The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Cincinnati Bengals in their Week 1 regular season opener, and the coaches are putting the final touches on their plans too. In other words, where will the coaches be standing when the game starts?
Last season, offensive coordinator Matt Canada was in the booth for the entire regular season, and Thursday he announced he will be staying in the booth in 2022. However, last year Keith Butler spent his season on the sidelines with the players. What is the plan for new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin?
Thursday when he met with the media Austin said he will be on the sideline, not in the booth. This is a change for Austin who said he hasn’t been on the sideline since 2013.
This per Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Teryl Austin will be on the sidelines and Brian Flores in the press box. Austin said he hasn’t been in the sidelines since 2013. He tried both in the preseason and decided he liked being around the players.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) September 8, 2022
The caveat in this news, especially for Austin, is the fact Brian Flores will be in the booth. Often times coaches rely on someone in the booth to help relay information they are seeing with an aerial perspective to help them make calls. In this case, it would be Flores who is speaking with Austin regarding what he’s seeing which might not be able to be seen from the sideline.
As for Canada, being in the booth also means he can’t communicate as easily with his players on the sideline. His line of communication is through Mike Sullivan, the Steelers quarterbacks coach. Once the offense leaves the field, the signal callers can reach Canada via phone, but being in the booth does have its downfalls, and this is one of them.
Some view this as significant, while others brush it aside as a non-story. Only time will tell if this plays a role in the success of the 2022 Steelers. In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Bengals this Sunday in Cincinnati, OH.