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Steelers hire Saxon as running backs coach

AP
Minnesota Vikings running back coach James Saxon during a preseason game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Houston Texans in 2011 in Minneapolis.

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By Alan Robinson
Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, 4:15 p.m.
 

The Steelers and Vikings apparently are trading running backs coaches.

James Saxon, let go by the Vikings after three seasons after a head coaching change, is the new Steelers running backs coach, the team announced Tuesday. He replaces Kirby Wilson, who was allowed to leave the team with one season remaining on his contract and is expected to be hired to coach the Vikings' running backs.

The Steelers needed only three days to replace Wilson, who interviewed twice to become the Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator but was not hired. Wilson was part of Mike Tomlin's original Steelers coaching staff in 2007 before leaving the team Saturday.

Saxon, who coached star running back Adrian Peterson in Minnesota, will be starting his 23rd NFL season as a player or coach. He previously coached the running backs for the Dolphins (2008-10), Chiefs (2001-07) and Bills (2000).

Saxon wasn't retained when Mike Zimmer was hired to replace Leslie Frazier as the Vikings' coach.

The Steelers also announced the signing of wide receiver Danny Coale, a fifth-round draft choice by Dallas in 2012, to a reserve-future contract. The former Virginia Tech player split time last season on the practice squads of the Cowboys and Colts.

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at arobinson@tribweb.com or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.

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