We’re only two weeks into the regular season and every red button with the word PANIC in it has been pressed for the Pittsburgh Steelers offense. Kenny Pickett chants have taken place, Matt Canada has become public enemy number 1, and Mike Tomlin’s answers at the podium have gotten old.
Where do we start?
How about with an apology?
Since early in the offseason, a shaky offensive line has been featured as the top concern in Pittsburgh. Two games into the regular season though, they’ve exceeded expectations. A group led by Chukwuma Okorafor at right tackle as the best player has kept Mitch Trubiksy’s jersey clean.
The Steelers’ quarterback has been pressured only in 13% of the snaps, which is the third-lowest rate in the league, per Pro Football Reference. And most of those pressures are not even on the offensive line.
According to Pro Football Focus, Trubisky has been responsible for almost half of the pressures he’s received. He leads the NFL in pressures responsible for the quarterback while his offensive line ranks as the least responsible.
In other words, those guys up front are doing just fine in pass blocking. An apology to the unit that was supposed to be what held the Steelers back is in order.
Now granted, it’s early in the season and the run game is tougher to evaluate. But even there, the Steelers offensive line has been flagged for only one holding call (Dan Moore).
Knowing full well that the Steelers have chosen to be an uber-safe offense by design, the status of the offensive line can’t be an excuse anymore. Aggressiveness must be injected into this team’s attack.
Who knows if Pittsburgh will make any sort of change at quarterback or offensive coordinator anytime soon?
But one thing is for certain, the blame for not utilizing a highly talented group of skill position players can’t be placed on the talent playing at the line of scrimmage.
Featured image via Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports