On Friday afternoon, Steelers veteran tight end a Vance McDonald joined in a fan forum call through Steelers Nation Unite. Taking questions from fans over the phone, Vance McDonald mentioned his new teammate in the tight end room, Eric Ebron, on multiple occasions.
McDonald was asked about the addition of Ebron and what it’s like getting to work together with him and Ben Roethlisberger.
“I appreciate what he brings to the tight end position in the league the last seven years that I’ve been around,” McDonald said of Ebron. “It’s been really neat to have him here.”
One of the things McDonald mentioned was trying to get as much work as possible for Ebron with his new quarterback so they can also establish the necessary connections.
“Allowing him to get as much with Ben (Roethlisberger) as possibly can to just build that relationship because he’s going to come in and do really big things for the offense this year. I’m really excited at the direction we’re headed again.”
Both McDonald and Ebron are coming off disappointing seasons in 2019. McDonald appeared in 14 games for the Steelers and only had 273 receiving yards on 38 receptions. As for Ebron, his 2019 season was cut short due to injury. In only 11 games with the Indianapolis Colts, Ebron had 375 yards on 31 receptions which was exactly half of his 2018 yardage production.
When discussing the upcoming season, MacDonald mentioned what another weapon in the arsenal from the tight end position could mean for him and other receivers on the Steelers.
“With the addition of Eric Ebron,” McDonald explained, “I certainly think that this skill set that he brings to the position it’ll be really really fun to watch him. And again too, that only helps me, that only helps guys like to JuJu (Smith-Schuster), James Washington, Diontae (Johnson), and so I think it’s gonna be really fun. It’s always fun whenever you add something on offense that you didn’t have the year before, not necessarily because you begin hit goals that you wanted, which we did but I’m just saying it’s just always fun to sort of get a new weapon. So with Eric, like I said earlier, it will be fun to see where we head in terms of production on offense.”
Bringing back production from the tight end position is something which McDonald seems to wisely embrace. In 2019, the Steelers did not even have as many receiving yards from all of their tight ends as McDonald had himself the previous year. Hopefully with the addition of Ebron, the Steelers can get back to their 2018 form where the tight end position accounted for more than 1,000 receiving yards.