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Jaguars Fire Former Steelers Cornerback



Steelers CB DeShea Townsend
Jaguars head coach Doug Peterson with defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell, Oct. 29, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

On Monday, the Jaguars announced that former Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend was fired as part of their series of firings. Head coach Doug Pederson decided to fire defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell, and he moved on from the entire defensive staff as a result, and Townsend was part of the cuts. He held the title of defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator.

Townsend has been coaching the NFL for over a decade now, earning the secondary coach title in Chicago in 2019 and propelling that into the gig in Jacksonville. But a poor defense contributed to the collapse of the Jaguars season, which helped propel the Steelers into the playoffs. Townsend held previous stints in a similar role with the New York Giants, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals and Mississippi State University.

Townsend played 12 seasons in Pittsburgh after being selected in the fourth round of the 1998 NFL Draft out of Alabama. He recorded 449 total tackles, 21 interceptions, 15.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and three defensive touchdowns over his career. He started his career a sub-package corner, but despite his 5-foot-10 stature, worked his way into a starting role.

He started 80 games in his NFL career, all with the Steelers, including Super Bowl XL after the 2005 season, when he had a sack and six tackles. Townsend also had an interception in the Steelers’ AFC Championship win over Baltimore in the 2008 AFC Championship Game, on the way to a Super Bowl XLIII win.

In addition to Townsend being fired, former Steelers defensive lineman and coaching intern Brentson Buckner was fired. He was the team’s defensive line coach under Caldwell. Buckner played in Pittsburgh from 1994 to 1996, and has found success in the NFL as a coach, latching on with the Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders, and lastly, the Jaguars in his coaching tenure. He was on Mike Tomlin’s staff from 2010 to 2013.