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Tight ends coach James Daniel retires

Changes to the Steelers coaching staff continued on Thursday afternoon when the team announced that tight ends coach James Daniel is retiring.

Daniel has a long history with the Steelers, originally hired by Coach Bill Cowher in 2004 and then remaining in his position when Coach Mike Tomlin took over in 2007, spending 17 seasons with the black and gold.

"I wish James all the best in his retirement following a long, productive coaching career in the National Football League," said Tomlin in a statement. "I worked with JD for the past 14 years and he coached a bunch of great tight ends, not only here in Pittsburgh but also in Atlanta and New York. His experience provided our tight ends group and our coaching staff with invaluable lessons throughout his career. He has been a tremendous part of our staff from my first day and I wish nothing but continued success in his retirement."

Take a look at the best photos of tight end coach James Daniel through the years

Daniel's NFL coaching career began in 1993 with the New York Giants where he spent four seasons as their tight ends coach. He went on to join the Atlanta Falcons, where he served an initial stint as tight ends coach from 1997-99 before serving one year (2000) as their offensive line coach, and then back to tight ends coach from 2001-03.

Daniel, who is from Wetumpka, Alabama and was a four-year letter winner at Alabama State, coached collegiately at Auburn University where he spent 12 years (1981-92) as the school's offensive line coach under Coach Pat Dye. During that time, he participated in the NFL's Fellowship Program in 1988 with the New Orleans Saints and in 1992 with the Denver Broncos.