PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Steelers have hired longtime Washington Redskins assistant Danny Smith as special teams coordinator.
Smith, a Pittsburgh native, spent the last nine seasons in the same capacity with the Redskins. The 59-year-old Smith has spent 18 years in the NFL. Prior to joining the Redskins in 2004 he worked with the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles.
The Steelers were erratic on special teams in 2012. Kicker Shaun Suisham had a career year, making 28 of 31 field goals. However, the kick return and kick coverage units struggled at times. Pittsburgh was ninth in kickoff return average but 28th in punt return average.
The Steelers were 16th in kickoff return yardage allowed and 11th in punt return yardage allowed, but did give up a punt return for a score in a 13-10 loss to Baltimore in November.