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Steelers hire Faulkner as running backs coach

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PITTSBURGH (AP) Eddie Faulkner is the new running backs coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The team announced Faulkner's hiring on Thursday. Faulkner replaces James Saxon, whose contract was not renewed after the Steelers finished 9-6-1 and missed the playoffs.

Faulkner comes to the Steelers from North Carolina State, where he spent the last six years as tight ends/running backs coach and special teams coordinator. Faulkner worked closely with Pittsburgh rookie running back Jaylen Samuels, who caught a school-record 202 passes during his career with the Wolfpack.

Samuels and James Conner played well in place of Le'Veon Bell, who sat out the season after declining to sign his $14.4 million franchise tender. Conner reached the Pro Bowl while Samuels finished with 455 combined yards and three receiving touchdowns.

Despite their success, Steelers president Art Rooney II said the team was simply ready to make a change when it declined not to retain Saxon.

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Updated January 17, 2019

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