Steelers Offensive Line Coach Jumps Ship for ‘Similar Position’

Steelers offensive line

Jamie Squire/Getty Images The Pittsburgh Steelers line up against the Kansas City Chiefs on December 26, 2021.

Adrian Klemm lasted less than a year as offensive line coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. On Monday December 27, Steelers director of communications Burt Lauten announced that the team has given Klemm permission to leave his job and “accept a similar position with the University of Oregon football team.”

According to a report by Pete Thamel, who covers college football for Yahoo Sports, Klemm will be Oregon’s offensive line coach, run game coordinator and assistant head coach.

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Adrian Klemm Came to the Steelers Via UCLA

For Klemm, the move marks a return to the Pac-12, as he served as associate head coach/run game coordinator/offensive line coach at UCLA between 2012-16. He was hired by Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on February 5, 2019, and served as assistant offensive line coach for two seasons before Tomlin promoted him to offensive line coach on February 1, 2021.

News of Klemm’s promotion was met with approval on the part of Steelers offensive linemen past and present, but the unit has struggled for most of this season, even as Klemm attempted to instill a “way more aggressive mindset.” The running game has been a problem all year long, much like it was in 2020, when the Steelers had the worst rushing offense in the NFL. This year it hasn’t been much better, despite the addition of first-round running back Najee Harris.

Through 15 weeks of the regular season, the Steelers have amassed the fourth-fewest rushing yards in the league (1,314), producing just 3.8 yards per carry along the way.

Of course, growing pains were expected. In May 2021, writer Marc Sessler suggested that the Steelers had to “hope” and “pray” that Klemm could work miracles with the talent provided. To be sure, the line is in the midst of an overhaul, with four new starters and rookie third- and fourth-round picks—Kendrick Green and Dan Moore Jr.—starting at center and left tackle, respectively.

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As for his background, Klemm was a high draft pick himself, coming into the NFL in 2000 as a second-round selection of the New England Patriots out of the University of Hawaii. He remained in the league for six seasons and was a part of three Patriots Super Bowl teams before finishing his playing career with the Green Bay Packers in 2005. He got his start in coaching at SMU in 2008, serving as a graduate assistant for a year before becoming the offensive line coach/recruiting coordinator for three years.

Steelers Add 2 More Players to the Reserve/COVID-19 List

On Monday afternoon the Steelers added wide receiver Anthony Miller to the team’s practice squad Reserve/COVID-19 list. That followed on the heels of adding practice squad safety Karl Joseph to the ledger earlier in the day. The Steelers currently have four practice squad players on the COVID-19 reserve list, including offensive lineman Malcolm Pridgeon and wide receiver Steven Sims.

Meanwhile, five roster players also remain sidelined due to COVID-19: linebacker Marcus Allen, offensive tackle Zach Banner, defensive end Isaiah Buggs, inside linebacker Devin Bush Jr. and running back Anthony McFarland Jr.

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