Pittsburgh Steelers 2015 Offensive Outlook
Dividends finally payed off for hiring Todd Haley in 2014, as the offense was unstoppable at times, ranking 2nd in the league. It saw its QB lead the league in passing yards, its #1 WR lead the league in receiving yards and receptions, and its running back finish 2nd in rushing yards. That’s what you call a 3 headed monster! But can the Steelers offense keep up this production going into year #4 for Todd Haley?
For starters, it looks like the Steelers will be retaining all of its offensive assistant coaches, and consistency is what gets the job done in the NFL. Starting with the QB position, it looks like the only question will be when will the Steelers extend Ben Roethlisberger? His backups will be Bruce Gradkowski and Landry Jones, possibly Jones making another push to be the primary backup. Nothing new here.
To the running back spot, Le’Veon Bell had a breakout year and will look to continue his push for title of NFL’s top running back. His backups, however, are a different story. Dri Archer had what you would call an underwhelming rookie year. Bell doesn’t have a true backup running back, so look to free agency or the draft for the Steelers to find one. Will Johnson is a free agent fullback, and personally hope the Steelers sign him back. He doesn’t do anything spectacular, but his presence is clearly felt when run blocking for Bell.
Jan 3, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiverAntonio Brown
(84) runs after a catch against the Baltimore Ravens during the first quarter in the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Heinz Field. The Ravens won 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The wide receiver spot actually looks good going into the offseason for once. Of course there’s Antonio Brown, but the other wide receivers look pretty solid. Martavis Bryant showed his potential as a rookie last year as a red zone target, and Markus Wheaton continued to improve as the season went on. Ben certainly has some weapons all across the board when you add in Bell as a receiving target as well. A 4th receiver will need to be found though, and that may be a middle to late round target in the draft.
Heath Miller isn’t what he once was, but he still gets the job done. However, a second tight end could be brought in this offseason to expand the capabilities of the offense even more, taking some of the load off of Miller. Adding a second tight end would take the offense over the top and be truly feared by opposing defenses.
Finally, the offensive line looks to develop even more in year two of Mike Munchak as the offensive line coordinator. The line is starting to look like what the Steelers imagined it from the time they selected Maurkice Pouncey in 2010 to David Decastro in 2012. All 5 starters should be returning, Kelvin Beachum, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David Decastro, and Marcus Gilbert, and nothing is better than unity for an offensive line.
Every starter on the offense looks to be returning next season, and many of the backups look to be as well. Add in a second tight end in the offseason and a backup running back, and once again the Steelers offense looks to be one of the most feared in the NFL.
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