Is the Steelers’ offense really going to become more explosive in 2023? That is what Matt Canada, Kenny Pickett, and others around the team are saying right now. The quotes are clear as day, that the group is looking to push the ball down the field and create more chunk plays with a second-year quarterback and an offensive line they believe is upgraded.
But does the team really have a commitment to doing that in a game setting? On the first day of training camp, the very first play was Pickett unloading a deep ball down the sideline to George Pickens. Since then, very similar things have happened throughout the training camp. It seems there is some new influence here, and Pickens noted that, too.
“I feel like that was an explosive hint,” Pickens said. “It’s really just a change. The same plays are the same plays, but as far as where we going with the ball, it’s a huge change. We can be more explosive.”
There are some new plays. Matt Canada created a lot of influence by being ahead of the game with a motion to guys like Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay, Ben Johnson, and Andy Reid. Well, I guess the original master is trying to take some from the pupils. There are some plays that were installed that are straight out of each of those playbooks. It’s a new flavor, especially some of the wrinkles using 12 personnel and what seems to be a more robust route tree off the play-action game.
But how much of this holds in the stadium? Do the Steelers revert back to their usual plays and simply throw out the time to experiment? We have often talked about the pony set with 2 running backs under Canada, but that has faded into obscurity during the season. There needs to be a real commitment to creating these explosive plays and the new plays that have been added.
They can not just be training camp phenomenons for the Steelers. You can win by efficiently running the football, but you have to create explosive plays through your passing attack to compete with the best of them. That’s why this trend in practice can not just be some training camp fad that dies off once Week 1 hits. With basically all of the starters playing, let’s see how much of it translates into Tampa Bay before thinking there is wide-sweeping change coming in year three under the same offensive coordinator.