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Steelers 2017 1st Quarter Offensive Charting Notes

Now that we are a full quarter of the way through the 2017 regular season, it’s time for our first check-in in updating our offensive charting notes through the first four games. Much of it will be apparent just from having watched the games, of course (i.e. Antonio Brown played a lot, Roosevelt Nix did not), but I think it’s a big enough sample size to begin to paint a picture.

  • Personnel groupings:
    • 01: 12/284 (4.2%)
    • 11: 205/284 (72.2%)
    • 12: 23/284 (8.1%)
    • 13: 8/284 (2.8%)
    • 21: 6/284 (2.1%)
    • 22: 23/284 (8.1%)
    • 23: 1/284 (.4%)
    • V-32: 6/284 (2.1%)
  • As you can see, and not very surprisingly, the 11 personnel package has been by far the dominant look, with over 70 percent of the team’s offensive snaps coming from that look. Including the four-receiver snaps, they have had at last three wide receivers on the field for more than three quarters of their total offensive snaps.
  • A fullback has been used on about 16 percent of the team’s offensive snaps, which all things considered is not too bad of a ratio. They were hardly able to use it at all early last season because of Nix’s back injury.
  • The four-receiver set has not become as prevalent as was indicated by its usage in the season opener. Will that change over time? it’s something to pay attention to in the future, I think.
  • Rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster is closing the gap on Martavis Bryant in terms of snaps played. The veteran has played 197 snaps, while the rookie is up to 173 snaps played. Eli Rogers is a distant fourth with 101 snaps.
  • Who has been used in the one-receiver sets so far (the 13 and 22 personnel packages)? Bryant has gotten four of the 31 snaps, with Justin Hunter getting three just on Sunday. Smith-Schuster also has four, while the rest—20—have gone to Brown, including all eight of the 13 personnel snaps. Darrius Heyward-Bey used to get his share of these snaps, believe it or not, since they tend to be running plays.
  • Already, Ben Roethlisberger and David DeCastro are the only players left on offense to have played every snap. Think about that in light of Joe Thomas’ 10,000-plus-snap streak.
  • Just 21 of Le’Veon Bell’s 250 snaps so far have come at wide receiver. The Steelers have yet to use him together with another halfback on the field.
  • Of Vance McDonald’s 66 snaps played so far, 28 of them have come as the lone tight end. On five of the other snaps, Xavier Grimble was the other tight end.
  • As expected, not much play-action as usual. Just 20 of 157 dropbacks saw the use of play action, or 12.7 percent. The Steelers are averaging just six yards per dropback on play-action plays. When he actually attempts a pass that is not penalized or is sacked, though, he is averaging eight yards, with not interceptions or touchdowns.
  • 50 snaps have come out of the no huddle so far. Unsurprisingly, the home game had the largest individual share of them with 19.
  • Average depth of target: 10.3 (151 targets; 140 official)
    • Vance McDonald – 5 (3 targets; 2 official)
    • Antonio Brown – 13.6 (51 targets; 45 official)
    • Jesse James – 5 (20 targets)
    • Le’Veon Bell – -.3 (23 targets)
    • JuJu Smith-Schuster – 5.8 (14 targets)
    • Eli Rogers – 8.8 (13 targets)
    • Martavis Bryant – 20.5 (25 targets; 21 official)
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