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The Steelers offense stinks, and they’re changing everything

If you were anything like me, you probably got sick of hearing those generic answers like, “We just gotta get better,” whenever a reporter asked a Steelers player or coach about the lack of yards, points, whatever, on offense over the past few years.

Pittsburgh’s offense has been a pathetic, listless, boring mess over the past half-decade or so…not to be critical.

The magic elixir was thought to be the removal of offensive coordinator Matt Canada in 2023. That didn’t necessarily turn out to be the case, but at least Mason Rudolph played much better than Kenny Pickett did at the end of the year with Eddie Faulkner and Mike Sullivan acting as his interim offensive coordinators, right?

Maybe, but who cares about that? Rudolph is a Titan now. Pickett, who was traded to the Eagles on Friday, is no longer a Steeler. Diontae Johnson is gone. Mason Cole is gone. Chuks Okorafor is gone. Allen Robinson is gone.

Oh, yeah, Mitch Trubisky is gone.


Turns out, the Steelers’ idea of getting better involves acquiring a bunch of new people. Arthur Smith is now a Steeler. Russell Wilson is now a Steeler. Van Jefferson is now a Steeler. Holy heck, Justin Fields is now a Steeler after general manager Omar Khan orchestrated a trade with the Bears to bring the 2021 first-round pick to Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Obviously, the Steelers need to acquire many more players before the rebuilding is through. After all, they’re not going to use two quarterbacks at once, are they? Is one of them going to snap the football and then go out and catch it?

Regardless, Pittsburgh’s approach to offense just wasn’t working for five-full years. You can point to many reasons for that. You can blame Canada, and lots of people blamed everything on him prior to and even after the end of his tenure in Pittsburgh. You can blame it all on Pickett, and plenty of fans were beginning to do that in the weeks and months before the end of his tenure in Pittsburgh. You can blame everything but Pickett, and plenty of fans were willing to tie themselves in knots and also perform impressive mental gymnastics in order to do that in the weeks and months before the end of his tenure in Pittsburgh (they’re still doing that, actually).

But no matter who you blame, it’s been a terrible Steelers offense since the heyday of the Killer B’s.

When something isn’t working, why keep doing it? Why continue to sit back and hope that things eventually work themselves out?

Screw it, change it all. Why not? What do you have to lose if you’re the Steelers? You signed Wilson for a song. You traded a conditional sixth-round pick for Fields. It’s hard to imagine any center snapping the football worse than Cole.

The Steelers needed fresh blood on offense. They needed a change of direction. They needed to move on from a quarterback situation that had become dysfunctional. Is part of the blame on the Steelers for not giving Pickett more of a chance to succeed? We may never know the true answer to that, but I think it says a lot that the organization was willing to quickly pull the plug on a recent first-round pick who played the most vital position in all of team sports.

Does it say that Pittsburgh is incompetent? It might say that, but then again, maybe it says that the 2022 quarterback draft class was as bad as they were saying it was when many of us were hoping and praying that they were wrong.

All I know is this: What can be worse than 16 points a game? What can be worse than the kind of offense Steelers fans have had to sit through over the past few years?

Nothing can be worse than that, and even if it is next year, maybe we can take comfort in the fact that there will be a lot of new players making it worse.

I’m not sure if the definition of insanity is what people often say it is in times like these, but at least the Steelers will be testing that theory by making wholesale changes on offense in 2024.


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