After suffering a crushing 30-6 defeat to the Houston Texans in Week Four, Pittsburgh Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin promised imminent changes. However, the alterations made in the following week did little to improve Tomlin’s standing among the loyal Steelers fans.
NFL quarterback turned analyst, Phil Simms, expressed his views on the offensive struggles during a segment on Simms And The Mad Dog on SiriusXM Radio. Simms suggested that more changes could be on the horizon.
“If things don’t go well this weekend against the Baltimore Ravens, it sounds like something significant is going to happen,” Simms stated. “Having watched them closely, I have come to the conclusion that the offensive line is below par, to put it mildly, and the skill group is just average. For me, there is nothing extraordinary about them.”
Simms continued, “Take, for instance, their game against the Houston Texans last weekend. Did they manage to break free from defenders? Were they able to create open spaces? Could they effectively block? The answer to all these questions is a resounding ‘no’. As for Kenny Pickett, he hasn’t been producing remarkable performances, but I can’t see many opportunities for big plays.”
While Simms didn’t specify the exact changes that could be in store, it’s worth noting that the bye week provides an ideal opportunity for significant adjustments. With two weeks of practice solely focused on the next opponent, the team has more time to implement fundamental alterations. Of course, it’s not as simple as making such changes during the offseason.
The main issue lies in the fact that most people believe the Steelers should have replaced offensive coordinator Matt Canada after the 2022 season. However, both the team and many others felt that the offense was heading in the right direction, especially with Kenny Pickett growing more comfortable towards the end of the season.
This belief was reinforced by Pickett’s exceptional performance during the 2023 preseason, leading the first-team offense to five touchdowns on five drives. However, everything came crashing down in the season opener.
Tomlin emphasized the need for increased physicality in practice. Could this help? Perhaps a more physical week of practices could improve the offensive line’s blocking against Baltimore. Will this solve all the problems? Definitely not.
Unfortunately, making significant changes to the offense mid-season is no easy task for the Steelers and their fans. Learning a new offensive system within two weeks is a far cry from the luxury of an entire offseason with opportunities like OTAs, mandatory minicamps, and comprehensive training camps.
However, if the offensive struggles persist against Baltimore as Simms suggests, the most logical time to consider shaking things up is during the bye week. Only time will tell if changes occur, but if the team fails to deliver in the upcoming high-stakes rivalry matchup on Sunday, the demand for change will only grow louder.