The Steelers filled one of their key vacancies on Monday, hiring Alfredo Roberts to be the organization's new tight ends coach.
Roberts boasts extensive experience as an assistant in the NFL, most recently spending time with the Chargers. During a four year stretch with Los Angeles, the 55-year-old spent three seasons as the team's running backs coach before shifting to work with the tight ends in 2020.
Prior to his stint with the Chargers, Roberts worked for a plethora of other organizations, all as a tight ends specialist. He began in the NFL in 2003 with the Jacksonville Jaguars before spending time with the Browns, the Buccaneers and the Colts.
Before getting into coaching, Roberts played tight end himself. He caught 48 career passes for 450 yards and two touchdowns over five seasons.
Roberts will take another step in his coaching career with the Steelers, replacing long-time assistant James Daniel who retired from the role following the 2020 season.
Roberts will take over a Pittsburgh tight ends unit that consistently ranks among the best in the league. The group will be led by Eric Ebron, who caught the fourth most passes on the Steelers in 2020 (56) and scored five touchdowns in just 15 games. The talented 27-year-old should return for the second season of his two-year deal, giving Roberts a chance to continue his development.
The team's new tight ends coach will have to deal with a key loss in the position group. Veteran Vance McDonald retired earlier this offseason, leaving a spot wide open for the Steelers. The eight-year vet caught eight touchdowns for Pittsburgh over the last four years, but opted to end his career after the 2020 season came to a close.
Roberts will now join new offensive coordinator Matt Canada as the Steelers try to retool for 2021. After a disappointing finish in the Wild Card round this season, Pittsburgh will hope to revamp its offense moving into next year.