The fact that the Pittsburgh Steelers offense has not been very good this year has been a very common topic so far, and for obvious reasons. Rarely is there ever just one cause for to level of struggle that we’re seeing, and that’s certainly not the case here, even if one reporter today asked offensive coordinator Matt Canada that very question, to which he replied, “I wish there was one thing”.
While many choose to believe that it’s all on the offensive line, and that fixing those issues up front would be the cure-all, that’s not the case. There are performance issues individually at every skill position, both pre- and post-snap, and working together as an 11-man unit has been lacking as well.
“We’ve got to be a better offense. The popcorn reference is fair”, Canada said later to another question about dropped passes, via transcript. “You get going and you miss, this happens. This isn’t new. Offenses that struggle, this is what happens. But it’s not okay so I’m not minimizing it. We can’t do that either”.
Head coach Mike Tomlin brings up the reference to ‘popcorn’ a lot, the idea that a lot of little problems, rather than one big one, continually pop up that collectively lead to a comprehensive failure of a unit. Of course, not all of the piece of popcorn have to be little ones; some are certainly bigger than others.
The offensive line is obviously a rather large kernel. The drops were a major issue last Sunday, but they haven’t been a weekly problem, either, so it remains to be seen whether or not that is something to be concerned about, especially since many of them came from rookies, primarily running back Najee Harris.
“Those are all things that are part of it. You’ve got to click. They’re not clicking, they’re not in rhythm”, Canada said of the multitude of issues holding the offense back. “All those things are true. We just have to find a way to get them there and do that, and every week you’re playing great people. That’s part of it as well”.
The Steelers will be playing a great team this week, though their offense is greater than their defense, led by Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. That will put the pressure on the defense to try to keep the score manageable; otherwise, the offense will be forced to take a one-dimensional approach, which, even though they’re not running the ball well, only makes matters worse.