Heading into the 2023 season, a lot of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ hopes of returning to the playoffs and rivalry relaxation on the shoulder of QB Kenny Pickett. Basic supervisor Omar Khan is aware of this and has spent a superb chunk of Steelers sources enhancing the offense with key additions like G Isaac Seumalo, G Nate Herbig, T Broderick Jones and TE Darnell Washington. Nevertheless, for NFL.com’s Eric Edholm throughout the Pittsburgh preview earlier than coaching camp, it is time for the teaching workers to step up and assist Pickett’s development.
“The hope is that an improved offensive line, together with progress from younger targets George Pickens and Pat Freiermuth, will make this recreation a extra profitable passing recreation,” Edholm mentioned. “However Pickett additionally must take a leap in his recreation, and offensive coordinator Matt Canada wants to assist him try this.”
It won’t be a query of whether or not Canada will help to do that, however fairly of inspecting how Canada may do it. There are three most important areas that would doubtlessly assist Pickett and the passing recreation enhance by leaps and bounds in 2023.
A method to enhance the passing recreation is to repeatedly assault midfield. The Steelers have been horrible when it comes to midfield yardage regardless of Freiermuth being arguably one of many high 10 tight ends within the league proper now. Moreover, WR Diontae Johnson can experience nearly any route within the subject at an elite stage, together with hills.
A concerted effort by Canada to develop passing performs that concentrate on midfield may actually assist Pickett and the offense develop in 2023. Whereas neither Canada nor Pickett ought to pressure the ball into triple protection, attacking midfield ought to assist increase defenses, offering extra alternatives throughout your entire pitch.
One other manner Canada helps Pickett enhance is by making a concerted effort to make use of extra action-playing. Whereas Pickett’s total numbers weren’t stellar by any stretch of the creativeness utilizing play-action in 2022, he confirmed enchancment over the course of the season. He tried simply 66 play passes throughout the season, rating thirty third amongst certified quarterbacks.
From the primary half of the season by way of the second half, Pickett jumped almost a full yard per play-action try from 6.0 to six.8. He did not throw a landing in Weeks 1-9 on a play cross, however threw 5 in Weeks 10-18. Specializing in making Pickett extra snug whereas utilizing the sport and utilizing it extra ought to assist the offense as a complete.
The entrance workplace did what they might to assist enhance the offensive depth chart, beginning with the offensive line. Nevertheless, it is now as much as Pickett and his offensive coordinator to take full benefit of the enhancements to get the Steelers again on observe offensively in 2023.