Mike Tomlin did not have to look to far to find Ken Anderson’s replacement, tapping former receiver’s coach Randy Fichtner to fill that role. The Steelers also appeared to be close to closing in on signing Al Everest as their special teams coach.
Both moves had been expected for several days. The move must be regarded as a promotion for Fichtner, and it perhaps, just perhaps is a sign that Mike Tomlin is laying in a back up plan for Bruce Arians’ eventual replacement. Steel Curtain Rising has no sources to confirm this, but Fichtner was mentioned as a possible replacement for Arians.
Jerry Olsavsky to Return?
Perhaps the biggest news is that former Steelers linebackers Jerry Olsavsky and Earl Holmes interviewed for the defensive assistant “aka quality control” coaching spot vacated when Lou Spanos left to coach linebackers for the Washington Redskins.
Jerry Olsavsky twice interviewed for the Steelers linebacking coaching job during Bill Cowher’s tenure, and most recently coached linebackers for Youngstown State. Readers of Steel Curtain Rising’s recent series on the 1989 Steelers (click here to read) know that I am a big fan of Jerry O.
Olsavsky joined the Steelers as an 10th round pick out of Pitt in 1989 and made several All-Rookie teams for his work in relief of injured Hardy Nickerson, including a key goal line stop of Kansas City’s Nigerian Nightmare Christian Okoye. He also made key special teams play in the Steelers playoff upset of the Houston Oilers.
Despite the fast start, Olsavsky got stuck on the depth chart behind David Little and Hardy Nickerson and did not join the first team full time until 1993. His career appeared to be over because of injury later that year, but he came back to play key roles on the Steelers 1995 and 1996 teams.
Holmes and Olsavsky, Rivals Again
Like Larry Foote, Olsavsky pushed for his release from the Steelers because he did not want to be stuck behind a high draft pick, who was none other than Earl Holmes, the man Jerry O is now competing with for the assistant coaching job.
Holmes holds his on place in Steelers linebacking history, as it was reported that his response to Bill Cowher’s “Welcome on board, we drafted you” call with “Congratulation to you for picking the best linebacker available.”