3 Steelers who are ecstatic about their new offensive coordinator

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Ebron (85). Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Ebron (85). Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports /

JuJu Smith-Schuster

I’m not saying they did this for JuJu by any means, however, JuJu lives in the slot when he is on the field. The same reasoning as to why Eric Ebron will be utilized so much in 2021 is going to help JuJu as well. When Canada is scheming for JuJu it will be simple, get the safety to shift and send JuJu upfield. We will see a pattern of linebackers and safeties consistently shifting due to the motion. If #19 is isolated 1 on 1 with a defender he will make the catch. More importantly, JuJu needs more opportunities downfield. He isn’t as fast as Tyreek Hill, but he has great straight-line speed.

JuJu made comments earlier in the year that he would do whatever the Steelers wanted to help the team win, even though he would prefer more opportunities to make plays downfield. Unfortunately, it led to Randy Fichtner hardly ever sending him more than 5 yards down the field at a time. If Smith-Schuster can throw me a bone, by taking a pay cut, to remain a Pittsburgh Steeler in 2021 I can assure you he will impress. Even with the emerging presence of Chase Claypool, teams were far too comfortable in continuing to double Smith-Schuster any time, which was very rare, he went downfield.

If Canada is lucky enough to retain all the major pass catchers at the Steelers disposal in 2020, this offense will be deadly. Claypool and Johnson are consistent threats on the outside of the field, but the constant focus on the sidelines paid by defenses led to rougher performances towards the end of 2020. The back middle of the field was always open, while there were constantly 2-3 guys sitting 5-10 yards back from the line of scrimmage. With a more stable offensive line, the entire field will be utilized in these passing plays. Expect JuJu along with Ebron to do major damage between the hash marks in 2021, defenses won’t be able to stop the offense Canada will be running with all of these weapons.