Steelers new running backs coach Eddie Faulkner settles into 1st NFL coaching job
After almost two decades as a college assistant coach, Eddie Faulkner is embarking on his first NFL gig this summer. In his Pittsburgh Steelers position room, at least the faces Faulkner encounters are just about as green as his.
The seven running backs on the Steelers roster combine for four accrued NFL seasons, 61 regular-season games and fewer combined career regular- and postseason yards from scrimmage (1,973) than Le’Veon Bell had in his most recent season for the Steelers alone (2,102 in 2017).
In other words, the Steelers’ running backs are collectively just about as new to the NFL as Faulkner is.
“Iron sharpens iron in that way,” Faulkner said after the first day of Steelers minicamp Tuesday. “They done great job of helping me out, and I am helping them out, too, so it’s been a two-way street, and that parts been fun. There’s definitely a learning curve with a lot of them that I am picking up on, and they will continue to get better and I will, too.”
Faulkner’s lone professional time spent at an NFL facility prior to his January hire by the Steelers came at the same South Side facility – in 2001, when he spent training camp with the team as an undrafted free agent after a four-year college career as a running back at Wisconsin.
Meet the newest member of our coaching staff, RB Coach Eddie Faulkner. pic.twitter.com/R1hU4UZXnm
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 17, 2019
The next 17 football seasons were spent at five different college campuses (Anderson University, Ball State, Northern Illinois, Wisconsin and N.C. State) before the Steelers hired him to replace James Saxon as running backs coach.
While the players say they are embracing Faulkner and his teaching, Faulkner said the players have shown him the protection schemes and routes of the Steelers’ offense as well as techniques they previously had learned.
“I’m not the type of guy who is married to anything,” said Faulkner, who on Tuesday spoke to the media at large for the first time since he was hired. “I do have certain drills and things I believe in that can help, but at the same time if guys have had success in the past in using certain techniques I am all in continuing to do that. It’s all about what best gets the job done.”
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .