Eric Edholm of Pro Football Weekly reports on Friday that former Pittsburgh Steelers special teams coach Al Everest, who was fired on Thursday, told the outlet that his dismissal was because of “professional differences” with the team.
Reportedly Everest would not go into specifics and would only be quoted as saying, “It’s a professional differences deal. I’ll proceed from here. That’s where it is right now.”
Edholm reports that Everest was asked about the timing of his termination and if he was surprised by it. “It was a surprise for me, but the bottom line is that it was about professional differences,” said Everest per PFW.
Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports on Friday that Everest told him that his firing had nothing to do with the decision to take wide receiver Antonio Brown off the kickoff and punt return teams.
Special teams assistant Amos Jones, who head coach Mike Tomlin hired back in 2007 after he was named head coach, will now replace Everest. Thursday evening the Tomlin released a written statement concerning the firing of Everest that read: “We are continually evaluating our coaching staff and support staff, and we have decided to go in a different direction with respect to the coaching of our special teams. I want to thank Al for his contributions and efforts, and I wish him well in the future.”
Everest evidently might feel that he was wrongly terminated and Edholm reports that he hinted that he might pursue some sort of action moving forward. “I\’ve got to pursue my course of action, and they’ve obviously taken theirs,” Everest said via PFW. “Hopefully it works itself out.”
Everest was hired by the Steelers prior to the 2010 season after Bob Ligashesky was fired following a dismal 2009 season for special teams.
As we pointed out this morning and today on the podcast, there was likely more to this move than just poor special teams play in the preseason and that appears to be the case. I doubt we have heard the last of this and I am sure Everest will talk more down the road.