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Merril Hoge Oblierates Steelers Tight Ends: ‘Like 2 Turtles Humping’



Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth
Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth runs with the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 26, 2023. -- Ed d / Steelers Now

The Steelers offense is not playing well. Most of the blame has gone to the coaches and quarterbacks, but the rest could go to the unit at large. For former Steelers running back Merril Hoge, he blamed the wide receivers and tight ends for a massive portion of their struggles.

Joining WDVE, Hoge ripped into both units. For the receivers, he outright questioned their effort in the route running portion of the game. Then, he made an interesting simile to describe the tight ends, who he went at for poor blocking throughout the entire season.

“It might be the worst group of route runners in the NFL, okay,” Hoge said. “Half the time, they quit on routes. The pick that Trubisky threw, Freiermuth makes a move and just quits….It’s the only term I can think of but our tight ends look like two turtles humping when you’re blocking. Because you’re not blocking anybody.”

Well, that’s vivid imagery, but Hoge calls out the rest of the offense for the struggles as much as the other factors. Somehow, the offense is worse after firing Matt Canada. That was obviously not how it was supposed to go, but it seems the group continues to fall short on the details. After all, we continue to talk about the same things each week that this team struggles with time and time again.

Offensive coordinator Eddie Faulkner described the struggles as ‘popcorn’ because the problems are never static. Once the fix one problem, another concerning element seems to rise out of the dust. That’s the type of answer that is expected when the offense might be the worst group in the NFL. They still have not even hit an explosion spot even inept offenses and teams can at least do that at some point in the year. Hoge is just giving into the ammunition. He’s not wrong about those problems, but the problems with this offense are systemic and deep.