Time Will Tell If \”Old Mann\” Will Be Good For Steelers \”Young Money Crew\”

Richard Mann Steelers Wide Receivers CoachIt was announced on Wednesday that long-time NFL assistant Richard Mann will be the new Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers coach. This means that that two-thirds of the “Young Money Crew” will get an “Old Mann” as their second position coach since coming into the league as Mann is 65 years of age.

A lot of Steelers fans seem to be upset with Mann being the choice and they point to his age and him being out of coaching since the 2009 season ended as the main reasons why they don\’t like the hiring.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin worked with Mann during his time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers so there is your familiarity factor. It is not uncommon for coaches to gravitate towards other coaches that they have worked with in the past and this late in the offseason, it is just a week before the NFL combine mind you, the pickings are not what they were three weeks ago. Like it or not, the NFL is an incestuous business as far as front offices and coaching staffs go.

Until Mann speaks to the media we can only guess as to why he has been out of the league for the last three seasons. Perhaps he just wanted a break or perhaps his phone just wasn\’t ringing. We don\’t know. Even though he hasn\’t been part of a staff, Mann has been close to the game as he has been assisting and consulting players as they prepare for the NFL Draft. In addition to that, it should be noted that his son, Richard Mann II, is currently a scout for the Washington Redskins.

When it seemed as if Mann might be exiting Tampa Bay following the 2009 season, Buccaneers running back Earnest Graham told 1010 Sports Radio in Tampa back in January of 2010 that Mann “would be a big loss, if we did lose him.” Graham also reportedly said in that same interview that Mann is a soft-spoken guy with a powerful locker room presence and made it clear that when Mann did address the team, or a group of players,¬†that every¬†player was listening to him.

Mann, when hired by the Buccaneers back in 2002, was widely regarded as one of the top receivers coaches in the league, according to Len Pasquarelli, who added that he is a stickler for detail, and a coach who always stresses the proper technique. That sounds exactly like what the Steelers wide receivers need right now and I am sure that you would agree.

Scottie Montgomery, while many of us outside of the walls of the Steelers facility never really knew much about him, seemed by all appearances to be a player-friendly coach. Montgomery had also only been the league for just three years and you have to wonder how much impact Hines Ward had in the development of Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders during that span of time. Maybe Montgomery was too player-friendly? We really don\’t know.

It won\’t hurt to have a veteran coach coaching that positional group right now. Mann knows the game and it is hard to believe that it has passed him by being as he has remained close to it the last three years. He has worked with some big name wide receivers and tight ends during his 28 years in the league and will now get a chance to turn Brown, Sanders, and potentially an early round draft pick, into big names as well.

Passing judgment on Mann because of his age and time away from the game-day sidelines is pretty ludicrous. Whether or not you like the hire doesn\’t really matter at this point. He is the new Steelers wide receivers coach with a clean slate right now. After the 2013 season is complete we shall see if this hire was a good one or not.

  • Jollyrob68

    I don’t know why people are upset. This team needs two things Leaders and a youth movement. They’ll get the leadership from experienced coaches and youth from the players. Lets see what the season holds before everyone jumps off the cliff.
    I for one think it appears as a smart hire. We fans complained and witnessed the receivers being undisciplined & unfocused. Well, heres a man by all accounts is detailed oriented and has coached some outstanding WR. Just what we need.

  • RMSteeler

    If he can do with the receivers what Carnell Lake has/is doing with the secondary, I’ll watch with great interest what discipline this Isle of Mann brings.

  • Bob Loblaw

    People complain all year about lack of discipline and focus on the team, then whine when they bring in someone who stresses technique?

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    One of the advantages of hiring an “old school” coach is that he has seen hundreds of NFL receivers come and go. He has (hopefully) picked up hundreds of little pointers along the way, not only from the players, but from other head coaches, or other offensive coordinators, or defensive coordinators, or retired alumni receivers.

    I don’t care about him being 65, or about him out of the league for 4 years, or if he meshes well with young money. If he can get our WR’s to stop dropping/fumbling the damn ball, it’s a good hire. If he can teach our WR’s how to draw more pass interference penalties, it’s a good hire. If he can teach our WR’s how to be more physical and fight for the ball without getting penalized, it’s a good hire. If not, it’s a bad hire.

  • zyzak

    Dicl LeBeau has been in the league continuously fo over 50 years. Tomlin doesn’t like the local media or else he would have a presser and reveal why he made this guy the WR coach.

  • SteelSpine

    I’m still waiting for a reporter in a press conference to ask Tomlin (or any Steeler coach or the FO) what plan does Tomlin have to toughen up our current WRs. As Dan Kadunce wrote above, haven’t found any quote yet from coaches about how they plan to toughen up our existing WRs. Maybe Tomlin has said specifically how he is going to start to toughen up or discipline young money crew & I haven’t heard/read Tomlin answer that question. I say Tomlin because Tomlin is who benched RBs. (Yet other positions’ players who needed strong message sent, were not benched.) I don’t know yet if a next WR coach will have authority.

    I too am optimistic for new WR coach. Musical chairs in offseasons recycling position coaches from other teams has always gone on w all teams, each hirer optimistic. The hirings can be spun either way anyone wants to spin it. Btw, can find players on every team who say same quote about their team’s current coaches “would be a loss if we lose our current _____ coach”. (What do you expect players on their team to say, “coach is worthless so get rid of him & no other team should fight to hire him for 3 years”?, heheh). But I do like that someone said he was a stickler for details, so I don’t blame the posters already sucking up to him on here. (Btw good thing he goes by his formal name Richard, insteada Dick Mann.)

  • steeltown


    The only two things I want… experience and attention to detail

    done and done

  • steeltown

    I like the fact that in all likelihood we will be drafting a WR.. Mann will get to groom a kid from the start, that plus A.Browns work ethic could turn into something special.. time will tell

  • Rubem Dornas

    I totally agree!

  • SteelerFanInMD

    Maybe Mike Tomlin thought the Steelers young receivers were too immature to keep focus. Hiring an older coach would provide a father figure to mentor them in addition to his vast coaching experience.

  • Do you just make up everything you post?

  • SteelSpine

    I don’t recall posters criticizing age of Mann. They criticized that if the being local (or tie with Tomlin) leapfrogged any available coach in NFL or college who might be better. (But most of those were probly snatched up before now). So it’s odd that posters on this thread all jumped on some “age controversy” which doesn’t exist. There is no age controversy regarding Richard Mann.

  • charles

    RM if Mann can do half of what Carnell Lake has done he will be a superb addition. I however have my doubts. I am suspicious of this hire but will remain open minded until we see what he will do with the talent that he has. Further I think that this is Tomlin’s big year. His players, his coaches. I am pulling harder for Tomlin than anybody, except maybe Woodley.