Steelers 2015 Offensive Emphasis Includes Yards After Catch


The Steelers 2014 season saw a huge improvement in the running game, but more offense is needed and Yards After Catch is an off season area of focus.

Mike Prisuta, of, recently posted some comments from Marcus Wheaton who he quoted:

"He’s always on me about my run after (the catch), my YAC,” Wheaton said. “He wants us to finish, that’s what he’s trying to push. And I think he gets his point across very well.”"

Wheaton is talking about Mike Tomlin. So far, it’s hard to say if OTAs foreshadowing the actual season, but there are a few things that were interesting.

Last week I saw that the first offensive play of the OTA was a two-point conversion, which several analysts thought was an indicator of how the new PAT rule would affect the Steelers strategy.

The other is this focus on Yards After Catch (YAC) or an emphasis on finishing.

Sometimes I think nothing drives a fan more crazy (and probably the coaches too) when we think we see that a player could have gone further on a run with the ball. The play looks unfinished.

I will say that in 2014 the Steelers had pretty good stats for YAC.

According to, Le’Veon Bell had the second highest total YAC with 723, coming second to Matt Forte’s 771.  I guess it is expected that Running Backs would have the higher stats for this, but Wide Receivers aren’t left out of the top 10.  Antonio Brown was 6th with 568 yards.

A different statistics site, Sporting Charts, lists LeVeon Bell as 1st with 841 YAC and Antonio Brown as 5th with 632 YAC.

It’s not obvious why the two sites are different, but the rankings are very similar.

I think this is an excellent emphasis for the Steelers.  Ben is the key to the offense, without a doubt.  But, if the Steelers can get more from each offensive play, well, it stands to reason that will only help Roethlisberger.

I also think the Steelers are preparing as they should for Bell’s absence. It will also benefit the Steelers should Bell have any other injury problems.

I am encouraged that the Steelers aren’t working on the “same things.” Perhaps they are and it is just being interpreted differently.

It could be a difference in attitude. Wheaton had a taste of some success last year and he’s hungry for more and wanting to do everything and more than the coaches ask him for.

That’s a good sign, a very good sign.

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