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Steelers Keeping Desmond King Plan Quiet



Steelers CB Desmond King
Steelers CB Desmond King at practice September 4, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers are excited to have Desmond King hop on the metaphorical moving train that Mike Tomlin talks about, and so far, that seems to be going quite well. On Thursday, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin discussed the growth of King in the few short days he has practiced with the team.

As a veteran, catching on quickly does not surprise Austin and the staff. There is no guarantee that King will have a significant role in his first game with the Steelers. But it seems like King is trending towards having a role at some point; it depends on when that happens.

“He’s getting himself ready,” Austin said. “If he’s going to be ready this week, I can’t say for sure. He has jumped on the moving train. You can see that he’s a good pro and understands the NFL; he’s played a lot of football. He’s getting himself up to that speed to play.”

Desmond King will continue to work his way towards playing more. A lot of that comes down to comfortability in the defense. King’s role will be as a slot cornerback and potentially as the blitzing nickel. While Houston did not use him there last year, it remains likely the Steelers will with all of their blitz packages.

Desmond King has an All-Pro honor to his name. The punt return part of his game at 28 years old will not go anywhere. But his fit in the secondary is a little bit more interesting. King can play inside and outside, and as mentioned above, the Steelers could use him as a blitzer, one of his best traits. But he can play anywhere the team wants him to suit up.

Mike Tomlin noted that, similarly to Austin, it will depend on how quickly King catches on. But the door is open for King to potentially make some noise and play.

“Our ability to get to know him, how quickly he learns what it is that we do here, and the need component,” Tomlin said. “And so we’re excited, obviously, about his acquisition, but I don’t necessarily have an answer for that as we stand here today.”

It’s an interesting point made by Tomlin and one that can get overlooked when talking about new additions such as King. It takes time for those guys to assimilate into a team, and it will probably be tough for King to get onto the field immediately. That should mean Chandon Sullivan will get the start with King mixing in later in the year.

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