Carnell Lake resigns as Steelers defensive backs coach
Citing a desire spend more time with family, Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake announced his resignation Wednesday.
Lake was in his seventh season on Mike Tomlin's staff. He played 10 seasons for the Steelers (1989-98) in addition to two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars (1999-00) and one with the Baltimore Ravens (2001).
“I have decided to return to California to be able to be a part of my youngest son's last year of high school football,” Lake said in a statement released by the team.
The Steelers finished fifth in the NFL in pass defense this past season (201.1 yards per game) but allowed 214 yards to Blake Bortles in a 45-42 loss to Jacksonville in the playoffs.
Lake's departure is the third on the staff this offseason, joining offensive coordinator Todd Haley and wide receivers coach Richard Mann. And it's maybe not the last.
“We still are working through contract situations with some of the staff members,” Steelers president Art Rooney said Wednesday. “As we've seen recently, you can't count anybody out until the contract is signed.”
The Steelers' secondary went through a dramatic turnover in personnel the past two years, adding high draft picks Artie Burns, Sean Davis and Cameron Sutton, high-profile free agent Joe Haden and first-year free agent Mike Hilton.
“I want to thank Mr. Art Rooney II and the Rooney family, coach Mike Tomlin, Kevin Colbert, the coaching staffs I have worked with throughout my time in Pittsburgh and the entire Steelers organization,” Lake's statement read. “It has been a privilege and honor to play and coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I also want to thank all of the players I have coached during my seven years with the team — it truly was an honor to work with them. Finally, I would like to thank Steelers fans for their support and for being the best fans in the NFL during both my time as a player and coach.”
Many NFL teams have separate position coaches for safeties and cornerbacks. Two years ago, the Steelerssplit their linebackers coaching into separate entities for outside linebackers and inside linebackers.
There was no immediate word on who might replace Lake.