Teryl Austin: Mike Tomlin has input, but bottom line is that it is our defense

USA TODAY Sports

After former Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler retired earlier this year, he said in an interview that head coach Mike Tomlin called the defensive plays in Pittsburgh over Butler’s seven years on the job.

Teryl Austin was bumped up from senior defensive assistant and secondary coach to take over Butler’s job running a defense that struggled against the run while finishing 21st in points against last season. On Wednesday, Austin didn’t have many specifics to share about how things will be different than it was under Butler.

Austin said the defense will be aggressive and that it will be “like a normal staff where you have the coordinator who’s coordinating and putting things together” before adding that “anything can happen on gameday” when it comes to who will be making the calls.

“We have input from the staff and the head coach comes in and adds what he wants to add and the things that he wants to see in his defense because it is his team,” Austin said, via Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “And then we go from there, and we build our defense. The bottom line is that it is our defense.”

The bottom line for the Steelers is that the defense needs to be better than it was a year as they break in a new quarterback and try to chart a new course offensively in Tomlin’s 16th season on the job.

7 responses to “Teryl Austin: Mike Tomlin has input, but bottom line is that it is our defense

  1. So will Tomlin ever get blamed for the bad defense in Pittsburgh?
    The Steelers can sack the QB but cannot stop the run or the pass.
    Tomlin is, allegedly, a defensive coach. His defensive playcalling sucks.
    Once LeBeau retired, the Steelers defense was doomed.

  2. In all fairness to Tomlin, he knew that Butler was a boob that couldn’t scheme his way through a Pop Warner game.

  3. Yeah – I would hope a defensive coach will say “we will be aggressive”. The bottom line is the team was gashed vs the run last yr because Alualu & Tuitt (since retired) were hurt, which relied on draft bust Devin Bush to actually try to make a tackle. Hopefully the addition of Myles Jack and return or Alualu will help.

  4. A lot of the Steelers defensive problems have been personnel rather than pay calling. If your guys can’t tackle, the scheme doesn’t really matter. They do need to stop making inside linebackers cover slot receivers and fast tight ends. They have been getting killed on that stuff for decades now.

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