Ask Alex: Steelers Mailbag

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Welcome back to your weekly Thursday mailbag. Steelers are wrapping up mandatory minicamp today, their last organized action until they report for training camp. As always, we’re here for the next hour to answer anything and everything on your mind.

To your questions!

CP72: AK,
Hearing a lot about West Coast offense. Ben isn’t the prototype west coast quarterback. Would you be shocked if the offense looks much different than last year? I sure would be.

Alex: It depends on how much “different” different is. I know this offense can’t be the same as it was last year. So it’s a question of how much changes. No, I don’t think this offense will be the like the Packers/Seahawks under Holmgren.

But there are elements of it that exist and things that can work well with Ben. The quick-pass, precision, rhythm elements of the WCO. That is very much Ben’s game today. The rollouts and things? Much less so. I’ll be interest to see how much they do that because it seems like it’s been happening some this summer.

I think there will be some clear aspects of this offense that feel a lot different than last year. Pre-snap motion, even more of a horizontal pass game, really using the whole field, better route combinations, more effective constraint plays, increase use of pistol, all elements I could see be added/improved for 2021.

Jake Sas: Am I wrong to think that with the right people around, Haskins could be the next one up? Seems like he has the talent and everyone has said so it seems.

Alex: I want this guy to throw a pass with pads on first much less actually appear in a regular season game. He should be looking good right now. Because as you said, he has the talent. This is the environment he should and has thrived in. When things speed up, when the game action is live, that’s when he’s struggled. So could he have a future? Sure. But let’s see if he makes the team first.

Matt Smith: 

Howdy Alex,

Is your impression that the Steelers want to return to St. Vincent’s but are just waiting on rubber stamping from the NFL before saying Latrobe is a go?

Alex: Hey Matt! Yes, that’s the feeling I get. I’m sure there are logistical hurdles to deal with going to a college campus. Those dorm rooms aren’t big. The good news is the Steelers seem to have a high vaccination rate. So it hopefully won’t be a Buffalo situation where they chose to stay at home because (possibly, at least) they have a lower rate of guys getting their shots. That would present issues for any team trying to travel for camp.

Hope to get official word by the end of the month.



What draft pick have you warmed up to by additional film review? Than you

Alex: I’d say Buddy Johnson. Think he was a well-rounded game. Good athlete, physical, patient against the run (overall eye discipline does need work though). He has the tools to be a starter in this league. That’s the guy I’ve taken the biggest positive jump from pre to post-draft.

renoir: For where we picked , Najee was a Solid pick but Mac was not out of our reach. A current 1 and future 1 and change.I have a feeling it is gonna haunt us for years. If Bellicheat gets his new Brady, I will lose it. Convince me otherwise please.

Alex: Don’t think I’ll be able to. I liked Mac Jones and was all far the team making an aggressive move for a QB. But bottom line is, if Harris turns out to be a good player and great pick, it’ll make whatever else happens a lot easier to deal with. And Harris is a good player.

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