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.