The Steelers will enter the 2013 season with their third special teams coordinator in the past year as Amos Jones has been hired by the Arizona Cardinals to fill the same position.
According to the Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News, which first reported the move, Jones will be reunited with new Arizona head coach Bruce Arians, whom he worked with as an assistant coach at the University of Alabama under Bear Bryant, Temple University and with the Steelers.
Jones was an original member of head coach Mike Tomlin’s first staff with the Steelers in 2007, joining the team as assistant special teams coach under Bob Ligashesky.
He retained that position despite the fact that Ligashesky was fired following the 2009 season when he was replaced by Al Everest.
Jones was elevated to special teams coordinator last August when Everest was abruptly fired in the preseason.
The Steelers struggled this season on special teams drawing a number of critical penalties while also having a punt blocked and two successful fake punts run against them.
But placekicker Shaun Suisham also had his best season, making 28 of 31 field goals, with two of the three misses coming from beyond 50 yards.
Jones’ departure leaves Tomlin with at least two positions to fill on his staff. Offensive line coach Sean Kugler left at the end of the regular season after accepting the head coaching position at the University of Texas-El Paso.
Tomlin also said at the end of the season that he might explore hiring a second special teams coach as well.
The Steelers scouts and coaches were in Alabama this week to attend Saturday’s Senior Bowl.