Kirby Wilson Thought A Change Of Scenery Was Best For Both Parties

It was reported on Saturday that Kirby Wilson will no longer be the Pittsburgh Steelers running backs coach as he is expected to assume the same position with the Minnesota Vikings. Saturday evening, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network shared some of what Wilson had to say about the Steelers and his decision to leave.

Wilson reportedly thanked head coach Mike Tomlin and the Steelers “family”, saying that they “were integral in my recovery from my accident two years ago.”

As far as his decision to leave Pittsburgh after seven seasons, Wilson said, “I got to a point in the progression of my career where I felt a change of scenery might be best for all parties.”

Wilson, as expected, also called the Steelers “the class of the NFL” and he made sure to also thank all of the fans.

“Lastly, a big thank you to Steelers Nation… the best fans in the NFL.”

It has been rumored for several weeks that Wilson might not return next season even though he still had one year left on his contract. He interviewed for the Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator job this past week, but did not get it.

We can only really speculate as to why Wilson felt that he needed a change of scenery. The popular belief seems to be that he wasn’t getting along with offensive coordinator Todd Haley, but as of right now, there’s no proof or reports to support that theory. Perhaps the real reason will surface over the course of the next few days or weeks.

  • Iron Cadet

    At least he’s not in Baltimore. Maybe a change is the best thing for both parties

  • Brian Tollini

    For those blaming Haley, it might be easy, but it also might be false. Regardless, he left with class.

  • gene mann

    Never burn bridges.

  • Anthony Renzelli

    I realize a position coach can only make a minimal impact when the cupboard is pretty much bare, but it’s not like this guy was getting any spectacular production out of our backs the past few years. Maybe a new running back coach will be an upgrade?

  • tequila0341

    Sort of natural that Haley would eventually look to add his own assistants, and that Arians’ guys would feel uncomfortable and look to move on. Rare to have a coordinator step into a situation without being able to bring some of his own guys onboard.

    Tomlin’s ability to step into Cowher’s team in his first year and command loyalty from both players and coaches was remarkable.

  • r8erh8er

    Funny…earlier this year I made a comment on this site that it was time for kirby to move on and one of the writers here said I was ridiculous and overreacting followed by a bunch of you sheep piling on, now that he’s leaving I don’t see a single person trying to justify why he should stay.

  • Guest

    Me as well when Tomlin was ripping Dwyer I was wondering with the heck Kirby was doing to help Dwyer obviously nothing.

  • John A Stewart

    Me as well when Tomlin was ripping Dwyer I was wondering what the heck was Kirby doing to help Dwyer obviously nothing let him go.


    Who were those bahhhhhhhhstards…………….

  • Jollyrob68

    Not all were loyal that’s why Faneca left.

  • TheBurgh805


  • gene mann

    he gone who cares why it now it who they will add

  • Douglas Andrews

    Coach Kirb has always represented himself well. Wish him nothing but the best.

  • Shea Fahr

    Regardless of what changes are made on offense with players, coaches, trainers, janitors, food service or parking lot attendants, someone always has to mention Haley in the conversation…and I am really not sure why.

  • Shea Fahr

    Yes, Thank You….

  • Shea Fahr

    Because you are the only Steeler Scholar that frequents this site…that is why…

  • Shea Fahr

    Does Dick Hoak have a Son??…a Grandson???..Being a good Human to other Humans is a really cool thing but let’s get a true RB coach back up in here!!

  • Jason White

    Because a large portion of fans have this irrational belief that Haley is the anti-christ. Funny thing that Ben was hardly sacked in the second half of the season and Ben was getting the ball out quicker and the anti-Haley Arians butt kissers have been quick to say it was all Ben because he was calling the plays in the no-huddle. Its quite amusing because I remember Ben running the no-huddle when Arians was the OC and it never changed the fact that Ben was gonna get sacked a ton. Haley is what’s best for Ben and what’s best for Ben is what’s best for the Steelers. If the run game gets off to a good start in 2014 the Steelers offense is gonna surprise a lot of people and if the defense eliminates for the most part the explosive plays I think the Steelers are good for at least 11-5 perhaps even 12-4.

  • steeltown

    Good for him, wish him well

  • joed32

    For more money, players aren’t so loyal that dollars don’t come first.

  • r8erh8er

    I’m no scholar…just right on this one. Reason; Since early 2000 Kirby has only coached below average RB groups, been with the team 5 years with no reliable runner produced, O-line coach had been changed a few times and still Kirby was given a pass by most. Just because Mendenhall racked up yards doesn’t mean he was a reliable runner – prior to this year when was the last time you felt comfortable with the team facing 3&3 and able to convert.

    With the sheep comment all you have to do is read others comments! Readers have a tendency to agree with the writers and just go with the flow; recent example I don’t recall anyone here saying the name Kelvin Benjamin until Dave Bryan said it on one of his podcasts and guess what – almost everyone wants Benjamin now. Most people are sheep!

  • Chad H

    I’m with you on this one. The year his house caught on fire I was hoping he would be fired. Then when he was caught in the fire getting his family out I knew the Steelers would keep him. I never thought he was helping us in the run game. The Steelers are a class act when they helped him get back on his feet.

  • Parish Chandler

    Steeler’s front office PLEASE get rid of Haley…..he is not of “steeler” blood…not many people see any benefit to his being placed in the job…we’re going to lose some great folks because of his mediocre-ness

  • Callentown

    I’ll say this now before we start to see interviews to replace Coach Wilson:

    IF the coaches that have worked with Haley in the past are willing to work with him again, that has meaning.

    IF, on the other hand, those same candidates are all reluctant to come to the Steelers and work with him again, that also has meaning.

    So, we shall see..

  • charles

    Excellent comment r8erh8er.

  • Bob Graff

    I don’t know what season you just watched???? What i saw was Ben just start running his own stuff during the 2nd half of the season and Haley’s ridiculous offensives pushed to the way-side.What happen was Ben was able to put pressure on the other team by scoring points early , then the defense starting getting turnovers and the 2nd half of the season was born. Haley is an idiot Ben should be calling his own plays he has 10 fold if not 100 fold the experience Haley has.

  • Bob Graff

    I’ll say this ask the Cowboys or the KC if they would like Haley’s services????

  • Jason White

    Ben doesn’t just have his own playbook where he picks “his own stuff” from. The no huddle is a menu of plays from Todd Haley’s system. The players know what plays they are. Ben doesn’t just have some Madden playbook with a few hundred plays he picks from at any given time. Like I said Ben ran the no-huddle when Arians was here and didn’t get the reduced sacks and efficient results that he consistently produced the 2nd half of the season. I guess Ben’s stuff wasn’t up to par back then.

  • Ike Evans


  • sean mcmartin

    considering the running game has been so average, Its a good change for both teams

  • 20Stoney

    C’mon Jason White. Everyone knows Ben just draws those plays in the dirt!

  • Jason White

    He draws it up in his imagination across the center’s back just moments before the snap. lol

  • Shannon Stephenson

    we won 6 of the last 8 games and could have done better if the defense was on track. Haley (outside of the first few weeks) has no blame in this seasons failures.

  • Jason White

    To be fair to Ben, what he does and does it better than anyone else is improvise. Those are plays you don’t draw up. Ben might enjoy those school yard scramble drills I pretty sure he doesn’t call a play saying “Well I’m gonna take the ball, get smacked upside the head by a defender without it drawing a flag, then I’m gonna make two tacklers miss, then step up in the pocket while pump faking until my arm takes flight into space and then I’m gonna pull it back and run to the right and throw on the move and make it look hard just to give the fans irregular heartbeats.” lol

  • Jason White

    Totally agree with you. I truly believe if the defense would have cut those explosive plays in half then they wouldn’t have allowed bad teans to hang around and ultimately win the game. They definately gotta quit giving up a 10-12 yard cushion on 3rd and short. I’m getting awfully tired of screaming at the television on a constant basis. lol

  • Bob Graff

    You might not want to believe this but they are pro players and yes they can do a ton of stuff clear on the fly.

  • Bob Graff

    no he draws it up with the 2 decades of experience not to mention the the experience that comes with 3 trips to the Superbowl.

  • Bob Graff

    Believe it or not sometimes they do make them up on the fly. But you may very well be the type of guy who needs someone to spell it out for you.

  • Jason White

    You clearly don’t want to believe it but Haley’s system should allow Ben to play the next 5 years should he choose to. If you’re saying it’s all Ben and Haley sucks then where are these seasons under Arians that Ben played with such decent protection? Ben gets credit for the excecution but its still Haley’s system that he’s calling the plays from.

  • Bob Graff

    few u mean 8

  • Bob Graff

    I watch enough tape to know that ben was operating outside of Haley’s play-calling the 2nd half of last season except for, some reason the dolphin game.

  • DrakePirate


  • CrazyTerry

    I am not a Haley basher. But no blame at all? All the coaches deserve blame. Danny Smith has been a nice upgrade at Special teams and even his STs had some blunders in a loss or two late in the season. Haley’s coaching was too slow to adapt early in the season.So he deserves some blame definitely. But give him credit for working with Ben. I believe Haley’s presence creates a chip on Ben’s shoulder in a healthy way to get some ownership over the offense in a way.
    Arians is a good head coach, but he wasn’t a very good OC with us.

  • CrazyTerry

    And Ben and his WRs were missing each other on some wide open long pass plays that Haley did call early in the season. Haley has to share in the blame, but let’s spread the blame.

  • CrazyTerry

    Faneca also was not onboard Tomlin’s hiring. He seemed to take it personally that Grimm wasn’t hired.

  • Virdin Barzey

    I agree. The fact that he went to Baltimore to interview was a surprise to me. Kinda like when Harrison went to Baltimore. Nevertheless, Kirby seems like a really nice guy and I have never called for his firing but have always questioned if he was getting thru to these running backs.

    Here’s a few that I always question.
    1. Why was it that Mendenhall run high on goal line plays. Any RB should know that you need to get low but not Mendy. He not only ran high but he would come to a complete stop on his own at the goal line and try to find a hole.

    2. Why did Mendy always run to the edges and not thru the middle? Since he got clocked by Ray, he always seem to run scared.

    3. Why is it that Dwyer has such bad vision and can’t see and hit the right hole? He’s been this way for a while and still can’t get it straight.

    4. Why did Mendy continue to hold the football like a loaf of bread and give it up over and over until it cost us big in the Superbowl? Fumbles became a major issue for Redman as well.

    Look Kirby wasn’t dealt a great hand with talent until Bell but these had less to do with talent and more to coaching up. I’m just not sure what was getting thru to these guys. Didn’t seem like much. Could be wrong. I think Mikey T. got rid of Kirby since we all know he has no tolerance for fumbles.

    Just look at what he does when a RB fumbles. He obviously don’t like it and think its a coaching issue that Kirby has not resolved. Mike is done and so is Kirby in the Burgh.

  • mokhkw

    No prizes for guessing which writer that was.

  • Jazz

    Good Luck Kirby

  • Jazz

    Lets not judge this guy based off Rashard Mendenhall. Mendenhall was a basket case. Enough said.


    I think Kirby knows had he not had the accident the OC job would likely be his…on areas where he and Haley may have had a different viewpoint it’s tougher to accept I think…Jazz beings out a good point…a lot of times Ben would be talking with Kirby during TOs vs Haley.

    I’m not a big Haley guy, but the OFC is going in the right direction…I would not make a change unless we continue to lose other position coaches on OFC and it’s rumored to be b/c of Haley.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I guess for me to say “no blame” is a bit overkill but going by just the offense we should have made the playoffs in my honest opinion.

  • Arthur Branch

    Not being on-board cost Faneca a Super Bowl ring.

  • joed32


  • Iron Cadet

    its been reported that kirby wilson sat down with the ravens coaching staff and basically just picked apart the steelers run game