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Steelers Must Be Open To Expanding Offense, Pickett Says: ‘We Need To Do Whatever We Can To Win’

The most common description of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense this season has been limited and predictable. Even national commentators, when having had the opportunity to do tape study through a whole game, have at times come away baffled by how few different sets of plays they could actually run in a game.

That approach hasn’t exactly led to points, at least until this past Sunday, even if they have fleshed out the playbook just a bit in recent weeks. The bye week has notably seen them run more in-breaking routes, for example, albeit a little less commonly this week than the one last.

One would expect that a young offense with rookie starters in key positions would grow and develop over the course of the year, and rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett agreed with that notion. “Absolutely” the offense is expanding, he said, via the team’s website.

“At this point, we need to do whatever we can to win, so we all have to be prepared for whatever [offensive coordinator Matt Canada] throws at us”, he said; “to come ready to work and to be open to learning new things and adjusting on the fly, which I think we’ve done a good job of but we definitely can improve on as we go”.

I don’t imagine anybody is remaining who has been really holding out hope that we’re going to see much variety in the offense in comparison to what we have already seen. The offensive playcalling continues to baffle on a variety of grounds.

It is most especially notable in how it flies in the face of one of Canada’s most common statements, which is that each gameplan is designed around their upcoming opponent. The reality is that we don’t see much variety from gameplan to gameplan, and those differences are more often better explained by the in-game circumstances than by the personality of the other team.

There have been some forced adaptations, most notably following the trade of Chase Claypool. Losing a starting wide receiver, we have seen a greater usage of 12 personnel on the field, with Zach Gentry getting more work, and even Connor Heyward contributing.

That is one area in which they can definitely expand, though I’m not sure how much more of an asset it could be in the passing game. Tight end Pat Freiermuth is already the team’s leading receiver by yardage. Gentry is not exactly going to be the first read on many plays.

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