Why the Steelers fired OL coach Jack Bicknell
The Steelers’ decision to fire offensive line coach Jack Bicknell after just one season might come as a surprise because of the steady improvement of the offensive line in the second half of the year.
However, the move is not surprising because Bicknell’s role slowly diminished after the Steelers had problems protecting Ben Roethlisberger and running the football in the first half of the season.
In fact, for most of the second half of the season, offensive assistant Shaun Sarrett was doing a lot of the instruction and daily handling of the offensive line – duties normally performed by the offensive line coach.
What’s more, it did not help Bicknell’s cause that the outside zone blocking schemes that were to be a large part of the team’s revamped running scheme were non-existent once the regular season began.
Curiously, the offensive line improved as the season wore on.
After allowing 36 sacks in the first nine games, the Steelers allowed just seven in the final seven games. And the running game that averaged just 3.4 yards in the first 11 games averaged 4.1 yards in the final five games.
But the Steelers apparently believed that Bicknell was not the reason for the improvement.