Steelers News

Cole Holcomb Fired Up To Play For ILB Coach Aaron Curry: ‘Give Me The Playbook Now’

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ inside linebacker room is so new this offseason that it even includes a new inside linebackers coach. Former Steelers linebacker Jerry Olsavsky had served in that role for many years, but the team hired Aaron Curry to take over that role.

And he’ll be working with a rather new room, as at the moment the only carryover from last season is 2022 seventh-round pick Mark Robinson. Their top three players from last season —Devin Bush, Robert Spillane, and Myles Jack—are all gone, with Jack a salary cap casualty, though the Steelers could theoretically re-sign him at a lower price.

The team did sign two linebackers with starting experience, including Cole Holcomb, who held a press conference yesterday with the local media over Zoom. He was clearly energized when asked about his first impressions of Curry.

“I’m excited“, he said, via 93.7 The Fan. “I think the world of him, and I’m super excited to get to work with him. Every time I talk to him, I’m like, ‘Dude, hand me a playbook. Give me the playbook now. I’m ready to go. Let’s go step on the field’. He’s awesome, and I’m excited to work with those guys”.

Among “those guys” is Elandon Roberts. Added as an unrestricted free agent this offseason, he was a 17-game starter for the Miami Dolphins a year ago. He posted 107 tackles in 2022 with 10 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks and six quarterback hits.

The cupboard isn’t completely bare behind them outside of Robinson, though. Tae Crowder was added to the practice squad in 2022 and he also has legitimate NFL experience. He has started 31 of 41 games over the past three seasons as a former seventh-round draft pick with the New York Giants.

That included a 17-start season in 2021, during which he put up 130 tackles with two interceptions and six passes defensed. He started eight of 13 games for the Giants in 2022 before being waived in December. He was signed by the Steelers a week later but did not see action.

As for Curry, he had a brief career as a former fourth-overall draft pick, playing just four seasons. He has spent the past couple years working in various assistant defensive coaching roles with the Seattle Seahawks, but this post with the Steelers marks his first position coach job in the NFL. He began his coaching career with the Charlotte 49ers, where he coached both Larry Ogunjobi and Alex Highsmith.

At 36 years old and with an NFL resume, Curry is able to relate to his players in ways others who lack that more intimate experience may struggle to achieve. It’s a good early sign to see Holcomb fired up and eager to play for him, but the results will ultimately be told on the field.

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