Steelers secret weapon #3
Maybe I’m a bit too high on him, but Zach Gentry just feels like he is set up for a huge workload this season. After being an afterthought heading into training camp last year, he finally took the needed steps forward to become a good backup. He became the Steelers best blocker at tight end and worked his way into a role on offense despite being behind Pat Freiermuth and Eric Ebron.
Now, Gentry finds himself as the lone backup tight end worth talking about on an offense that will feature a new quarterback and a run-centric scheme. It seems like Gentry should be a prominent feature on this offense even if he isn’t the lead tight end. No, he won’t cut into Freiermuth’s playing time, but he will likely see more than 40 percent of the offensive snaps and should increase his offensive production.
Sure, Gentry is a blocker first, but he produced nearly 200 receiving yards last season in a reserve role. With the quarterbacks likely favoring shorter and safer passes, Gentry could find a comfortable role as both a blocker and marginal pass-catcher. While it hasn’t translated yet, Gentry also has the size to be a mismatch in the red zone. Add in his blocking ability and Gentry should become a regular on Steelers offensive drives.