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CBS Sports: Steelers Offense Poised For A 'Big

Jun 30, 2023

Five drives, 28 plays, 315 yards, five touchdowns.

That’s what the starting offense for the Pittsburgh Steelers did in limited action in three preseason games this summer.

After averaging just 18.1 points per game last season and struggling to create explosive plays offensively, the Steelers’ offense looks like a different animal this preseason, which has anticipation and excitement rather high entering the 2023 season.

Under second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett, along with a rebuilt, solidified offensive line and high-level playmakers in Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Pat Freiermuth and Najee Harris, the Steelers’ offense looks poised for a major breakout. In fact, CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin believes just that, highlighting the unit as one poised for a “big-boy leap” in 2023 after the preseason.

“Even Pittsburgh fans couldn’t celebrate Mike Tomlin’s latest illusion of a losing record because of how sluggish the Steelers looked for much of 2022. But second-year QB Kenny Pickett had no issue moving the ball this summer, aided by George Pickens’ sideline acrobatics and Jaylen Warren’s burst as Najee Harris relief,” Benjamin writes regarding the Steelers’ offense in his preseason takeaways piece for CBS Sports. “With an upgraded line and an underrated safety valve in tight end Pat Freiermuth, pretty much all the pieces are there for this club to make more noise in the AFC North.”

All the pieces are in place for the Steelers to undoubtedly make some noise not only in the AFC North, but in the AFC overall.

It’s important to note that it is just preseason action with vanilla schemes and all that. But the performances mattered to the players, at least individually, especially coming off of a poor 2022 season in which moving the football was rather difficult and had the offense feeling like it was playing with one arm tied behind its back.

Check out LG Isaac Seumalo opening up this hole for Najee Harris. That'll do. #Steelers

— Tyler Wise (@TriggeredWise) August 25, 2023

Growth from one year to the next was expected though, and so far it looks like that growth is going to be significant in 2023. Pickett has taken charge of the offense and seemingly taken a major leap forward, while the dynamic duo of Johnson and Pickens looks like it’s going to be a massive problem for defenses moving forward.

Freiermuth is the dependable, consistent tight end that is the security blanket for Pickett, while the run game should be even better in 2023 with the addition of guard Isaac Seumalo, the health of Harris and the continued emergence of Warren as a dynamic change-of-pace running back.

The pieces are all in place. The performance on the field in the preseason is rather encouraging, too. If that performance can carry into the regular season some, the Steelers offense will be a problem for NFL defenses in 2023.

There are so many parts of this play that are “perfect” for the @steelers

Takes everyone doing their job at their very best@Steelersdepot

— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) August 25, 2023