2017 Offseason Questions: How Big Will Loss Of Richard Mann Be?

The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss.

And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the offseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.

Question: How significant will the loss of wide receivers coach Richard Mann be after this season?

Last week, Steelers veteran wide receivers coach Richard Mann confirmed again that he intends to retire after the 2017 season. Some believed that he was going to retire after last season, but he told reporters that he came back one more year looking for another Super Bowl ring (after winning one with the Buccaneers in 2002).

Last year, of course, the Steelers had major issues with injuries at the wide receiver position, with Antonio Brown being the only player to stay healthy and be productive from the start of the season to the finish line. The second starter was never stabilized for a variety of reasons.

Mann evidently wants to see what he can get out of this wide receiver group at full capacity, believing that they have enough firepower to win the Super Bowl. That is certainly nice to hear, and he has proven over his tenure with the Steelers that he has the ability to get quite a bit out of his players.

So how big a blow will it be when he calls it a career and Pittsburgh has to find somebody else to coach their wide receivers? They certainly don’t have anybody in-house that would seem to be anything close to a lateral move to fill the position.

The Steelers have had three wide receivers coaches under Mike Tomlin, beginning with Randy Fichtner, who came in with the head coach in 2007. He moved to take over the quarterbacks in 2010 when Ken Anderson retired, and Scottie Montgomery was brought in to coach the wide receivers after spending four years coaching receivers at Duke.

Montgomery returned to Duke in 2013 as an assistant head coach, and now has a head-coaching gig with East Carolina, but it was interesting that they brought in an established veteran like Mann after having two relatively inexperienced coaches at the wide receiver position at the NFL level. What approach will they take to replace him?

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • pittsburghjoe

    I think he is a very good coach, however his value may be overestimated. For comparison sake, I would say the Munchak would be a bigger loss. His impact on the line was clearly apparent. They were horrible up to the point of his arrival, and a pretty immediate turn around happened shortly afterwards. Yes, other factors are involved with Much’s success, like high draft picks.

  • StolenUpVotes

    We all know who the fan favorite would be, but I’m not so sure he’d be the best hire at this point

  • pittsburghjoe

    Do you mean Heinze? I want a detail oriented, educator and motivator. I think he can motivate, but not real sure of his technical and educational skills. I would think there is a learning curve as well and wish that time has already been put in.

  • StolenUpVotes

    Yes. Let him get into coaching first before we start giving him positions to coach in the NFL

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Our WR group was a disaster when Mann came to Pittsburgh and to see Montgomery go was not a bad thing IMO. It took Mann one spring training to turn a weakness on this team into a strength. However with that it will depend on Mann’s replacement. If the replacement is a Scottie Montgomery it will be a big loss.

  • Ralph Wagner

    So Mann’s retirement will be the topic this year? just say’n

    Go Steelers .. May the receivers have a Super Bowl Winning season.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    we have 3 of the best coaches in the nfl in munchak, mann, and mitchell.
    of the superstar players we had over the last 15 years, we’ve alienated 3 of them in troy, hines and randle el. if the fo could finally right these wrongs, we could use hines or randle el as a wr coach.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    thats partly because sanders was a douche.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    he’s a hall of famer. they know about him.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Who is the principal WR scout?

  • Douglas Andrews

    Yeah no way a guy with an Economics degree along with the most receiving yards and TD’s in Steelers history can be detail oriented or a technician as a WR Coach. All he’ll be able to do is motivate players.

  • John Pennington

    Hire Randy Moss as receiver coach he already runs his on camp and he could teach the young receivers how to play the game especially the tall receivers,.This would be a good signing.

  • RickM

    It’s like every other occupation in life; not all coaches have equal abilities. There’s no doubt Richard is a good one. As for how much he’ll be missed, it depends on whom they hire to replace him. We’ve definitely seen ‘hits’ and ‘misses’ on positional coaches, most visibly in the O-Line hires. Hopefully we can find a good replacement for Mann.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Man Up for Mann? Hey, whatever drives them to the Super Bowl right? Doesn’t seem to work for offensive linemen (Flozell, Starks).

  • Luke Shabro

    Alienated? A bit of hyperbole there. Just because they could play WR doesnt mean they can coach it. Hell DHB might be a great option

  • VaDave

    You can add Saxon to the list.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    id have zero issue with dhb being a coaching assistant for a few years as a wr coach.

  • Craig M

    I think his loss will be felt more than if Haley were to leave. IMO

  • Michael Mosgrove

    thats one thats argueable. we’ve had some iffy running backs over last few 5 years.
    2013
    felix jones, isaac redman, bell, larod stephens howling, chris rainey, alvester alexander, baron batch
    2014
    dri archer, the douchebag pat who will not be named, bell, ben tate, larod stephens howling, alvester alexander
    2015
    dri archer, jordan toddman, fitz, bell, dwill, pead, heard, stephens howling, stingily