HomeFootball DirtCould the Steelers be Making Changes to their Offense?

Could the Steelers be Making Changes to their Offense?

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The Steelers’ postseason prospects have taken a steep turn for the worse over their past three games. Losses to the Cardinals, Patriots and Colts have Pittsburgh sitting at 7-7, and struggles on offense could produce more changes than the ones already made.

The Steelers made an extraordinarily rare move in firing offensive coordinator Matt Canada last month. The switch to Mike Sullivan as play-caller appeared to be a shrewd move in the team’s first game, but things have not gone according to plan since then. Starting quarterback Kenny Pickett – who has not made the Year 2 jump which many passers experience – exited the Arizona loss with a high ankle sprain. No firm timeline has been placed on his return, but a four-week absence has been reported as the team’s expectation.

Backup Mitch Trubisky has played in place of Pickett, but his performances have left plenty to be desired. The former No. 2 pick has thrown as many touchdowns (three) as interceptions since taking over for Pickett in Week 13, failing to eclipse 190 passing yards in a contest during that span. Pittsburgh’s offense gave the team a 13-0 lead early against the Colts on Saturday, but came up empty afterwards en route to a 30-13 defeat.

In his post-game remarks, head coach Mike Tomlin indicated (via ESPN’s Brooke Pryor) the Steelers are “going to do things differently next week.” While adjustments on defense could be included in the coming days, the team’s offense will be a unit to watch. Tomlin declined to confirm Trubisky as the Steelers’ Week 16 starter. That could be due to the fact Pickett’s availability is uncertain, but it could also mean third-stringer Mason Rudolph could be in play to get the nod next week.

The latter finished Saturday’s loss, his first appearance in the 2023 season. Rudolph did not see the field last year, and he has made just two starts since the beginning of the 2020 campaign. Giving the nod to the 28-year-old would come as a surprise given his lack of game action, but it would likewise not come as a shock to see Pittsburgh make a notable switch in another bid to produce a spark on offense. Inconsistencies in the passing game in particular have been an ongoing source of frustration for the team, one which is still in the mix for an AFC wild-card spot.

Tomlin’s streak of never posting a losing season is once again under threat, but the way in which this year ends is not expected to have an effect on his job security. The way in which he and the rest of the team’s staff proceeds in the near future will nevertheless be a key storyline to watch as Pittsburgh aims to rebound from the current skid.

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