Positive and negative Steelers trends through 2 weeks
This week on The Steelers Fix podcast, Jeremy Betz and I took a look at positive and negative trends we are seeing with the Steelers through two weeks. If you have not yet listened to this week’s episode, you can do so by clicking on the player below.
Today, we are going to discuss said topic, taking a closer look at those trends and determining which ones are most likely to continue. We will begin with the positive trends.
George Pickens’ usage is increasing
Pickens saw double-digit targets on Monday night despite only catching four passes. Fortunately for Pickens, the lack of receptions was not his fault, as Kenny Pickett struggled mightily with accuracy. If the offensive line can give Pickett a little more time in the pocket, Pickens will be a major beneficiary. In fact, he now has a chance to cement his status as the WR1 in this offense while Diontae Johnson is on injured reserve.
Jaylen Warren pops with the ball in his hands, in stark contrast to 22
This trend really began toward the end of last season, and it has only continued into this season. One thing pointed out by Jeremy during our podcast was how much closer to the play Warren is when he gets the ball as opposed to Najee Harris. Albeit an odd thing to evaluate for a running back, Najee Harris is slow out of his stance. As soon as the ball is snapped, we are seeing Warren move toward the play to receive the handoff. Harris is waiting too long for the ball to come to him, which increases his distance away from the line of scrimmage when receiving the handoff. This puts him at a disadvantage, and it could very well be one of the reasons why he is struggling so badly. Nevertheless, Warren’s burst and pop make him the silver lining of a rather weak rushing attack.
Matt Canada’s seat is getting hotter
Yes, this is a positive. Ownership is behind Kenny Pickett one hundred percent. If Pickett continues to struggle in Canada’s offense, I fully believe the Steelers will take action and fire Matt Canada, even if Art Rooney II has to step in. The lack of creativity has been a major disappointment, and the inability to properly set up simple designs in a successful manor has made manifest the need for a new offensive coordinator. There may not be any fantastic options available mid-season, but at this point, it cannot get much worse. The one positive of the offensive deficiencies is that it brings to light the inadequacy of Matt Canada.
Levi Wallace getting roasted for big plays as the weak link of the secondary
Levi Wallace has been a major disappointment after a strong finish to the 2022 campaign. His spacing and awareness in coverage has been subpar, and his tackling in the open field has been lackluster. The time is certainly running short for Wallace to make an impact, as Joey Porter, Jr. has already shown flashes of greatness in limited playing time. He could easily take over the CB2 role in the near future.
Injuries continue to rack up
If losing Cam Heyward and Diontae Johnson was not enough, Gunner, Minkah, and Elandon Roberts can be added to the list. Fortunately, Minkah has only a chest bruise and should be good to go moving forward, but the Steelers are definitely lacking depth at key positions after these injuries. If this trend continues for much longer, the Steelers will not have the firepower to compete with contending teams, even when the offense is clicking on all cylinders.
Kenny and Canada marriage is a raging dumpster fire of epic proportions
See also: Positive Trend #3.
Which trends are you most happy, or most disappointed, with through two weeks? Be sure to share those thoughts by signing up for a FREE account and commenting down below!