It’s safe to say at this point in time that the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense is simply loaded with playmakers.
From JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, James Washington and Eric Ebron, to rookies Najee Harris and Pat Freiermuth, the Steelers have real weapons surrounding veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
The mantra of “only one football to go around” is certainly true, but there’s no real divas on the offensive side of the football, which makes this an offense that can be balanced and focused on the task at hand, rather than getting touches to key guys to make them happy.
Though it was just three true drives in a preseason game against the hapless Detroit Lions, the Steelers’ offense showed glimpses of what it can be in the first year of offensive coordinator Matt Canada, highlighted by big plays and key designs in the redzone to take advantage of mismatches with key guys.
Harris got the crowd excited with an impressive 46-yard catch-and-run down the right sideline on a short check down from Roethlisberger, while Johnson hauled in an impressive 43-yard strike on a post route deep down the middle of the field in the first quarter. Later on both drives Freiermuth hauled in touchdowns, stealing the show in the redzone for the Steelers.
The snaps may be limited due to preseason action, but Harris said the offense is loaded with guys that can make plays and are looking to simply take advantage of the opportunities presented to them.
“Yeah, man, it was a lot of, it was a lot of plays, big plays from a lot of people,” Harris said to reporters following Saturday’s win. “You had Diontae with the big shot. You obviously had Pat making plays and a lot of other guys. But man, you know, that’s just, you know, how you guys can see us as a team really molding together. And I’m really trying to really making the most of our opportunities when we get them. ‘Cause there’s a lot of players on the team. So you know, the ball’s going to get passed around a lot. And when you have your opportunity to make the play, man, you gotta make the play. Cause you know, it’s gonna do good for the team. And you know, I mean there’s a lot of the ball can’t go the same play a lot of times man. So, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s good to be in that type of offense, man. I had the same thing back in college, you know, a lot of players. So, you know, to see that again in the league, it’s good. It’s good.”
Harris should know all about playing in a a loaded offense coming from Alabama, where the Crimson Tide had a number of first-round picks every single year at quarterback, skill positions and the offensive line. Though there doesn’t appear to be that type of talent in Pittsburgh, the Steelers’ offense is built well and fits together nicely with everyone revolving around Roethlisberger.
If the Steelers’ offense can perform throughout games like they did early on against the Lions, look out NFL.