The Pittsburgh Steelers broke out the Wildcat offense some Monday night in their 27-3 home win over the Cincinnati Bengals and while a little bit unorthodox, it certainly worked most of the time they used it in the game.
In total, the Steelers had running back Jaylen Samuels take seven total snaps as a Wildcat quarterback against the Bengals and on four of those he ran with the football and on three others he shovel passed the football to fellow running back James Conner. Of those seven plays, five were successful with one of those being a 2-yard touchdown run by Samuels.
“It was a good game plan, great play calls,” Samuels said after the game of the Wildcat offense the team ran against the Bengals. “We went out there and executed. I seen the holes, I tried to hit it the best I can, put the ball where I had to, just get positive yards most of the time.”
The Wildcat wasn’t something new to Samuels as he was asked to run that some during his college career at North Carolina State.
“It was all the same, literally all the same,” Samuels said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Tight end pulling, looked like freshman year all over again. It was kind of crazy. When we got back on [the practice field] Wednesday, they said it was in the game plan. I got up for that. When I heard Wildcat, I knew it was time to go.”
Those seven Wildcat snaps Monday night netted 46 yards. Guard David DeCastro said after the game that didn’t mind the use of the Wildcat offense.
“I liked it,” DeCastro said. “I thought it kept them honest, giving them the edge and stuff and then running down hill. I think it was a good plan and then obviously we executed well, which is ultimately at the end of the day what matters. So, obviously Jaylen and James are pretty confident back there.”
Quarterback Mason Rudolph also spoke about the use of the Wildcat Monday night during his press conference when asked right off the bat if the offense drawing press coverage was the key to the Wildcat working.
“We weren’t sure how they were going to handle that new package, that new look,” Rudolph said. “So, Jaylen and James Conner, when you got a duo it like that back there, they did a great job of handling all the cadence and whatnot, which is new for them. So, they did a great job and we adjusted once we found out what defense they were going to present to us in that package.”
Will we see a lot more of the Wildcat offense moving forward now that it’s out of the bag? It’s hard to know for sure but you can bet the Baltimore Ravens will now be preparing for it this week after seeing the Steelers offense use it against the Bengals seven times Monday night.