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Two Former Steelers CBs Hired to Washington Defensive Coaching Staff



Steelers Coach William Gay
Pittsburgh Steelers coaching intern William Gay during minicamp on June 12, 2019. -- Alan Saunders / Steelers Now

Former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerbacks Jason Simmons and William Gay have been hired to the new coaching staff of the Washington Commanders, the team announced on Thursday.

The new staff is being put together by new head coach Dan Quinn, who will replace Ron Rivera in Washington after spending the last three seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys. The was previously the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons from 2015-20.

Joe Whitt Jr. will come along with Quinn from the Cowboys to the Commanders to be the defensive coordinator. He had been the secondary coach and pass-game coordinator in Dallas.

Filling that pass-game coordinator role will be Simmons, a 47-year-old former Steelers and Houston Texans cornerback. Simmons was most recently the pass-game coordinator and defensive backs coach for the Las Vegas Raiders from 2022-23. He also had that role with the Carolina Panthers from 2020-21. Before that, he spent nine years with the Green Bay Packers, working his way up to defensive backs coach.

Simmons was the Steelers’ fifth-round pick out of Arizona State in the 1998 NFL Draft. He spent four years with the team, the last three of them as a regular at Nickel corner, before leaving for Houston via free agency. He played another six seasons in Houston, finishing his career with 121 games played, 241 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 10 passes defended.

Gay, 39, was the Steelers’ fifth-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. He spent 10 years with the Steelers over two stints, from 2007-11 and 2013-17. Gay started his career in the slot before moving to outside cornerback, and then finished his career back in the slot. He played 176 game and made 101 starts, 86 of them with the Steelers.

Gay was a coaching intern for the Steelers in 2019, defensive backs coach at Missouri State in 2020, and worked with Cowboys under Quinn and Whitt as a Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship hire in 2023. This will be his first full-time NFL role.