5 biggest questions we must see answered at Steelers training camp

  • What role will second-year players have in 2023?
  • Several positions are wide open entering camp

Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp, Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp, Steelers / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
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4. Will Calvin Austin emerge as a dynamic weapon from the slot?

One player we hardly got to see at all last summer was Calvin Austin III. The former Memphis star was injured very early in training camp and never set foot back on the field in pads in 2022. This was very unfortunate, as it looked like the Steelers were getting outstanding value out of one of the draft's most dynamic weapons in the compensatory fourth round.

Fast forward one year and Austin is healthy and ready to go from the foot injury that required surgery and landed him on IR all year. Now year two is going to be huge for his career path. At the NFL Combine last year, Austin ran an official 4.32 and recorded an astonishing 11'3'' broad jump to go with a blazing 4.07 20-yard shuttle.

This speed and explosion shows up on film, as Austin has the ability to win deep or take a drag route to the house from any distance. The biggest concern is the frame. At 5'7 3/4'' and 170 pounds soaking wet, Austin is incredibly undersized. This typically comes with increased injury risk and it makes his catch radius one of the smallest in the league.

Austin's biggest competition for slot work in 2023 could be veteran Allen Robison -- who was acquired via trade after the NFL Draft. If Austin can prove to be the dynamic weapon in college, the Steelers are going to need someone who can chew up yards after the catch. He could help turn a stagnant offense into one that has significantly more explosive plays in 2023. Keep an eye on his usage at Steelers training camp.