It was announced today that Pittsburgh Steelers’ Special Teams Assistant Coach Amos Jones will fill in for Kirby Wilson who was badly injured in a fire at his home. The accident happened on January 6th just days before the Steelers traveled to Denver for their AFC Wild-Card game with the Broncos.
Wilson suffered severe burns over 30-50% of his body but thankfully, they were not considered life-threatening. Still, Wilson is not fully recovered and will need more time to heal. Jones, who is 52 years old, was a safety and running back at the University of Alabama and played under legendary Head Coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant.
His coaching travels have seen him in the college ranks, most recently at Mississippi State, and in the professional ranks in Canada. He has been on the Steelers’ staff since 2007.
With no official timetable set for his return, it will be interesting to watch the development of the running backs on the team this offseason.
Rashard Mendenhall continues to recover from ACL surgery and figures to be on the PUP list to start the new season. Any work that he does between now and then will be mainly rehab, however that won’t be the case the rest of the ball carriers on the roster.
Young players like Isaac Redman, John Clay, Jonathan Dwyer, and 2nd year back Baron Batch won’t have the expertise of Wilson to rely on for the time being as they work to improve their game in what figures to be a tough battle come training camp. While Amos Jones will do a fine job I’m sure in the interim; depending on how long Wilson is out yet, the development of the running backs could be hampered to some degree.