Zierlein, Ligashesky fired by Steelers

Updated: January 7, 2010, 1:06 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

PITTSBURGH -- Offensive line coach Larry Zierlein and special teams coordinator Bob Ligashesky have been fired, the first Steelers assistant coaches to lose their jobs since coach Mike Tomlin was hired in 2007.

Zierlein was supposed to meet with some of his linemen on Wednesday, only to be told he was being replaced. He was seen leaving the Steelers' offices with several large boxes. Zierlein previously coached for the Browns and Bills, plus five college teams.

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians held a long meeting Wednesday with Tomlin and is expected to retain his job, despite some dissatisfaction within the organization about the decreased emphasis on the running game.

Zierlein's offensive line had season-long problems, allowing Ben Roethlisberger to be sacked 50 times as the Steelers (9-7) failed to make the playoffs a season after winning the Super Bowl.

The staff changes are the first for Tomlin, who went three seasons without altering his staff. Quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson retired on Tuesday after 33 seasons as an NFL player or coach, 16 as a Bengals quarterback.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.