For the last three seasons, the Steelers’ offense has progressively worsened. Even after firing Matt Canada, the team actively got worse offensively. That means changes could be coming, but the team seems to be in disarray with little signs of life and has only gone backward.
Bill Cowher joined the Pat McAfee Show to talk about the state of the Steelers and where they are, and he believes that there can be fixes to the offense that allow changes to flourish. For one, he thinks the team should run the ball more but run it downhill. He sees Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren as guys who can play at a high level in that type of run scheme.
“You have to get back to what Steelers football is about,” Cowher said. “If I was them right now, I would be putting whoever they wanna put out there at quarterback. But I would (put) Kenny Pickett under center. Put him under center. You have Najee Harris, who’s a downhill runner. He’s not a side, boxcar runner. Warren, all the big runs, downhill.”
Mason Rudolph will make his first start of the season and first start for 2021. He was elevated to be Pickett’s primary backup after Mitch Trubisky filled the role for the first 15 weeks of the season.
Rudolph was the Steelers’ backup from 2019-21, and he played in 18 games and made ten starts in that role over that time. When the Steelers signed Trubisky and drafted Pickett in 2022, they entered a three-way battle, and Trubisky emerged as the starter, with Pickett as the backup and Rudolph as the third-stringer.
But Harris and Warren must be the lifeblood of the Steelers’ offense this week. It’s a poor run defense with the Bengals missing D.J. Reader on an already bottom ten run defense, so the opportunities for the team to break it open on the ground should be there.