The Steelers will make two offensive changes for Sunday’s clash against the Cincinnati Bengals. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the team will focus on getting quality targets to wide receiver George Pickens and getting more carries to breakout running back Jaylen Warren, who has been strong in recent weeks.
“They’re going to focus on what Kenny Pickett is comfortable with, expect him to target his receivers early,” Rapoport said. “Make sure those guys are involved, getting Kenny Pickett into a rhythm. And then expect the ball, more than anything, to be in the hands of their stars. I’m talking about George Pickens, I’m talking about Jaylen Warren. Focus on the players more than the plays.”
New Steelers interim offensive coordinator Eddie Faulkner admitted that Rome can’t be built in one day. Will the scheme suddenly look vastly different? Probably not. It’s Week 12, and some tweaks will be made to maximize the talent on the offense; not everything can suddenly be flipped. But focusing on players and the details will be critical for the team getting things going.
“Just me in general, I’m a detailed guy,” Faulkner said. “That’s how I operate. That’s how I operated the running back room, so that’s how I’m operating anything that has to do with the offense or staff. To make sure we’re squeezing down, being tightening up, closing all the space so when we go into a game the guys can execute and play fast. That’s the focus, and I feel like I can bring somebody to the table in that regard.”
Faulkner understands the opportunity at hand, both for the team’s offense to right its play with a 6-4 start built it, and for his career. But he doesn’t exactly have time to wax rhapsodic about it. The Steelers made the change on Tuesday, and then got right back to practice on Wednesday as they prepare to face the Cincinnati Bengals in a crucial AFC North game this week.
Those details need to be sharp. The communication between everyone must be sharp. If those baseline things can at least improve, Pittsburgh’s offense, which is one of the worst units in football, can improve to one that has an average all-around showing week in and week out.