The Pittsburgh Steelers unbalanced offense was an issue in recent seasons and made life easier for opposing defenses. So much for unpredictability.
In their last 40 contests, including the disturbing 48-37 home loss to the Browns in the 2020 AFC Wild Card Playoffs, the Pittsburgh Steelers totaled fewer than 20 total running plays a combined 16 times. The past three seasons, Mike Tomlin’s club has finished 31st, 29th and dead last in the league, respectively, in rushing yards per game.
And apparently that may have been the good news. Via Warren Sharp of Sharp Football Analysis, the numbers were pretty damning when it came to the offense under former coordinator Randy Fichtner.
Pittsburgh Steelers offense looks different with Matt Canada
Earlier this week, new offensive coordinator Matt Canada gave an update on the direction of his unit (via Joe Rutter of the Tribune-Review, Greensburg) and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s role. The first sentence got plenty of play but the entire explanation is vital.
We’re going to do what Ben wants to do and how Ben wants to do it…Our job is putting every player in position to make plays. There are changes with terminology, how we’re calling things. That has been an adjustment for Ben, and he’s learning it and doing really well with it and has adapted easily. That is our job. Matchups are how you win football games. Ben, it starts with the quarterback — what does he do well, what does he like, what does he see, what is good to his eye in the passing game, and we build off that. His voice, his vision and what he sees is what we’re going to do.
As has been well-documented, the 2020 Steelers set a team record with 11 wins to open a season. Their collapse down the stretch was shocking but the imbalance of this offense has been a problem for far too long. The promotion of Canada is expected to change things, as is the first-round selection of running back Najee Harris.
Will this be a dramatically different offense this upcoming season? That’s pretty hard to predict, compared to the Steelers’ play-calling in recent years.