Antwaan Randle El, a former Thornton Township High School star and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, is in his second season as a Buccaneers offensive coach. He replaced Greg Olson who was hired by the Seattle Seahawks as their new passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach.
Randle El played five seasons for the Steelers after being selected by them with the ninth overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft. He started 44 games over that period and finished with 175 receptions for 2,510 yards and 20 touchdowns.
After leaving the Steelers as a free agent in 2006, he joined former teammate Todd Heap's coaching staff at the end of that season. In 2007, Randle El helped Heap win the NFC Championship Game against the Chicago Bears with three touchdown catches, including one from 69 yards out. Last year, he coached another former teammate, Plaxico Burress, and helped him win the NFC Divisional Round against the New York Giants with two touchdown catches.
In 2014, Randle El moved to Tampa Bay where he will be reunited with Jon Gruden, his former Steelers head coach. They will be working together to try to bring a championship back to Tampa Bay where the Bucs have never won any titles.
Antwaan Randle El was a four-year quarterback at Indiana University. The Pittsburgh Steelers chose him in the second round of the 2002 NFL draft. During his time with the Steelers, he was moved to wide receiver and was responsible for kickoff and punt returns. In 2007, he signed with the San Diego Chargers as a free agent. He was released by the Chargers during the preseason. Later that year, he joined the Washington Redskins and played in their final three games of the season.
In 2008, El returned to football when he signed with the Chicago Bears. He was released by the Bears during the preseason. In 2009, he started two games for the Eagles before being placed on injured reserve. That same year, he finished his career with the Steelers after seven seasons.
After his career with the Steelers ended, El went into sports management. He has worked with several athletes including Derrick Brooks, Justin Tucker, and Larry Fitzgerald.
El attended Christopher Newport College for two years before transferring to Indiana University. He played four seasons for the Hoosiers before being drafted by the Steelers. As a member of the Steelers, he returned kicks and punts and also served as a backup quarterback. El was traded to the Chargers in 2007 and then signed by the Redskins that same year. After playing in three games for Washington, he went back home to Pennsylvania where he finished his career with the Steelers.
Randle El joins the Lions after serving as an offensive coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the last two seasons (2019–20). During his tenure, the Buccaneers offense led the league in passing yards and touchdowns, was second in points, and third in overall offense. Prior to that, he played 11 seasons in Dallas/Ft. Worth where he started 85 of 88 games at wide receiver. The only season he did not start is 2000 when he had surgery on his ankle. He also spent one season (2009) with the Eagles where he made six appearances as a backup quarterback.
El's career ended due to injuries, but not before he helped lead the Cowboys to the first of four straight Super Bowls. He started three of those games at wide receiver including the 34-13 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1998 NFL Championship Game.
In addition to his work with receivers, El has coached cornerbacks in the NFL. Most recently, he served as a defensive quality control assistant for the Bucs in 2019. Previously, he held the same position with the Oakland Raiders in 2018 and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017. From 2011-17, he worked with the Dallas Cowboys as a special teams quality control assistant before being promoted to assistant wide receivers coach in 2018.
He has also been involved with several charitable efforts throughout his career.
Randle El was selected 62nd overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft as a wide receiver. In the 2002 NFL Draft, he was the ninth wide receiver chosen. Throughout the 2004 season, he was the Steelers' leading kickoff returner and punt returner. At the end of that season, he was released by the team.
After leaving the Steelers, Randle El signed with the Denver Broncos on May 13, 2005. He was cut by the Broncos on June 15, but later re-signed. He played in four games for the Broncos, returning six kickoffs for 105 yards and one punt for 17 yards. He also had three catches for 24 yards.
On July 30, 2005, Randle El signed with the Chicago Bears. He appeared in two games for the Bears, returning five kicks for 110 yards and one punt for 10 yards.
On November 26, 2005, Randle El was added to the roster of the San Francisco 49ers. He played in three games for the 49ers, returning seven kicks for 147 yards and one punt for 20 yards. He also caught three passes for 24 yards.
On December 31, 2005, Randle El was claimed off waivers by the New York Jets. He appeared in two games for the Jets, returning five kicks for 111 yards and one punt for 33 yards.
Randle El was released by the Washington Redskins in March 2010 and quickly signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Randle El was also ranked sixth among All-Decade Kick Returners by USA Today. Randle El was born in Riverdale, Illinois, the son of food dealer Curtis Randle El Sr. and day-care operator Jacqueline. He has two siblings: a brother, Curtis Jr., and a sister, Jamila.
As a high school student at Riverdale High School in Riverdale, Illinois, where he played football, basketball, and ran track, Randle El wanted to be an electrician when he graduated from high school. He then went to Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he played college football for the Howard Bison. After graduating from Howard in 2001, Randle El returned home to play for the Washington Redskins. He also served as an assistant coach for the Riverdale High School football team. In January 2010, shortly after being released by the Redskins, Randle El was hired as the special teams coordinator for the Chicago Bears. He will be entering his second season with the team after helping lead the Bears to a 9-7 record last year as a special teams coordinator and return man.
In 2009, while playing for the Redskins, Randle El averaged 26.8 yards per return on kickoffs and 21.6 yards per return on punt returns. He also had three touchdowns on punt returns and one touchdown on a kickoff return.