The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the regular season, following the most unique offseason in the NFL since at least World War II. While it didn’t involve a player lockout, teams still did not have physical access to their players, though they were at least able to meet with them virtually.
Even training camp looked much different from the norm, and a big part of that was the fact that there will be no games along the way to prepare for. Their first football game of the year was to be the opener against the New York Giants.
As the season progresses, however, there will be a number of questions that arise on a daily basis, and we will do our best to try to raise attention to them as they come along, in an effort to both point them out and to create discussion
Questions like, how will the players who are in new positions this year going to perform? Will the rookies be able to contribute significantly? How will Ben Roethlisberger look—and the other quarterbacks as well? Now, we even have questions about whether or not players will be in quarantine.
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Will meaningful film study lead to the Steelers having more success against Jake Luton than they did against Garrett Gilbert and Jeff Driskel?
For the third time this season on Sunday, the Steelers will be facing a team playing a backup quarterback for the majority of the game. In week two, after knocking out Drew Lock early in the game against the Denver Broncos, they played against Jeff Driskel, a veteran backup who had some success moving the ball. Two weeks ago, the Dallas Cowboys had to start their fourth different quarterback of the season, that being former AAF star Garrett Gilbert, making his first NFL start.
In both instances after the game, players alluded to a lot of familiarity (or recent familiarity) with these quarterbacks as reasons for their playing them conservatively early on in the game as they sought to gain knowledge on how they would perform and execute the offense, and which likely helped enable them to perform better than expected.
As they prepare to face the Jacksonville Jaguars without Gardner Minshew, however, the case is different, as their backup, rookie Jake Luton, has just started the past two games, and has had about 80 or so dropbacks in just the past couple of weeks for them to study.
In theory, they should have more than enough information to work from to have a pretty good idea of what to expect from Luton and to formulate a game plan to attack him without having to do that in-game.