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Olsavsky brings a different style to classroom

Posted Aug 16, 2015

He is one way one the field, but completely different off the field.

LATROBE, Pa. – Steelers inside linebackers have seen Jerry Olsavsky in action over the last four years in his role as a defensive assistant with the team. And action is the key word.

Olsavsky is perpetual motion on the field, always active, always vocal, always fired up.

So this year, when Olsavsky was promoted to the team’s inside linebackers coach, they expected the same thing out of him in the meeting room. What they got, though, was something different.

“We have to get acclimated to how he coaches,” said linebacker Vince Williams.
“He is laid back. I thought he would be more fired up, because he is a really fired up guy, but when he coaches he gets us in the room and slowly explains things and knows what he is doing.

“It goes to what we have in our room. We have four starters in there in Lawrence (Timmons), Ryan (Shazier), Sean (Spence) and I, guys who have taken the snaps as starters, and Terrance Garvin is no slouch and Jordan Zumwalt isn’t either. We have a really experienced group. Jerry just talks to us, not too much coaching. We don’t go over the X’s and O’s, but instead how we are going to execute.”

Olsavsky said he is still feeling his way in his first year as a full-time coach on the staff, but he knows the key is showing respect.

“You have to treat them as men,” said Olsavsky. “How I am as a person, on the field that is what I do and have been doing it for a long time. You get in a classroom with the guys you can’t do that. It’s not good for everyone. How you say it in the classroom, it comes back to Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi. Bart told Vince you can yell at me all you want, that isn’t going to help. That is the way I look at it.  

“I really am feeling my way in camp. It’s a little different. It’s been a great experience. Coach (Keith) Butler and Coach (Mike) Tomlin let me do it my way. They are great resources with questions as are Carnell (Lake), Joey (Porter) and John (Mitchell). I ask them advice and if I can make it part of my style I do. I just want to take the knowledge they give me and help the players.”