The Steelers are at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, informally known as the South Side facility, now into the regular season. It’s where they otherwise train all year round, and the facility that Burt Lauten insists everybody refers to by its full name.
There are still unsettled questions that need answering, even deep into the regular season. They entered the process with questions in the starting lineup, in scheme, and elsewhere, but new problems always arise that need to be resolved.
Even questions about who’s starting and when may not have satisfactory answers in their finality, as midseason changes are certainly quite possible, for some positions more than others. We’re also feeling out how the new coordinator posts—or posts in new contexts—end up playing out.
There’s never any shortage of questions when it comes to football, and we’ll be discussing them here on a daily basis for the community to “talk amongst yourselves”, as Linda Richman might say on Coffee Talk.
Question: Will we see any growth in the offense coming out of the 10-day break heading into the Jets game?
The Pittsburgh Steelers were idle today after playing on Thursday night in what proved to be a losing effort to the Cleveland Browns. While resting, they watched both the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals march victoriously past or adjacent to them in the AFC North standings. In other words, they were the only team in the division to lose.
And they managed to lose twice last week. It wasn’t a great stretch, by any means. But coming out of a Thursday night game, they have had a little more time than most other teams, to rest, to assess the state of their team, and to prepare for their next opponent.
The offensive side of the ball for the Steelers in particular underwent major theoretical changes this offseason with the retirement of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, now with Mitch Trubisky under center. It’s been a work in progress, to say the least.
With some extra time off, what can we reasonably expect to change between this past Thursday and this coming Sunday’s game against the New York Jets? I would hope that offensive coordinator Matt Canada and Trubisky would work out some greater clarity on, say, I don’t know, when he’s allowed to audible, for starters.
Speaking of starters, how about using George Pickens like one? Thus far, he has been the most one-dimensional starting wide receiver in the league with the dominance of the go route on his route tree, but he’s capable of more than that, so maybe they can figure out other ways to use him in the meantime.
What other aspects of the offense do you believe we can reasonably see tweaked or altered by the time the Steelers take the field again? Perhaps a reassessment of their blocking priorities is in order after getting a three-week look at the growth and development of this formulation of the offensive line.