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Arthur Smith Explains Benefits of Having Familiar Faces on Offense

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Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith

The Pittsburgh Steelers added four former Atlanta Falcons this offseason in running back Cordarrelle Patterson, tight end MyCole Pruitt and wide receivers Van Jefferson and Scotty Miller. All four played under Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith when he was the head coach in Atlanta. 

It appears that the Steelers have turned into Atlanta North. In a recent interview with Missi Matthews of Steelers.com, Smith touched on why the quartet of former Falcons were signed by the Steelers this offseason.

“Well, a lot of it’s just circumstances. You gotta fill out a 90-man roster going in and maybe it helps you fill in the blanks here or there, but they’re here because they played good football in the NFL and they’re here to compete,” Smith said.

Smith is implementing a new offense, so having four players that know the inner details of the system already is beneficial. They can help the younger players get up to speed, as well. It’s essentially like having another coach on the field.

“And again, it’s not about needing to have this, these certain guys or these coaches. We’re a new staff as well. And the chemistry with the staff, the little things I think that, you know, a guy like MyCole Pruitt’s been with me at two different stops,” Smith said. “You can certainly fill in the blanks sometimes and help those other tight ends or other guys. You can’t fault somebody for looking for a job. And it’s exciting to have those guys.”

Van Jefferson

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Van Jefferson at OTAs on May 21, 2024. — Ed Thompson/ Steelers Now

Jefferson said Smith’s mentality and approach is no different than when he was the Falcons head coach.

“I think it’s kind of the same. He still has that personality of just get going,” Jefferson said at OTAs last month. “He just wants everything to be perfect. The guys to work hard. I think he had that mentality in the ‘A’ and he brought it here to Pittsburgh.”

Patterson said it was a “no-brainer” to sign with the Steelers this offseason and reunite with Smith.

“It’s something I know,” Patterson said about Smith’s offense at OTAs last week. “I’ve been in it for three years, going on four years now, so of course, when Arthur talked to me this offseason about joining, it was a no-brainer for me, man. I’m glad to be here, I’m excited, and whatever I need to do to help this team win games, I’m coming to help however I can. Whatever he needs. Running back, kick return, tight end, right tackle, I can play it all. Whatever he needs me to do.

“Arthur knows me. He knows me up and down; he knows what I can and can’t do. I’m not coming here to step on anyone’s toes. I know what I can bring to this team and I know my role. Whatever they need me to do, I’m that guy. I’m here to help these guys, I’m an older guy to help get these guys going.”

Nick Farabaugh contributed reporting from Pittsburgh.

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