Former Steelers special-teams coach Al Everest, who was let go by the club Thursday, told Pro Football Weekly Friday morning that the move was because of "professional differences" with the club.
Everest would not specify further on the matter, saying, "It’s a professional differences deal. I’ll proceed from here. That’s where it is right now."
It's highly unusual for teams to fire coaches in the middle of the preseason. When asked about the curious timing and whether he was surprised by the move, Everest said, "It was a surprise for me, but the bottom line is that it was about professional differences."
The Steelers promoted assistant special-teams coach Amos Jones to replace Everest. The team issued a statement from head coach Mike Tomlin on the move. It read: "We are continually evaluating our coaching staff and support staff, and we have decided to go in a different direction with respect to the coaching of our special teams. I want to thank Al for his contributions and efforts, and I wish him well in the future."
Everest wouldn't specifically say what his next move would be or if he had any recourse, but hinted that he might have taken issue with the firing.
"I've got to pursue my course of action, and they’ve obviously taken theirs," Everest said. "Hopefully it works itself out."
Everest was hired by the Steelers prior to the 2010 season, mere days after being let go by the 49ers, a move that was considered a surprise at the time. When asked about his firing in San Francisco, Everest declined to comment.
Everest helped the Steelers' special-teams units improve in '10 when they reached Super Bowl XLV but lost to the Packers. He was set to enter his 16th season in the NFL.