The Pittsburgh Steelers have been making headlines all week after a dreadful offensive performance in their Week 2 matchup against the New England Patriots. The Steelers managed only 243 yards of offense and quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw for only 168 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. In the later stages of the game, “Kenny” chants echoed throughout Acrisure Stadium in regards to the Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett who currently is second on the depth chart.
In recent weeks, fans have been quite vocal in their displeasure with offensive coordinator Matt Canada and the offensive play-calling. Many of which are calling for a coaching change at the coordinator position. Although any major change like that is extremely unlikely to happen during the season, especially with a franchise like the Steelers who rarely will fire a position coach in the first place, many fans think some significant changes need to be made to the offense quickly.
After all the turmoil this week, former Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley was a guest on the “Cook & Joe Show” on Pittsburgh’s sports station 93.7 The Fan. Haley was the coordinator during the ‘Killer B’s’ era of Steelers football; the era many Steeler fans wish they could go back to in times like these. In the six seasons Haley was the offensive coordinator, the Steelers were among the top 10 offenses in the entire NFL.
When talking to Ron Cook and Joe Starkey, Haley mentioned what he was most concerned about two weeks into the season wasn’t necessarily the play calling or quarterback play, but more so the receivers lack of ability to get open.
“I really like this receiver group, it’s just a matter of figuring out a way to get them going.”
Haley had some tough words for the receiving core so far when he was asked about their play two weeks into the season:
“To me, it’s just a little sloppy right now, and it’s something that has to clean up.”
He also went on to mention if there is a lack of communication between a quarterback and receivers, then the quarterback will end up taking the blame although the receiver may be at fault as well. Haley emphasized the fact that Trubisky is not the kind of quarterback that will be able to carry a team, and he will need help in many different aspects, and it’s up to the receivers and coaches to all do their part to help this offense succeed.
Will the Steelers make any significant changes before they take on the Cleveland Browns?
With the short week this week, I personally don’t think there will be any significant changes to the offense and minimal scheme changes against the Browns. So far, the offensive line play has been better than most fans expected two weeks into the season. With the Browns having a banged up defensive line, the Steelers can hopefully get a solid run game going early in the game which will open up the play-action pass, something the Steelers have struggled with for quite some time.
Another area where this offense will find it’s stride is by utilizing the middle of the field more and by having Trubisky use his eyes more often to look off defenders when they are dropped back and playing zone. Haley, as stated before, was hard on the receivers and their play so far, but I have seen many clips of film from the Patriots game where Trubisky is missing open receivers.
All-in-all the growing pains Steeler fans have seen so far, should not come to a surprise with a young offense and a first year quarterback learning a new system. Thursday night against the Browns will be an excellent opportunity to right the ship and get a much needed win before a vigorous October awaits the Steelers.
What do you think of Haley’s comments? Do you believe the receivers are a big reason of why this offense hasn’t hit its stride yet? Or do you believe that the blame should be on the coaching staff and quarterback? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below or on my Twitter @collinlschmitt.