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mesaSteeler
09-25-2010, 07:43 AM
On the Steelers: Lloyd, Olsavsky return as coaches
Saturday, September 25, 2010
By Ray Fittipaldo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10268/1090290-66.stm

Jerry Olsavsky and Greg Lloyd were teammates for nine seasons with the Steelers in the late 1980s and '90s. Olsavsky was the hard-nosed inside linebacker and Lloyd the intense sackmaster at outside linebacker for those Steelers defenses nicknamed 'Blitzburgh.'

After more than a decade out of the NFL, both have returned to the league as assistant coaches. On Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., the two old buddies will be competing against each other.

Olsavsky is in his first season as a defensive assistant with the Steelers and Lloyd holds the same position with the Buccaneers. The Steelers and Buccaneers are two of the league's eight remaining undefeated teams.

Olsavsky has spoken with Lloyd by phone on a few occasions since their playing careers ended, but this will be the first opportunity to see each other in person in years.

"The one good thing about being a former player is when you see the guy it's just like when you were in the locker room the last time," Olsavsky said.

Olsavsky played with the Steelers from 1989-97; Lloyd from '88-97.

After his playing career ended after one season with the Ravens in '98, Olsavsky started his coaching career. He was a volunteer assistant at Thomas Jefferson High School, at Youngstown Chaney High School and at Duquesne University. For the past seven years he was the linebackers coach at Youngstown State.

Lloyd spent training camp with the Buccaneers, as part of the NFL's minority coaching fellowship program. Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris was impressed so much by Lloyd that he hired him to a full-time position when camp ended.

"It's hard for us because the game is part of us," said Olsavsky, in explaining the lure to return to the NFL after so many years on the outside. "It's good to see him back. He's probably some of the reason they're playing as good as they are."

The Steelers and Buccaneers are shaping up as two of the better defenses in the NFL. Through the first two weeks of the season, both clubs are among the top three in the league in scoring defense. The Steelers are tied for first place with the Miami Dolphins, giving up 10 points per game. Tampa is close behind, allowing 10.5 points per game.

"Greg Lloyd's made an impact since he's been here," Morris told reporters this week. "His impact has been a lot about mentality. We're lucky and fortunate enough to be around a guy like Greg Lloyd every day."

Lloyd still has a prominent place in the Steelers record books. He ranks sixth all-time in sacks with 53 1/2 and is tied for sixth place in fumble recoveries with 14.

But when asked what made Lloyd a special teammate, Olsavsky spoke about Lloyd's demeanor and approach to the game. Lloyd had such an effect on Olsavsky that when Lloyd injured his knee in a game against Jacksonville in 1996, Olsavsky cried.

"I think I learned the most from him in terms of mental preparation," Olsavsky said. "The way I grew up playing football, you didn't like the people across from you. And [Lloyd] personified that. It was easy to know you were going to play someone you didn't like when you were around him."

Olsavsky and Lloyd won five division championships together, played in three AFC championship games and one Super Bowl, a 27-17 loss to Dallas in Super Bowl XXX.

"He was a great teammate," Olsavsky said. "It will be good to see him. He's the man."

NOTES -- Right guard Trai Essex, who sprained an ankle in the victory against Tennessee, has been ruled out for Sunday. Doug Legursky will start in his place. ... Starting left guard Chris Kemoeatu, who injured a knee in practice Thursday, practiced Friday and said he will be ready to play. "I was worried about it [Thursday], but I've been rehabbing it," Kemoeatu said. "I did all of my [repetitions] today. I feel good." Kemoeatu is listed as probable along with nose tackle Casey Hampton (hamstring), offensive tackle Max Starks (ankle) and receiver Hines Ward (calf). .... The Buccaneers list center Jeff Faine (calf), running back Kareem Huggins (groin) and cornerback Myron Lewis (knee) as questionable.


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