't know what Coach Tomlin will do," Gay said, "but I do want to be here."

Gay finished fifth on the Steelers with 61 tackles. He tied for the team lead in interceptions with two.

Brown Q&A

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown will be part of a free online town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday on

Brown will participate in a live question-and-answer session online via web cam. Fans can register for free online at the website.

Brown caught 69 passes for 1,108 yards this season. He will play in the Pro Bowl at the end of the month in Hawaii.

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