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Calvin Austin III ready to show his growth in Year 3

When Calvin Austin III was a rookie, and was lost for the season with a foot injury there was a player comparison made which no one in a black-and-gold uniform would ever want made with them.

Senquez Golson.

If you remember the 2nd Round pick out of Ole Miss, Golson had all the potential in the world, yet couldn’t stay healthy. On top of that, they were foot injuries which always seemed to do him in. When you look at Golson’s time in the NFL, which was brief, he never even got to step foot on a preseason field.

Your best ability is your availability.

When Austin left the practice field with a Lisfranc injury in his foot, ending his rookie season before it began, the comparisons were valid between the two players. When you throw in Austin’s diminutive stature, concerns were amplified.

Nonetheless, Austin didn’t have any lingering issues with his foot in 2023, and was able to complete the season without any issue. In case you forgot, here was his stat line last season:

Games: 17
Receptions: 17
Yards (Rec): 180
Ave: 10.6
TD: 1
Yards (Rush): 57
Attempts: 11
TD: 1

While those numbers are considered modest by most standards, the reality is there was growth made. If 2023 was Austin’s rookie season, he sees it as a springboard into his 2024 season.

“I saw my game grow a lot,” said Austin. “I didn’t reach some of the goals I set out for myself at the start of the year. But I learned a lot. It excites me. I know the things I need to do, the changes I need to make. Especially after playing a season. I have it all lined up and I think I will be able to reach those goals.”

For Austin, he realizes it isn’t just go into the offseason working on everything, instead, he is taking a more detailed approach to route running and the details of being a wide receiver in the NFL.

“Going into this third year, I know what I need as far as my route detail. I used to say I will work on everything, but now it’s specific things that you need to focus on and clean up to steadily improve my game. I would say route detail and overall body composition.”

Austin’s spot on this roster is not guaranteed, but he absolutely can prove his worth by showing the work and improvement he has made this offseason. Austin is now in a heated competition with players like Scottie Miller and Quez Watkins for the role of return man/receiver. It will absolutely be a battle to keep your eye on this preseason/training camp.

Be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the 2024 regular season.


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