Redskins special teams coordinator Danny Smith to accept position with Steelers

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Steelers coach Mike Tomlin wasted little time finding a replacement for departed special teams coach Amos Jones.

Washington Redskins special teams coordinator Danny Smith, a Pittsburgh native who played and coached at Central Catholic High School, agreed to accept a similar position with the Steelers.

Smith, 59, has not signed a contract with the Steelers, but a team source with knowledge of the situation said, "I think it will happen."

The Steelers received permission to speak with Smith just two days ago after Jones said was leaving to become special teams coordinator with the Arizona Cardinals.

The Steelers also were considering LSU assistant Thomas McGaughey for the position. McGaughey, 39, has been the special teams coordinator at LSU for the past two seasons. Before that, he was a special teams assistant coach with the New York Giants from 2007-10.

Smith has been with the Redskins since 2004 and once served as an assistant coach at William & Mary, Tomlin's alma mater. His coverage units have ranked at or near the top of the NFL the past three seasons.

The Redskins led the league in kick return average allowed in 2010 and 2011 and ranked seventh in 2012. They ranked third in punt return average in 2012.

Tomlin intended to retain Jones for the 2013 season, but Jones opted to become special teams coordinator in Arizona because of his friendship with new Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, a former Steelers offensive coordinator.

Jones came to the Steelers in 2007 as part of Tomlin's original staff and served as a special teams assistant. But he took over the full-time duties this past season when special teams coordinator Al Everest was fired late in the preseason.

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Gerry Dulac: gdulac@post-gazette.com; twitter: @gerrydulac


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