Redskins assistant joins Steelers' staff

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The Steelers made it official this morning, naming Pittsburgh native Danny Smith as their new special teams coordinator.

Smith, who was special teams coordinator for the Washington Redskins the past nine seasons, played and coached at Central Catholic High School.

The Steelers received permission to speak with Smith, 59, just two days ago after special teams coach Amos Jones decided to accept a job as special teams coordinator with the Arizona Cardinals.

The Steelers also considered LSU assistant Thomas McGaughey for the position. McGaughey, 39, has been the special teams coordinator at LSU for the past two seasons. Prior to that, he was a special teams assistant coach with the New York Giants from 2007-2010.

Smith has been with the Redskins since 2004 and once served as an assistant coach at William & Mary, the alma mater of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. 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 the league in punt return average in 2012.

However, the Redskins had two punts blocked this past season, one of which was returned for a touchdown. That came on the heels of having five field goals blocked in the 2011 season.

Tomlin had 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 has 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:; Twitter: @gerrydulac.


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