In 2022, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be heading into a new era with so many changes happening all this off-season. One of those changes has been the promotion of Teryl Austin as the Steelers defensive coordinator. And gauging by comments made by players all off-season, they are excited to play for him!
“We’re going to see. I’m really excited to have TA [Teryl Austin] as our defensive coordinator. Like you said, he’s been here for a while and he knows what he’s doing. He’s been D-Coordinator at other teams in the league. So, I’m just really excited to have him as our D-Coordinator. Just throughout OTA’s, and minicamp, he definitely brought a fire to our defense. So I’m just excited to work with him and just the rest of the defensive staff as well this upcoming year.”
The entire defense seems thrilled to have Austin in the DC role for this season! Not just the players, but analysts and other outsiders are aware of how good of a coach Austin really is! Austin, along with new Steelers linebackers coach, Brian Flores, received some praise from NFL Network‘s Scott Pioli.
“The defense is now going to be led by Teryl Austin, the new defensive coordinator, who’s been there, but also Brian Flores,” Pioli stated on NFL Network. “Those two coaches are fantastic coaches. I believe that their coaching staff is stacked. Those two guys, Teryl Austin and Brian Flores, to me, are two of the top head coaching candidates coming into the season as we go to next season.”
Some very high praise for Austin and Flores, indeed. The Steelers defensive captain, Cam Heyward also had some things to say about his experience with Austin this off-season.
“Just being at the facility now, I’m just starting to realize there’s a different level of detail, not to say Buts [Keith Butler] wasn’t very detailed, but you know I think Teryl brings a level of detail from the back end and transfers it upfront,” Heyward told ESPN‘s Mina Kimes in an interview from the end of May.
Speaking of Heyward, Highsmith was also asked about his thoughts on outsiders thinking the Steelers are just going to lay down and quit since QB Ben Roethlisberger retired.
“We’re definitely not going to,” Highsmith said emphatically. “We got a great team this year that I’m super excited for it. Cam Heyward, just someone that’s really been a leader for us and captain for us, and just continues to lead us the right way. And I’m just excited for our overall team as a whole. We have a lot of guys coming back. Just know that if we stay healthy this year, we’re going to be a problem. So, it’s going to be a really great year for us.”
It’s really going to be different, but Austin has this defense excited and ready to launch themselves back into the NFL top defenses discussion once again!