Zach Gentry: ‘Entire Offense Really Took Pride’ In Improved Rushing Atack

When the Pittsburgh Steelers won seven of their last nine games, they did it on the back of their running game led by running back Najee Harris. And while Harris rightfully gets a lot of props for his great play towards the end of the season, the offensive line and tight ends deserve some as well.

Today, Steelers tight end Zach Gentry sat down with Dale Lolley of and talked about the pride he felt watching the rushing attack take off this season.

“I think we had one of the more efficient running offenses in the National Football League second half of the year,” Gentry said on a video posted to “I know that our entire offense really took pride in that, from the offensive line, tight ends, receivers, downfield blocking, sustaining their blocks too. So, to see the way that progressed throughout the year with the maturation of our team and it was something that we needed to happen. It was kind of what I think ultimately sparked our offense to, to move the ball a lot better.”

In the Steelers’ last nine games, they averaged a whopping 146 yards per game. If they were able to run at that pace for a whole season it would have ranked them seventh in the league just behind the New York Giants who sit at 146.3 yards per game.

Gentry saw most of his game action on running downs as he is known as the team’s “blocking tight end.” Think back to tight end Matt Spaeth and how he was primarily used on run plays due to his ability to block.

However, this offseason Gentry is a free agent and the Steelers need to make a choice on if they want to bring their best blocking tight end back. Gentry doesn’t offer too much in the passing game, but bringing him back on a cheap deal could lead to the Steelers not using a draft pick on the tight end position.

Bringing Gentry back will probably revolve around if head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Omar Khan want to use a draft pick to replace Gentry. While Gentry will be cheaper re-sign than some other guys, a late-round rookie will still be cheaper. However, the Steelers don’t necessarily need a tight end, and the team can instead use a draft pick to address some of their more urgent needs.

While Gentry certainly isn’t the biggest name this offseason, what the Steelers decide to do with him will have an impact on their draft. Because of this, he will certainly be a name to keep an eye on in these next few weeks.

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