June 24, 2024

Labriola on the initial 53-man rosterOn Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers picked Arthur Smith as their offensive coordinator, abruptly ending a search that also included the Houston Texans’ Jerrod Johnson and the Los Angeles Rams’ Zac Robinson.

One of the most important queries regarding the Steelers offense’s future is addressed by Smith’s hiring. The focus now shifts to a possible quarterback matchup between Ryan Tannehill and Kenny Pickett, as well as an unidentified group of opponents.

During Smith’s tenure as Tennessee’s offensive coordinator in 2019–2020, Tannehill achieved remarkable success. He completed the game with 55 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions in those two seasons. Compared to his 36 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions during his first two seasons in Miami, that was a significant improvement.

Running back Derrick Henry was the first beneficiary of Smith’s run-heavy approach in Tennessee, which allowed Tannehill to start using the passing game. Reviving Tannehill’s career and the Titans offense as a whole was made possible in large part by Smith, the head coach the Falcons fired in early January.

Tannehill led the Titans over Tom Brady and the Patriots in the 2019 playoffs, and they went on to upset top-seeded Baltimore in the next round. TN was defeated by Kansas City in the AFC championship match.

That season, Tannehill was named the Associated Press and Professional Football Writers of America’s Comeback Player of the Year.

After throwing for four touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2023, Tannehill—a free agent this offseason—was replaced by rookie Will Levis.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh’s status as backup quarterback is not stable. Many believe the Steelers will bench Mitch Trubisky in order to clear financial space after his disastrous experiment. Mason Rudolph, a player with strong late-game ability, is a free agent and may decide to depart the Steelers.

Tannehill, an 11-year veteran, is nearing the twilight of his playing days, but he has experience working with Smith’s designs. The Steelers might relieve Tannehill’s load with a strong running game led by Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris (1,819 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns combined in 2023) and the offense.

Mike Tomlin, head coach of the Steelers, stated that the goal is to

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