When the Pittsburgh Steelers were scouting Jaylen Samuels in 2018, it would appear that he was not the only one who impressed them at N.C.State. In need of a new running backs coach this offseason, it looks like Pittsburgh will be returning to North Carolina to fill their vacant role.
Eddie Faulkner has been a part of the Wolfpack for six seasons and he is officially listed as N.C. State’s tight ends coach, fullbacks coach, special team coordinator and recruitment coordinator on the team’s website. Once a running back himself at the University of Wisconsin, Faulkner has spent 17 years in coaching with Anderson University, Ball State, Northern Illinois and Wisconsin before joining N.C. State in 2013.
Having recruited Samuels to college and then coached him for four seasons, Faulkner will obviously have intimate knowledge of his former charge and that is likely to help him with his transition into the NFL. The opportunity to reunite with a player he spoke so highly of in college must have made the job in Pittsburgh especially attractive to him too.
“As a coach we can sit here and say, “We want Jaylen to do this.” For some players it would be unheard of because he can’t remember that or do that. All you have to do is come up with a plan and he’ll learn it.”
Samuels was not the only former player Faulkner saw drafted in 2018 given he also had a hand in the development of Nyheim Hines. Selected in fourth-round by the Indianapolis Colts, Hines had an impressive rookie season as a dual threat in the backfield, recording 314-yards rushing as well as 63 receptions for 425-yards.
Faulkner will fill the role made available when the Steelers opted not to renew the contract of James Saxon who was signed by the Arizona Cardinals as their new running backs coach on Monday.