Trying To Make Sense of What the Steelers’ Offense Will Look Like In 2021

The Steelers roster is taking shape, and they still have the 2021 NFL Draft and the possibility of bringing in a notable free agent. However, the team’s core, particularly the offense, has most of the players it will have in 2021. The transfer season is important for online gambling Iowa punters as they look at each team’s strength. But, when you look at what the Steelers are doing, it might be challenging to comprehend what they are planning. 

Eric Ebron – The Footwork King’s take

The Footwork King, Rischad Whitfield, suggested that the Steelers were misusing Eric Ebron. He accused the Steelers of using Ebron as an in-line tight end a lot last season. Rischad argues that Ebron cannot use a good release in that position because he is getting off the line in traffic and often engages defenders. His primary value, according to the Footwork King, is his route running. 

However, the Steelers used him as an in-line because, with Ben Roethlisberger, they run 11 personnel. That’s how they play; the tight end is in-line with three receivers taking traditional spots with two outside and a slot. 

The Steelers brought in Eric Ebron as a unique weapon that did not fit the traditional molds that other Steelers players fit. They brought him and forced him into the role- a case of fitting a square peg into a round hole. 

What’s the Plan with James Washington

James Washington plays well when Juju Smith-Schuster is not playing. He tends to disappear when Juju is playing. When Juju left in 2019, James Washington led the Steelers in receiving. Between week 9 and week 15, James Washington was targeted 42 times. He made 29 catches for 533 yards and 3 Touch Downs. 

In the same period, Juju Smith-Schuster was targeted 14 times for 81 yards and was forced out because of an injury. However, what’s clear is the fact that James Washington is not productive when Juju Smith-Schuster is playing. 

 What is Matt Canada’s Plan?

With Matt Canada as the new offensive coordinator, there will be no more use of eleven personnel. Matt loves formations with a tight end in line and a player that moves around. He loves versatile players that can line up in the slot as a H-back or wingback and are a threat to run, block or run a route. 

However, in the same season, the Steelers have also brought back Juju Smith-Schuster, and they have Eric Ebon at tight end. So, how is the offense going to work? The receiver room will have Diontae Johnson, James Washington, and Chase Claypool, joined by Smith-Schuster.

On that offense, James Washington will most likely make way so that Derek Watt can come in as a second tight end or Jaylen Samuels as a wingback. Also, Juju Smith-Schuster did not return to be a rotational player so expect him to get tons of snaps. And that means eleven personnel. 

Eric Ebon will not be lining up outside or in the slot with Juju Smith-Schuster playing the majority of snaps. He will be the only tight end in–line utilized as a blocker. Alternatively, they might replace him in a formation with a tight end that provides little but blocking. But where does that leave the run game?

Maybe, Matt’s offense might have Juju Smith-Schuster at running back, Eric Ebron at H-back, James Washington and Diontae Johnson out wide, and Chase Claypool at tight end. James Washington will continue being irrelevant with the arrival of Juju Smith-Schuster.

Juju Smith-Schuster is also a hero in the entire story as he turned down an offer from the Ravens, who are The Steelers’ bitter rivals. However, it is still unclear what their plans for him as they risk rendering James Washington irrelevant.