The Steelers may have won on Monday night against the Browns, but the struggles of Kenny Pickett continue to be a big concern. We look at that, as well as Jaylen Warren’s great performance in this week’s All-22.
Awful two-play sequence
The Steelers’ scheme is dreadful, and this is sequence is a perfect example of how predictable they are offensively.
On the first play, Najee Harris runs to the near-side flat from the backfield, Darnell Washington runs a shallow curl to the middle of the field, Gunner Olszewski runs to the far-side flat, and Allen Robinson runs a slant. The pass goes to Robinson and is incomplete.
On the second play, the concept is just dumb. All three routes to the far side are some sort of in-breaking route. Pat Freiermuth runs a crosser from the tight end spot, and both George Pickens and Robinson run slants. Look at that spacing when the ball is thrown- there is none, There are three Browns and two Steelers in the vicinity, one of which is Grant Delpit who read Kenny Pickett’s eyes like his favorite Junie B. Jones book and picked it off. Just a dumb, dumb offense with a bad offensive coordinator and a quarterback who isn’t learning.
Kenny Pickett’s struggles continue
Pickett has to be better. Plain and simple.
On the first play here, there is a window to hit Freiermuth coming out of his break over the middle- fire it in there. Instead, he does a figure eight in the pocket and takes a sack.
The Steelers run mesh and Calvin Austin gets open on the shallow cross. Jaylen Warren is occupying a defender on the wheel route. If Austin gets the ball, it goes for big yards, but Pickett throws it behind him and it falls incomplete.
What was this? Austin has space and Pickett just sails it. He has to get better at throwing on the run and performing off-script.
More Jaylen Warren
The Steelers don’t win Monday without Jaylen Warren. On the first play below, he catches a pass out of the backfield and takes it 30 yards.
The Steelers don’t win without this play. Warren goes against three Browns on third down and long and somehow moves the chains. The next play, Pickens scores on a 71 yard catch-and-run.
I had two takeaways from the tape: Kenny Pickett’s issues are a real concern, and the Steelers need to give Jaylen Warren more touches. He’s far more explosive than Najee Harris, and the Steelers need all the explosiveness they can get on offense.