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STEELERS TALKING WITH HOLMGREN

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The Pittsburgh Steelers, searching for a coach for the first time in 23 years, will meet Friday with San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Holmgren.

Holmgren plans to talk Thursday with the Los Angeles Rams, then meet the next day at his San Jose home with Tom Donahoe, the Steelers' director of football development.Holmgren, 43, considered one of the NFL's hottest head coach candidates, is one of at least two assistant coaches who will interview with the Steelers. The Steelers' last two coaching hires - Bill Austin (1966) and Chuck Noll (1969) - were assistant coaches.

Under Holmgren, the 49ers' offense has ranked no lower than third overall in his three years as offensive coordinator. They were ranked third this season despite losing quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young to injuries.

Before joining the 49ers, Holmgren was an assistant at Brigham Young and helped develop quarterbacks Young and Robbie Bosco. With a salary estimated at $300,000 annually, he is one of the NFL's highest-paid assistant coaches.