Steelers Hire Former Chiefs, Cowboys Tight End as Assistant

Alfredo Roberts

Photo by Getty Images Alfredo Roberts.

On Monday the Pittsburgh Steelers announced the hiring of Alfredo Roberts as the team’s new tight ends coach. He replaces James Daniel, who retired two weeks ago after 17 seasons with the black & gold.

Roberts, 55, has 17 years of coaching experience in the NFL, most recently with the Los Angeles Chargers, with whom he spent the last four years. In fact, he was the Chargers’ running backs coach from 2017-19, where he coached Steelers fullback Derek Watt. Last year he served as tight ends coach for Los Angeles.

Roberts began his NFL coaching career as tight ends coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars (2003-06). Then he served as tight ends coach for the Cleveland Browns for two seasons, after which he moved on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for three years. Finally, he worked with the tight ends for the Indianapolis Colts for four seasons (2012-15). In one of those years (2014), two Colts tight ends—Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener—had eight touchdowns each.

Alfredo Roberts’ NFL Playing Career

Alfredo Roberts came into the NFL in 1988 as an 8th-round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs. He played in Kansas City for three years before moving on to the Dallas Cowboys, where he blocked for Cowboys Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith and was a part of two Super Bowl teams under Jimmy Johnson (1992, 1993). A foot injury landed him on injured reserve in 1993 and ended his playing career in 1994.

Over the course of his six-year NFL career Roberts started 36 games and appeared in 44 others, catching a total of 48 passes for 450 yards and two touchdowns.

After his playing career was over, he began his coaching journey with a stop at Florida Atlantic University, where he served as a recruiter and then a tight ends coach and wide receivers coach.

In college at the University of Miami, Roberts was a part of two national championship teams, one of which was coached by the aforementioned Jimmy Johnson. He primarily served as a blocking tight end, catching just 29 passes for 296 yards and four touchdowns during his college career.

Steelers Coaching Vacancies

Meanwhile, on Tuesday evening the Steelers confirmed long-anticipated news that quarterbacks coach Matt Canada has been elevated to offensive coordinator, replacing Randy Fichter, whose contract was not renewed.

Even after the hiring of Roberts and Canada, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin still has several vacancies on his coaching staff. He needs an offensive line coach and a new defensive backs coach as Shaun Sarrett (OL) and Tom Bradley (DBs) have not been retained. He is also in the market for a quarterbacks coach to replace Canada, who will not do double-duty, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Devlin Hodges Signs With the Rams

Also on Tuesday came official confirmation that former Steelers quarterback Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges has signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Rams. Hodges broke the news himself on Monday with a tweet from his verified Twitter account.

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