4 important notes from Day 1 of Steelers training camp

  • A surprising name earns starting snaps at slot CB
  • Steelers may have found a new upback
Steelers, Calvin Austin III
Steelers, Calvin Austin III / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Jet sweeps aren't going away

Like it or not, friends, the jet sweeps in Pittsburgh aren't going away anytime soon. This is one of the few staples of Matt Canada's offense and they account for just a hint of unpredictability. Canada has had success with the jet sweep in the past, and the fact that the Steelers are pulling this out so early seems to indicate that it will remain part of the plan.

During the first day of practice, the Steelers briefly worked on jet sweeps. Unsurprisingly, they also brought back the 'pony' set with two running backs on the field at the same time. This is a personnel grouping they rarely used in 2022, but with two competent backs in Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren, it will be interesting to see if it's on the menu this year.

Just like last summer, however, it was speedster Anthony McFarland who was the motion man with the threat of taking the jet sweep. Despite averaging 5.7 yards per carry during the 2022 preseason, McFarland ultimately fell short of making the final roster.

How much the jet sweep and 'pony' sets are used in 2023 could be entirely dependent on which players are designed to play that role and who ends up as the team's third running back. Regardless, it's probably safe to assume that the old Matt Canada special isn't going away anytime soon.

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