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Steelers Tight Ends Coach James Daniel Retires

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Steelers tight ends coach James Daniel will retire following the end of the 2020 season, the team announced on Thursday.

Daniel, 67, spent the last 17 seasons with the Steelers, all of them as tight ends coach, most notably overseeing the entire career of Steelers legend Heath Miller. 

Daniel won two Super Bowls as an assistant with the Steelers and coached in a third during his tenure with the team.

A native of Wetumpka, Alabama, Daniel played offensive line at Alabama State. After his playing career, he got his start in coaching at Enterprise High School in Enterprise, Alabama. In 1981, Daniel was hired by Auburn head coach Pat Dye to coach the Tigers’ offensive line and Daniel remained at Auburn for over a decade. 

In 1993, he got his first opportunity in the NFL, coaching tight ends for the New York Giants under Dan Reeves. In 1997, Daniel followed Reeves to the Atlanta Falcons, where he was tight ends coach and offensive line coach from 1997 to 2003.

Daniel came to Pittsburgh in 2004 under Bill Cowher and offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and stayed on after Mike Tomlin became head coach in 2007. Daniel has coached tight ends for the last five Steelers offensive coordinators.

Only assistant head coach John Mitchell pre-dated Daniel on the Steelers’ coaching staff.

The retirement of Daniel makes four openings on the Steelers’ staff going into the 2021 season, with offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, secondary coach Tom Bradley and offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett all not retained by the team.

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