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The Pittsburgh Steelers have parted
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers have parted ways with running backs coach James Saxon.Coach Mike Tomlin announced Monday that the team opted not to renew Saxon’s contract for the 2019 season. Saxon spent five years with the Steelers after coming over from the Minnesota Vikings.Pittsburgh’s running backs thrived under Saxon. Le’Veon Bell reached the Pro Bowl three times in his four seasons with Saxon. When Bell opted to sit out the 2018 season after declining to sign his one-year franchise tag Vince Williams Jersey , second-year back James Conner filled in capably. Conner ran for 973 yards and 12 touchdowns, but was limited in the second half of the season because of injuries.Saxon’s departure marks the second dismissal among the coaching staff since the Steelers went 9-6-1 and missed the playoffs. The team fired outside linebackers coach Joey Porter last Friday. Given the productivity of the player the two rookies will replace, both Diontae Johnson and Zach Gentry have a lot to live up to in Pittsburgh."With the selection of Zach Gentry in the fifth-round on Saturday, the Pittsburgh Steelers have finally used the second of the two picks they received from the Oakland Raiders as part of the trade of Antonio Brown earlier in the year. A deal that effectively turned out to be a swap of the best wide receiver in the NFL for a Diontae Johnson and giant of a tight end from Michigan. For those who feel the Steelers gave their star receiver away on the cheap Zach Gentry Pittsburgh Steelers Jersey , the real value of the trade will now be determined by how productive these two young prospects prove to be. And while it is far too early to project what the future might hold for either player, it will be a tough task for either player to match the numbers AB put up in the Steelers offense.Long before Pittsburgh linked Johnson to Brown for all eternity with the first of the pick they received for letting him go, the Toledo product had heard the comparisons to AB before, including from the Steelers during his meetings with them ahead of the draft. Given his size and hailing from a MAC school Zach Gentry Pittsburgh Steelers Jersey , the wideout with kick return skills was an obvious comparison to the former Pittsburgh star on paper. A fact not lost on Johnson when talking to the local media on Friday,With Johnson also noting that the Steelers had discussed the skills that make Brown such a great receiver when they had met.Simply being the same size and coming from the same conference is far from enough to suggest the second coming of AB, but it would appear that wide receiver coach Daryl Drake is extremely happy with his new player.If the Steelers are ultimately to be judged the winners of the Brown trade, it will not only be up to Johnson to prove his worth Zach Gentry Jersey 2019 , but expectations for Gentry might need to be tempered in the early going considering his relative inexperience. As a converted former quarterback with only few years of playing the position under the belt, it seems like a big ask to expect him to be a significant contributor in the initial stages of his professional career. When speaking to the media about the latest addition to his position room, while tight ends coach James Daniel was excited about the pick, his description of the player was far less encouraging that Drake’s glowing praise of Johnson.And when asked about his skills as a receiver and his talents as a blocker Black Zach Gentry Jersey , Daniel's description suggests Gentry still has a lot to learn.Time will tell, but Johnson may yet have to do most of the heavy lifting if the Steelers are to be consider the winner of the Brown trade in the long-term.
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