PITTSBURGH — Calvin Austin III is back on the football field after suffering a season-ending lisfranc injury during his rookie season, costing him to miss the entire season after reaggravating it.
However, now healthy, the second-year receiver is back with the team and hoping to turn some heads. To say the least, so far, teammates seem to be impressed with the speedster. That includes fellow wide receivers who are seeing Austin get back to full speed in quick time. One of the things that Austin vowed to show early on in his return from injury was his speed. A lot of players are already seeing that. That includes fellow receiver Miles Boykin.
“He’s got that speed, man,” Boykin said. “When a lot of guys come into the league they have speed but don’t know how to use it. You know, how to leverage it in routes and other small details. He knows how to use it. I mean, he’s been great.”
He’s not the only one noticing his speed. On the All Things Covered podcast, Patrick Peterson talked about how he faced Austin for the first time at OTAs, and he never knew what hit him. His speed was something that Peterson was simply not prepared for at all.
“That joker’s fast, that’s something I’ll tell you,” Peterson said.
Peterson told the story of what occurred during practice. On the first play on 7-on-7s, they called a fire zone, meaning that the slot corner would blitz. It would leave Peterson in man-to-man with Austin. Peterson knew he had to get on him, but it was his first rep ever against Austin.
“We want to press,” Peterson said. “You know, I have to get up on him. And I’ve never seen Austin before. All I know is he’s a little guy outside. I figured if he’s a little guy outside he’s got wheels. He got a little bit ahead of me and I gave him one of my tug and gos to get back into the play.”
From there, secondary coach Grady Brown would call out Peterson on the play in the film room. Not knowing the type of speed that Austin would bring to the table, Peterson had to adjust quickly to everything. It was clear that the second-year receiver still has the speed element of his game.
“Coach Brown said, ‘we all owe Pat Pete an apology because didn’t tell him Pat Pete had wheels like this'”, Peterson said.
Austin is turning heads once again, just like he did during training camp before suffering the injury. It seems that Austin could be a key element to the Steelers receiving corps this year if he can continue to play at a high-level and stay healthy on top of that.