By now it’s a far cry from stepping out on a limb for anybody to say that the Pittsburgh Steelers have the potential to break out in a big way on the offensive side of the ball in 2015. They have a wealth of talent at all of the skill positions, as well as a growing offensive line that has been marinating for a few seasons together and is primed for its best year yet.
But there is one factor of the game that, I think, has been getting a bit overlooked with respect to the offense’s potential for growth as a whole, rather than isolating on the improvement of individual players.
In essence, the Steelers should be able to play even faster this year. And not running faster. I mean pace.
With Pittsburgh returning every meaningful offensive contributor last season—more or less—from Matt Spaeth to Will Johnson to Cody Wallace, this unit should be seriously getting in sync without relying on anybody that is new to the system.
Nor are there any new coaches integrating entirely new concepts or freshly breaking down a player’s game, as we had last year with Mike Munchak working on rebuilding this offensive line from within.
Nor is there a new system to adjust to as the Todd Haley–Ben Roethlisberger offense enters its fourth campaign, primed to reach a level that a Steelers offense has never seen before in the history of the franchise.
There is a level of synchronicity developing with the core offensive players that will forces defenses to keep up, and they will inevitably fail. The chemistry between Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown alone is something to marvel.
Le’Veon Bell established himself last year as an elite dual threat player who now fully has the trust of his teammates, and particularly his quarterback in the role of a receiver. And of course Roethlisberger’s relationship with Heath Miller certainly does not need to be extolled.
The offensive line is entering what is essentially its third season now as a cohesive unit, with the only potential roadblock in its path being the ability to stay healthy. The players have collectively learned one another’s instincts and how to play together, which is essential in allowing the offense to play at a fast pace.
Brown has noticed this as well, saying that “the tempo has been really good, better than it was before”. According to the All-Pro receiver, “guys are getting lined up fast” and “getting to the line”, allowing Roethlisberger to “call the cadence”.
The fact that the Steelers do not have to rely on any players entering their first year into the system, with the exception of veteran DeAngelo Williams, will be a crucial element in their ability to execute their game plan on offense at the highest level. This is an offense that will keep you on your toes, and, if you’re a defensive coordinator, keep you up at night.