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Steelers OC Arthur Smith Under Immense Pressure, Analyst Says

How much pressure is offensive coordinator Arthur Smith under? One analyst believes the pressure is all on him for the offense.



Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith during rookie minicamp on May 11, 2024. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a lot of change and new pieces around the team heading into 2024. Most of that is on offense, with new offensive linemen, wide receivers, and quarterbacks. However, offensive coordinator Arthur Smith might end up being the most enigmatic of all the new adds. He had a white-hot start to his coordinator career with the Tennessee Titans, propelling him to the head coaching gig with the Atlanta Falcons.

However, with the Falcons, Smith got criticized for using star players and overthinking play calls. There remain many questions about Smith and whether his tenure with the Titans is more about Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown than anything else. That made CBS’ Cody Benjamin throw Smith on the list of people with the most pressure on them in the NFL this season.

Pittsburgh Steelers OC Arthur Smith

Pittsburgh Steelers offensvie coordinator Arthur Smith during the 2024 NFL Draft at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on April 27, 2024. — Alan Saunders / Steelers Now

“Relieved from his head position with the Atlanta Falcons, Smith certainly has better options at quarterback in Pittsburgh: the savvy, newly motivated Russell Wilson and the ultra-athletic Justin Fields,” Benjamin wrote. “Even still, his skill weapons are so-so, and a year after Kenny Pickett went to waste amid an in-season coordinator change, all eyes will be on how his play calls help – or hurt – Steel City’s playoff hopes.”

Arthur Smith and the Steelers feel like a natural match when you look at Smith’s philosophy toward running the ball and creating explosive plays down the field. Smith believes that the Steelers’ athletic offensive line and proven running back room should help him establish his rushing attack early and often this season.

“Yeah, I mean there’s certain schemes you may want to run when you have more athletic tackles. That can certainly be in certain runs schemes, getting them out to space, being in the screen game, whether you want to get into pulling them or whatever you’re trying to do. It certainly gives you a lot of flexibility when you have athletic tackles or really athletic linemen,” Smith said.

Smith has to prove he is dialed in to elevate this offense to even league average with the questions they will have along the offense from quarterback to wide receiver, but his portfolio seems to suggest he has that in his bag of tricks. Now, it will be up to him to maximize the talent the Steelers offense boasts heading into 2024.