The Steelers are heading in the wrong direction to start the 2022 season, a season that has come with a number of offensive questions. After last week’s 38-3 loss to the Bills, no upset is expected on the sidelines.
Speaking to the media after the loss, the head coach mike tomlin said he had been “very involved” in the attack on the team, a unit led by Matt Canada. The latter has come under a lot of scrutiny since last season, his first as an offensive coordinator. As Tomlin pointed out, however, he won’t be making “changes for change’s sake” when it comes to the maligned playmaker (Twitter connections via ESPN’s Brooke Pryor).
In five weeks, Pittsburgh ranks 30th in the NFL in yards (308.6) and points (15.4) per game. The veteran signing’s disappointing game Mitch Trubisky led to first-round rookie Kenny Pickett being installed as starting quarterbacksomething that certainly didn’t produce the expected results in Week 5. He and the team face another tough game this Sunday against the Buccaneers.
Here are some other notes from AFC North:
- Alongside Tomlin, another top coach who has been involved in attacking game planning has been Brian Flores. The former Dolphins head coach attended that unit’s meetings before the Steelers game against the Patriots, by Albert Breer of SI. More generally, notes Breer, Flores has functioned as an “over-the-top assistant” with the attack, in addition to his main responsibilities as LB coach. The expanded role comes as the team “hope” Flores will be able to land another HC opportunity down the road.
- As for the post of QB, an agreement could soon arrive. The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly points out that, with Pickett having assumed No. 1 duties, it would make sense for Pittsburgh to move on from one of Trubisky or Mason Rudolf at the next commercial deadline (subscription required). The latter is a pending free agent and has been in trade talks this offseason, although the Steelers clung to him. Trubisky, meanwhile, is under contract for 2023 with a cap of $10.625 million.
- The Browns have the best running offense in the league, which is largely due to their offensive line play. This includes the center Ethan Pocic, who signed in Cleveland this offseason after five years in Seattle. When weighing the options presented by a modest market of free agents, the 27-year-old opted to work with the Browns coach o-line Bill Callahan. “As soon as I wasn’t going to get a big contract, a long-term contract, everything was pretty low, league minimum for the most part, I just went to the team with the best coaches and the best players”, he said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. After the season-ending injury suffered by Nick HarrisPocic has taken on the starter role and currently ranks as the fourth highest rated cross in PFF.
- The first weeks of the season offered a glimpse of a new element in the crows offense. The team put together more looks under center for QB lamar jackson, as detailed by Jason La Canfora of The Washington Posts. Jackson operated almost exclusively from the shotgun before entering the NFL; Baltimore fielded numerous pistol formations in the first four years of his career. 2022, however, has seen a dramatic increase in his under-center looks, particularly in the passing game – part of OC Greg Romainattempts to diversify the team’s heavy offense. Overall, this has translated to just 213 passing yards per game so far (23rd in the league), so the degree to which the team remains committed to this new element will be interesting to watch over time. the season.