The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense is struggling, but unlike past seasons when the team was missing a key piece of the puzzle, the pieces are all there now. No suspensions, no injuries to speak of, just a ridiculous amount of underachieving.
The one move the team has made during the past two weeks was deciding to take Eli Rogers’ helmet away on game day. Rather than keeping Rogers as the punt returner and slot receiver, the team moved JuJu Smith-Schuster to the slot and activated Justin Hunter.
Regardless of why the team chose not to play Rogers, the starting quarterback seems to think in Week 6 Rogers will be getting to see the field more. This all stems from when Ben Roethlisberger was asked on his 93.7 The Fan show what Eli Rogers, who has been a healthy scratch the past two weeks, has to do to get back on the field.
“I think he’ll be on the field this Sunday. I think you know, it is obviously the coach’s call and things like that, but I think he just wanted to give JuJu (Smith-Schuster) some time and see what he can do. I think we’ll see more of Eli this week.
“I think he’s a good man-beater guy. He is one of the quickest people I’ve ever seen. He gets in and out of breaks quick, and I think we’ll see him on the field with JuJu. Maybe put JuJu outside and give Martavis (Bryant) a break. Keep JuJu inside, you know, be able to move some guys around and do some things, because JuJu does some really good things with his size and body in zone coverages, while Eli does some good stuff with man.
“We will be seeing some man stuff this week, so I think we’ll see Eli on the field a little bit this week.”
What’s interesting about Roethlisberger’s comments isn’t just the part about Rogers likely being active on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, but his remark about moving Smith-Schuster to the outside to give Bryant a break. It’s a foregone conclusion that Hunter will be inactive if Rogers is indeed active on game day, but keeping Bryant on the sideline to let a rookie take reps would be eye-opening.
Either way, it seems the Steelers are determined to mix things up on offense to try and maximize their chances to succeed. Will Rogers be a difference maker? Only time will tell.