How Pittsburgh Steelers’ new offense might delay Ben Roethlisberger’s profession

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger proclaimed the team’s 2021 offense could be like nothing ever seen before.

The Steelers would throw every little thing at all people.

But Roethlisberger, speaking for the primary time since throwing four interceptions in a 48-37 first-round playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns, stated it together with his signature deadpan sarcasm. A glint in his eye revealed that his words were not totally sincere.

In all seriousness, Roethlisberger added that the system run by new offensive coordinator Matt Canada has a lot of completely different ideas and verbiage and it will be a “fun, new challenge” after nearly twenty years in the identical scheme.

“When you’ve had the same offense or similar offense for 17 years after which unexpectedly something looks the very same however is identified as one thing utterly totally different, it is very troublesome, and it’s a big problem,” stated Roethlisberger, 39. “But that’s the sport of football, learning new things and new challenges.

“Coach Canada’s offense is one which hopefully shall be a good one, and we need to execute the plays that he calls and hopefully we shall be a better offense than we were last year.”

Canada is hardly reinventing the wheel with the new scheme, but he’ll bring an infusion of his college ideas corresponding to pre-snap movement and jet sweeps. And with a full complement of broad receivers and the addition of young talent in operating again Najee Harris and tight end Pat Freiermuth, the offense will have the capability of manufacturing a balanced attack with multiple appears — just what Roethlisberger must be successful in his 18th season.

“We have gone beneath heart, we’ve shotgun, he has extra motion,” Roethlisberger stated, describing Canada’s offense. “But I feel like that’s the place the NFL is going right now, plenty of the jet-sweep motions and stuff. I can go underneath center — I by no means stated I didn’t like it. We might be within the gun, we are going to transfer. Like I said earlier, we’ll throw a lot of totally different appears and schemes and issues at folks and see what works.”

The multiplicity additionally extends to the receivers, as Canada’s scheme gives them the choice to find the most effective matchup prior to the snap.

“Formations are slightly completely different, however I assume it’ll help us as a outcome of it’ll assist us line up in numerous positions and move individuals around pre-snap and get the matchups that we want with certain guys,” mentioned receiver James Washington, who enters his fourth NFL season.

A 12 months in the past, Roethlisberger tried to shoulder the load as the quarterback and unofficial offensive coordinator, usually in a power battle with former playcaller Randy Fichtner. He talked of enjoying yard soccer, drawing performs up within the proverbial dirt. Baltimore Ravens defensive again Marlon Humphrey advised Bleacher Report he even heard Roethlisberger tell his receivers which routes to run earlier than the play.
Roethlisberger threw the ball 608 instances, tied for the second-most makes an attempt in his profession, for 3,803 yards in 2020. Meanwhile, the Steelers ran simply 373 instances for 1,351 yards. Another yr older and going through an extra regular-season recreation within the 2021 season, Roethlisberger needs an offense that doesn’t rely solely on his arm. That’s why reestablishing the run game underneath Canada — who served as quarterbacks coach for the Steelers final season — is a priority.

The Steelers found success early final season utilizing some of Canada’s ideas and utilizing run-pass options and brief throws. But defenses thwarted these plans because the season wore on, and the Steelers didn’t regulate. The latest iteration of Canada’s scheme continues to be beneath wraps, with players hesitant to reveal too many particulars so early within the offseason.

But second-year receiver Chase Claypool mentioned he believes a complete offseason of placing in Canada’s offense — in no matter last form it takes — might help the Steelers.

“It’s pretty straightforward to transition into it as a outcome of it’s related ideas to what we were operating earlier on final season,” he said. “It’s not too much of a learning curve, and I suppose it’s good because we’ll be able to keep it up throughout the season.”

The transition may be somewhat tougher for Roethlisberger. But to make it simpler, he’s in constant communication with Canada.

“We’ve had fairly a quantity of communications. He’s come over — we’ve talked. I advised him that I know that is your offense, and he’s like, “No, no, this is our offense,” Roethlisberger said. “But I’m like, ‘No, it’s yours.’ And I’m just actually trying to do everything I can to be open to the new challenge and say, ‘OK, I’m studying. OK, got it, obtained it.’

“If one thing is confusing or one thing doesn’t quite make sense, I say, ‘Talk to me. Tell me how I can better understand this or how I can study this or be taught the formation names or what is your trick to studying issues.’ We simply have been continuously speaking.”