OC Matt Canada mentioned in his press conference on Thursday that he believes that the Pittsburgh Steelers are close when it comes to experiencing an offensive breakthrough. Many Steelers players have reiterated that statement in recent weeks, stating that they just need to execute better the system in-place to see the results to take them from the bottom of the league in total offense to a respectable offense capable of moving the chains and scoring points.
RB Najee Harris was asked about Canada’s thoughts about the offense being close, to which he responded that he can see it, but everyone must hold themselves accountable in order to turn those thoughts into real results.
“We’re close… but we need to fix some shit,” Harris said to the media Friday in the locker room on video from Chris Adamski’s Twitter page. “It’s more like, what I say, between the team. We talk to each other between the team rather than to social media, you know what I mean? We see what’s going on here as a team. It’s not something we want to talk about towards the media. Not like it’s anything bad, but if we want to get where we at, if we want to achieve what we want to achieve, we need some more accountability coming from each other as the players, too. So, I think it starts with us.”
Some brutally honest words from Harris who isn’t a fan of losing. No one is, but Najee Harris has been hardwired with a winning mindset back to his high school days and his time as Alabama where he enjoyed playing for one of the most successful programs in college football history. Harris managed to help the Steelers make the Wildcard Round of the 2022 playoffs, only to get shellacked by the Kansas City Chiefs in a game no one expected Pittsburgh to win.
In their first season without future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger at QB in 18 seasons, the Steelers looked lost on both sides of the football. Losing DPOY T.J. Watt on the defensive side of football in Week 1 didn’t help matters, but the defense has struggled once again stopping the run consistently and generating any sort of pressure on opposing passing games in his absence.
The offense looks broken with Pittsburgh near the bottom of the league in nearly every statistical category while only scoring 15.3 points per game. Harris himself hasn’t looked like the first-round workhorse running back Pittsburgh drafted him to be either in 2022 as he continues to be inefficient as a runner while watching his receiving work drop drastically from last season. Sure, Harris has been dealing with a Lisfranc injury that he suffered back in training camp, but when the basic eye test suggests that rookie UDFA Jaylen Warren has played better than Harris at times this season, that isn’t a nod of confidence to the second-year tailback.
Blame is to go around for the current state of the Pittsburgh Steelers offense. OC Matt Canada has chosen to stick by one of the most vanilla offensive schemes in the league and hasn’t been able to come up with any adjustments to produce explosive plays. QB Kenny Pickett has made several bad mistakes in his first four games of his NFL career, throwing some game-clinching INTs when victory was within the team’s grasp. The receivers have had miscommunication errors with their young QB, running the wrong routes or dropping potential splash plays that have ended up in the hands of the defense.
Still, each coach and player needs to look at themselves to see what they can do to try and improve rather than point the finger at someone else because the whole offense is a mess. Najee Harris understands this and has taken it upon himself to look in the mirror when it comes to change. Hopefully, the rest of the offense follows suit and incremental improvements can be made as the Steelers prepare for the home stretch.