Steelers line coach Sarrett embracing new position
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Shaun Sarrett wants to set something straight about the origin of his “Sweet Feet” nickname. It has nothing to do with boxing, Golden Gloves or otherwise. No matter what the members of the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line seem to think.
If Sarrett is being honest, the team’s new line coach — promoted in the offseason after Hall of Famer Mike Munchak left to take the same position with the Denver Broncos — isn’t quite sure how the mythology that linked “Sweet Feet” to boxing got started. He will allow, however, that he didn’t necessarily do anything to discourage it.
“Sometimes you’ve got to let those guys think that,” he said with laugh.
The truth, much like the plainspoken and folksy Sarrett’s approach to his job, is far simpler. An offensive lineman at Kent State in the early 2000s, Sarrett was doing a drill one day when teammate Shawn Armstead noticed Sarrett gliding over the turf. “Sweet Feet” was born.
Fifteen years later, it lives on, a moniker Sarrett knows he’s unable to shake even now. Not that he cares.
“I’m just happy to have a name here with the Steelers,” Sarrett said Tuesday. “I’m proud of it.”
Hard to blame him. Sarrett graduated from Kent in 2004 with no pro prospects, so he threw himself into coaching. That started a methodical climb from high school assistant to the man in charge of a veteran group that evolved into one of the NFL’s best during Munchak’s five seasons. Sarrett was actually sitting with Munchak when Steelers coach Mike Tomlin offered Sarrett the job to be Munchak’s replacement. It was more than a little surreal.
“There was a moment when you’re sitting there for a minute and you think, ‘Man. You know, you had a goal — be an NFL coach — and then you’re like, ‘Wow. I made it,'” Sarrett said. “Then all of a sudden, just as that moment happens, you got to think to yourself, ‘I’m here. Now what are you going to do to stay here?’ You’ve got to keep grinding, just like anything else, like you did to get there.”