How will the Steelers offense become more versatile in 2021?
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been focused on fixing their running game. Can their tight ends help open up the offense in 2021?
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been under the microscope as of late. With the beginning of the 2021-2022 NFL season approaching, many fans are becoming anxious. NFL analysts have made it a habit to discuss the numerous obstacles that sit in their path.
Despite discussions, Pittsburgh is ready for action. The franchise has made improvements to its roster since last season. For the Steelers to brave the storm of this year, they must rely on their new faces.
It is no surprise that the Steelers expect Najee Harris to produce during the regular season. The 2021 first-round draft has already received that message loud and clear. The Pittsburgh franchise is defined by ground and pound football, strong defense accompanied by a swift-running attack. Last season the Steelers were the last ranked team in rushing offense. Although Harris seems to be the logical solution to Matt Canada’s and Mike Tomlins’s woes, he might not be enough.
It is hard to have an explosive offense when your team is one-dimensional. The rushing game is reliant on how effective the offense’s passing performance has been throughout the game. At the end of the 2020 regular season, the Steelers passing offense finished 16th overall. This year Ben Roethlisberger will have the same familiar faces as outside targets. Chase Claypool, JuJu Smith Schuster, and Dionte Johnson have all remained on the roster.
Pat Freiermuth could be a huge asset for Steelers
The Steelers used their second-round pick of the 2021 NFL draft wisely. They selected Pat Freiermuth from the University of Pennsylvania. Freiermuth recorded 1,182 yards receiving and 16 touchdowns during his career as a Nittany Lion. His ability to perform execute precise routes adds to the advantage that his 6-foot 5-inch frame provides. He creates a disadvantage for teams who plan to continue to disrupt Pittsburgh’s passing attack.
The addition of Pat Freiermuth will help Pittsburgh in both areas of offense. Along with the ability to aid in the passing attack, Freiermuth’s will is also a weapon when blocking at the line of scrimmage.
Last season, the offense relied on Eric Ebron and Vance McDonald to pose as Roethlisberger’s safety blankets. Ebron finished the season with 56 receptions and 5 touchdowns. With the recent retirement of McDonald, Freiermuth is next on call.
When defenses strategize on how to stop Pittsburgh’s developing offense, they must now think bigger. The Steelers will no longer have a one-dimensional offense, and Pat Freiermuth could be the proof.
The Pittsburgh Steelers must be ready to endure a tough season. The Buffalo Bills act as the first test for the Steelers must prove themselves worthy in 2021. We will see if their tight ends continue to play a factor in the regular season.