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Alex Highsmith: ‘It’s Been Awesome’ To See Teryl Austin Running The Defense

Amid the entire many modifications the Pittsburgh Steelers have undergone this offseason—they even misplaced their large ketchup bottles—one main change hasn’t actually been talked about all that a lot, which is the change at defensive coordinator.

Of course, we all know the rationale why that’s. Most folks simply assume that it’s head coach Mike Tomlin operating the present. But whereas Keith Butler acknowledged on his approach into retirement that Tomlin referred to as a lot of the performs on sport day, there’s nonetheless the weekly accountability of designing and putting in the defensive gameplan.

And now that Butler is gone, that job belongs to Teryl Austin, who has been with the staff for the previous couple of seasons as a senior defensive assistant. A former defensive coordinator himself, it isn’t an task that’s new to him. And his gamers additionally admire that he’s not new to them.

TA coming in, he’s been great so far. I’m just thankful to have him as a defensive coordinator, and I know a lot of the guys are, because he’s been here the past few years, so everyone knows him”, third-year outdoors linebacker Alex Highsmith informed reporters at the moment, by way of the staff’s web site. “It’s been awesome to see him running the defense now”.

A Sharon native and Pittsburgh graduate, Austin has been at dwelling with the Steelers in additional methods than one. But precisely what his duties are, or might be within the season, stay considerably nebulous to these on the surface, and never with out intention.

Back in June, talking about his perform, he informed reporters that he can be a “coordinator who’s coordinating and putting things together”, however when requested about who can be answerable for operating the protection by way of play-calling, he mentioned, “anything can happen on gameday”.

One of the philosophies that Tomlin has at all times preached inside his teaching employees is that he doesn’t care the place good concepts come from. If someone has one thing to contribute and it’s deemed to be useful, it is going to be used whatever the standing of the one that provided it.

That is how Austin envisions issues going, talking about “input from the staff”, however he additionally added that “the head coach comes in and adds what he wants to add and the things that he wants to see in his defense because it is his team. And then we go from there, and we build our defense”.

Then there’s the issue of Brian Flores, the staff’s new senior defensive coordinator, who ran the Miami Dolphins’ protection as head coach for the previous three seasons. What type of imprint will he have on the unit? The actuality is that we’re not going to get all of the solutions.

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