Steelers 2017 Preseason 1 Offensive Charting Notes

You might recall last year that Alex Kozora and myself began a weekly series in which we would provide information following each Pittsburgh Steelers game based on our charting notes that we took. Alex handles the defensive charting, and I handle the offense.

After working through the Giants game from last week, I did find some interesting things of note to take away in how and when, and in what context, the Steelers did things on the offensive side of the ball, though I have to caution, of course, that only so much can be read into the first preseason game.

  • To start things off, the Steelers worked in specified groups pretty cleanly, with some notable exceptions. For example, when Jesse James came off the field, Xavier Grimble was the primary tight end. Then Phazahn Odom got a turn, and then Jake McGee. David Johnson was used as the number two with both James and Grimble.
  • With two starters on the o-line out, Chris Hubbard and J. Finney filled in. They stayed in the game for three more possessions than the others, playing the full first half.
  • Of Joshua Dobbs’ 36 snaps in the game, a surprisingly high percentage of them came from under center. 20 snaps were taken from that position, with the majority of them—14—being running plays. Only two of his 16 snaps from shotgun were runs.
  • I only have two drops marked down for the game, and both of them were on Caanan Severin. The Giants signed him since the Steelers waived him. He did have one nice catch with some YAC.
  • But he was an interesting, big-bodied presence in the slot. On that note, though it’s not much relevant since he’s no longer here, the majority of his snaps in 11 personnel did some out of the slot. Usually when he wasn’t, Eli Rogers was in the game.
  • The Steelers had 28 dropbacks in the game. They used play action in some form or fashion on eight of those dropbacks, working out to a usage of…28 percent. Actually 28.57 percent. But that is more than double the percentage usage from the regular season last year.
  • When Dobbs was in the game, he used play action five times in 20 dropbacks for a smooth 25-percent usage. On those five dropbacks, he completed four of five passes—though he did throw one interception—for 86 yards and a touchdown. Both of his deep completions came off of play action.
  • As for Bart Houston? He completed zero of two passes and scrambled once for two yards. Oof.
  • Dobbs attempted eight passes 10 or more yards beyond the line of scrimmage. He completed six for 94 yards with a negated touchdown and an interception. I’m including in the yardage total the 11-yard pass to Grimble that was called back by a questionable hold.
  • With the first-team offensive line, the Steelers ran the ball seven times for 28 yards, averaging four yards per carry. Before the full third-team line came in, they ran the ball three more times for another 16 yards, so the mixture of first- and second-team produced 44 rushing yards on 10 carries.
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