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Calvin Austin III Torches Buccaneers Secondary in NFL Debut



Steelers WR Calvin Austin III

TAMPA, Fla. — Calvin Austin III has arrived in an NFL game, and his speed was as advertised. The 2022 fourth-round pick brought to the table everything he has shown in practice and more during the training camp. On Friday, he got to show that speed and explosiveness to the world.

The speedy receiver out of Memphis burned Buccaneers cornerback Don Gardner for a 67-yard touchdown to register his first career touchdown reception. This play was mostly about speed, as Gardner lost Austin in the blind spot and he simply burned him going deep.

He took a jet sweep earlier for a 17-yard gain and then another one for a six-yard gain. His explosiveness and speed have been easy to see from the moment he took the field. Mason Rudolph has tried to get the ball to Austin multiple times, and he was finally rewarded with a big play. He impressed plenty of teammates with his game, too. Najee Harris gave Austin a shoutout after the game.

“I personally think Calvin Austin [III] will be huge for us, just his skillset is so versatile and we need a guy like that, so I’m excited,” Harris said.

Harris was not the only one that same Austin do some things that most wide receivers simply can not do. Mike Tomlin was impressed by Austin, and despite essentially being a rookie since he was out last season with a lisfranc injury, Tomlin is not treating Austin like that.

“You know, everybody knows those guys can move and run and that’s why we’re excited to see what they’re capable of doing,” Tomlin said. “But you know, it goes beyond just, you know, the flatline speed man. Those guys are developing skills relative to their position knowhow. And at this level when it’s good-on-good speed doesn’t win. It’s speed in combination with knowhow and skills relative to your position.”

Austin is all about stacking good days, so he will go back to Latrobe on Sunday and start to do that again. The team will have the opportunity to see more of what he brings to the table in a game setting next Saturday against the Bills.

Alan Saunders contributed reporting from Tampa.

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