Steelers RB coach expected to return

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
11:30
AM ET
In what should be a slow free-agency period for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team did deliver some good news: running backs coach Kirby Wilson is expected to return this season.

Wilson, 50, sustained burns on 45 percent of his body and also suffered from smoke inhalation after his house caught fire while he was sleeping on Jan. 6. He is making a quick recovery and should re-join the Steelers at some point this year, according to coach Mike Tomlin.

"He's doing great," Tomlin told the team's official website. "It's a long and challenging process, but one he proves daily that he is up to. The rehabilitation is going well. He has surprised the doctors with the rate of recovery. Obviously, we still have a long way to go but it has been just awesome to watch him go through this process and see the improvement in him."

Wilson is a highly respected coach on the Steelers staff. In fact, he was reportedly in line to become the Steelers' next offensive coordinator before the accident.

When Wilson is able to return, his focus will be preparing a running back group that will be without starter Rashard Mendenhall for a good chunk of the season. He tore his ACL in the season finale, which should lead to Isaac Redman becoming the primary ball-carrier.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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