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Mike Tomlin made the decision to allow Adrian Klemm to leave early for Oregon

(Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

It was announced by the Steelers on Monday that Adrian Klemm is leaving for Oregon. It was originally reported that Klemm accepted a position with Oregon, and he would finish out the season with the Steelers but plans changed. Assistant offensive line coach Chris Morgan will handle the offensive line coach role for the rest of the season.

Klemm will serve as the Ducks' new associate head coach, offensive line coach and run game coordinator.

Tomlin was asked about Klemm's early departure at his weekly press conference on Tuesday, and Tomlin said it was his decision to allow Klemm to get a head start at Oregon.

Tomlin said he appreciated the efforts of Klemm. He also mentioned that Klemm leaving now eliminates any distractions, but he had no reservations about his commitment. It also gives a chance for Chris Morgan to lead the offensive line.

Tomlin also noted that the college landscape of coaching is changing, the process is happening faster and the financial component means salaries are much closer. So, that was another reason why he felt it was best for Klemm to leave for Oregon early. Tomlin said he's been in communication with Klemm about the Oregon position since last week.

Klemm's short tenure as the Steelers offensive line coach wasn't impressive. He was supposed to help improve the run game and bring a nasty demeanor to the offensive line. None of that happened. The Steelers currently rank 29th in rushing, averaging 87.6 yards per game. They ranked 32nd in rushing in 2020, averaging 82.5 yards per game.

Maybe Klemm saw the writing on the wall and that he would be fired after the season. So he didn't want to bypass an opportunity with Oregon. And, as Tomlin mentioned, the financial components of college football today have salaries much closer to the NFL. Klemm was given a pretty big role too at Oregon as the associate head coach, offensive line coach and run game coordinator. It could have been a financial move.

Nevertheless, the Steelers have to get a competent offensive line coach. With Klemm leaving, it means the Steelers will have three different offensive line coaches in three seasons, and that's not even counting Morgan. They have to figure this out, as the offensive line is in shambles right now. They need to get a top-tier offensive line coach from outside the organization. They have to stop the "next man up" mentality and promoting within.

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