The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team with a lot of offensive weapons. Whether you are referring to the stout offensive line, Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner or Ben Roethlisberger, there is a plethora of options at the team’s disposal.
While this has been true for years in the Steel City, the return of Eli Rogers combined with the emergence of Ryan Switzer and James Washington as options has opened up the offensive playbook even further. In the Week 15 win over the New England Patriots, the Steelers went 5-wide more than they have all season, and Ben Roethlisberger believes this could be a sign of things to come.
During his weekly media session, Roethlisberger talked about the benefits of utilizing this personnel grouping, and what it could mean for the offense moving forward.
On what he likes about the grouping:
“It gives us a lot of weapons. Obviously, we are limited in some of the things we can do but it creates some mismatch opportunities. Then it’s about finding the right mismatch or the right opportunity that is available for us.”
A follow up question asked how Roethlisberger liked running the package on a 92-yard drive last Sunday.
“Yeah, Randy [Fichtner] asked if we wanted to do it, and I said sure. Like I said, it creates mismatch opportunities so there’s opportunity there for different guys. We can move them around and put them in different spots. It puts a lot of them to know when I do move them around what they are supposed to run. I may call a concept and they need to know what they are supposed to do so it puts a little more on them, but they execute it really well.”
Running this personnel grouping does come with some dangers, and Roethlisberger understands that.
“A little bit of protection. You do not have a tight end or some things you can do, but it can make you throw hot which sometimes is good for them and sometimes good for us because we can throw short and run long.”
Ultimately, this is a new tool for the Steelers to use, and although the potential loss of JuJu Smith-Schuster with a groin injury could limit the amount they use the package in Week 16, the team will be relying on the passing game going against the league’s best run defense in the Saints.
Check out the full Ben Roethlisberger interview in the player below:
Ben Roethlisberger discusses the impressive Saints defense, momentum from the Patriots win and the AFC playoff picture. pic.twitter.com/3gQEd02UpI— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 19, 2018