PITTSBURGH — Adrian Klemm’s untimely departure from the Steelers certainly perked ears up. However, for Mike Tomlin and the company, it was just normal business. As Klemm went off to Eugene, Oregon, it gave assistant offensive line coach Chris Morgan two games to leave an impression on Tomlin and the staff.
As the Steelers put up their best rushing effort of the season, Morgan impressed in his first showing. Center J.C. Hassenauer said that Morgan brought the tight ends and running backs into the meeting room more than Klemm ever did. For Matt Canada, the impressive job that Morgan led the offensive line to in their first game under his tutelage was no surprise.
“Obviously, he gets a lot of credit because he stepped into the role, and we were able to play well, and we were more productive in the running game,” Canada said. “C-Mo’s has been very involved the whole time. We didn’t change anything dramatically in our approach. But I do think — his energy and certainly the guys responded. So certainly, appreciative of what he did and happy that we got to win.”
Canada was not the only one who was impressed by what Morgan showcased on Monday, however. Head Coach Mike Tomlin gave Morgan his due props for an offensive line performance that was surprising. With the Steelers still down Kevin Dotson and with a new center, it says a lot about Morgan that the offensive line was able to do what they did against the Browns.
“I thought he had a tremendous impact,” Tomlin said. “I don’t want to overstate it obviously. He ran the offensive line room and made critical decisions regarding the division of labor and formulation of the plan. He’ll do similar things this week. We had a great run day. But that’s just a day. I’m looking forward to watching his contributions and our plan developed this week and an end to that body of work.”
If he can build upon it and string together two solid games in a row, Morgan has a very good shot to get the job properly this offseason. The Steelers will do a search for their offensive line coach, but Morgan, who has plenty of experience with the Falcons, might be an in-house hire waiting to happen.