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Calvin Austin III Receives High Praise From Justin Fields

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Pittsburgh Steelers WR Calvin Austin III

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni spoke glowingly of third-year receiver Calvin Austin III at minicamp this past week. This is a crucial season for Austin. After missing all of 2022 and not producing much last season, this is a make or break year for the fourth-round pick out of Memphis.

“He’s been outstanding. That’s a guy that’s gone from here to here in the last eight weeks,” Azzanni said at minicamp on Tuesday. “It’s been really fun to watch. He’s a worker, he’s intentful, he’s urgent. He wants to be coached. You can see it.

“His game has [improved]. I’m really, really excited for his season if he keeps practicing the way he’s been practicing.”

Steelers quarterback Justin Fields also raved about Austin, stating that he’s “savage with his route running.”

“He can create a lot of space in small spaces,” Fields said. “He’s quick, savage with his route running and he’s just a hard worker. There are some plays where he knows he’s not getting the ball, and he’s still winning the route. To have a player like that much effort on the field every play is really good to see. I think it’s gonna rub off on the other guy too.”

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Calvin Austin III

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Calvin Austin III during minicamp on June 11, 2024. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Steelers’ wide receivers room is rather crowded with Van Jefferson, Quez Watkins, Scotty Miller, Roman Wilson and Austin all vying for starting positions.

George Pickens is the Steelers’ bona fide No. 1 wide receiver, but Austin III thinks it’s up to the young Steelers receivers to fill the shoes of Diontae Johnson as the No. 2.

“Diontae left his legacy here. You don’t replace that,” Austin told Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review at OTAs. “You just have new players step up and do their jobs.”

“What Diontae did on the field, we’ll expand on that,” Austin said. “We have a wide receiver room where everybody has bought in. We’re ready to work and take advantage of those opportunities.”

Austin could be the receiver who steps up and makes some noise this season. He has certainly made a strong impression during the Steelers’ offseason program.

Related: Omar Khan Is Encouraged By Trajectory of Wide Receiver Room

Nick Farabaugh contributed reporting from Pittsburgh.

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