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Steelers Have Rising Star on Defensive Coaching Staff

Pittsburgh Steelers secondary coach Grady Brown is on a fast-rising upward trajectory.



Steelers Grady Brown
Pittsburgh Steelers secondary coach Grady Brown, center, talks to cornerback Levi Wallace (29) and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (39) on the sideline during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

The Pittsburgh Steelers have not had many assistants poached from their staff to head to other teams in recent years. That is especially true for position coaches who become coordinators elsewhere. But it seems a member of the defensive staff could end that soon. Secondary coach Grady Brown is considered highly in league circles and could be a sleeper to land a defensive coordinator gig.

CBS Sports listed Brown as under-the-radar on staff that could end up being interviewed and landing a role as a coordinator.

“Coming off his third year as the Steelers’ secondary coach, a role in which he’s overseen career marks from Minkah Fitzpatrick and learned under Mike Tomlin, Brown also has an extensive college resume that includes coordinator experience. Pittsburgh stalwarts like Cameron Heyward have credited Brown with helping the Steelers stay afloat in 2023 amid injuries,” they wrote.

The personnel has not always been sterling, but Brown gets the most out of his personnel. Joey Porter Jr.’s growth is apparent in the positives, and the improvement of Patrick Peterson over the season, as he worked into his new role, showcases some of that development. Even Cam Sutton had more of a down year in Detroit compared to 2022 under Brown.

Brown joined the Steelers following the 2021 season and has been the team’s secondary coach for three seasons. The first hint of the interest in Brown as something more than just a position came when he was selected to be the defensive coordinator of the National Team at the Senior Bowl a year ago.

The Senior Bowl traditionally used the entire coaching staffs of two different NFL teams to run the event. But starting last year, it’s different, as a select group of assistants from around the league will come together as a coaching staff. Most choices involve promotions for individuals to showcase their ability to coach at a higher level than they currently work.

“All of us as assistant coaches, we’re being evaluated right now the same as the players are being evaluated,” Brown said. “We need to be able to put our best foot forward. I told the guys in the meeting that they’ll get our best effort, because this is job interviews for everybody at this point.”

Brown has aspirations to reach higher than as a secondary coach where he is now. He will likely get that promotion at some point, especially with Pittsburgh’s secondary playing better than the sum of their parts each season.