When you have a bunch of players making Pro Bowls and All-Pro lists, it probably shouldn’t be very surprising if you find that people want to start emulating what you are doing. Evidently, that is what the Carolina Panthers are hoping to do with their offense, following the Pittsburgh Steelers’ blueprint—or at least something like that.
Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera went on the radio earlier this month and, according to Pro Football Talk, said during an interview that the Steelers are an example of what they would like to accomplish with their own offense, after a major down season in 2016 following a Super Bowl appearance the year before.
“Look what they did in Pittsburgh with Ben Roethlisberger. Look what they did with the type of players they put in their backfield, put in their receiving corps”, Rivera said, according to the transcription by Josh Alper for PFT.
“They run the ball with a very quick, slashing style running game. They can ground and pound it at the same time with the same running game. Then they’ve got some very versatile, quick receivers that make plays once they get the ball in their hands”.
Just last season, the Steelers sent five players on the offensive side of the ball to the Pro Bowl, namely quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wide receiver Antonio Brown, running back Le’Veon Bell, right guard David DeCastro, and center Maurkice Pouncey. Bell, Brown, and DeCastro all made at least second-team All-Pro as well.
The team could certainly argue to have a couple of other players on their roster who are worthy of consideration for the Pro Bowl in 2017, to boot, in particular right tackle Marcus Gilbert and wide receiver Martavis Bryant, the latter of whom is of course returning from a suspension that lasted for the entirety of the 2016 season.
The Panthers added running back Christian McCaffrey in the first round and then wide receiver Curtis Samuel in the second round in the hopes of working out a trio with quarterback Cam Newton that can turn their offense into something great.
There is one piece the Panthers have that the Steelers wish that they had, however, and that would be at the tight end position. Greg Olsen has been great for Carolina’s offense over the years as a receiver, and Pittsburgh has been lacking that component.