PITTSBURGH — Calvin Austin III is one of those players that seemingly never lost steam in the public view of the Steelers roster. He was dynamite last year during training camp, but a lisfranc injury set him back completely and he missed the entire 2022 season.
So, when OTAs came around, it was going to be interesting to see how he put everything together. His teammates have been impressed by Austin, but would he put things together in a tangible way? Well, on Thursday, that immediately became a reality.
He confirmed that he made an electric, explosive play on a crossing route against man coverage. It netted him a touchdown and could be a preview of what Austin brings to the table for the Steelers in his second year with the team. The receiver room has some playing time that can be earned, too.
“Yeah, simple crossing route,” Austin said. “That was the redzone and I knew it was man, so with a crossing route it was running away. One thing I know I can do good is run. The route was there, the play ball was there, it was a great play.”
There has been a palpable buzz around Austin in the locker room. When you ask anyone who stands out on offense, Austin’s name is often the first one that is said. He’s going to have a role in the offense. The interesting thing? Austin confirmed that he is playing both on the outside and inside during OTAs. The Steelers see him as someone who can do a lot of roles and do them well.
“You know, I’m working on both the outside and the slot,” Austin said. “One thing I know that I am is fast and I can get down the details of playing both spots. When it comes down to it, my routes, releases, I feel like I can do a lot.”
Connor Heyward believes that Austin’s speed is 100 percent back. Other cornerbacks, such as Patrick Peterson, have talked about how tough it is to keep up with his speed and quickness. The pads are not on yet, but it seems that a lot of people around the building are being put on notice.