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Could We See More From These Steelers Players In 2024?

It has been a crazy offseason for the Steelers, and maybe not just the offseason. Everything since the firing of former Offensive terrorist, I mean coordinator Matt Canada has been somewhat crazy. Now Arthur Smith will take over the offense, and he might be able to use some guys in ways we haven’t gotten to see yet, specifically some pass catchers. 

More Tight Ends In The Mix?

We all know what Tight End Pat Freiermuth is at this point, he’s a good pass catcher but lacks in the blocking game to a degree. But that’s okay, that’s where Darnell Washington comes in. We didn’t get to see much of him last season, but this season we could see a lot more of the player that some like to call Mount Washington, if you know you know. 

The six foot seven 264 pound freak athlete takes pride in his blocking ability, and some have even talked about the possibility of him changing his position to offensive Tackle, but that isn’t likely at this point. Washington turns 23 in August and appeared in all 17 games for the Steelers last season. He was only targeted 10 times, hauling in seven receptions for 61 yards. He saw time in just 48% of offensive snaps but expect that to increase with Arthur Smith. 

Connor Heyward is another tight end that Smith will likely look to involve more. Due to his smaller frame, he isn’t as useful in the blocking department as Washington, but he will be a good gadget guy to have. We even saw Heyward attempt a pass to Washington last season, but it fell incomplete. Heyward can run and receive, a versatile threat if used properly. 

Up to this point, Heyward has seen his involvement increase. He only appeared in 15% of offensive snaps in his rookie year but got up to 38% of offensive snaps in his second season last year. He only has one receiving touchdown in his career, in his hometown of Atlanta, against Arthur Smith’s Falcons. It’s a weird coincidence there. 

Heyward has appeared in all 17 games in both seasons as a Steeler. He’s been targeted 51 times, with 35 catches for 318 yards, averaging 9.1 yards per catch. Smith can find a way to use the Swiss Army Knife. The Steelers also signed MyCole Pruitt, a veteran tight end who spent time on Arthur Smith’s teams in Tennessee and Atlanta.

Steelers Getting Faster? 

With the addition of Quez Watkins, it’s unsure what the future holds for the speedster Calvin Austin, but if the Steelers have plans for both of them, we might see a faster Steelers team than we’re used to seeing. Calvin Austin showed off his speed on his one touchdown reception of the year against the Raiders. The Steelers only ran that play one more time in the season, the very next week. Kenny Pickett was intercepted, so they decided to never try it again. Nice. 

Austin missed his rookie season but showed the Steelers last season that he can be a valuable part of this receiving core. The guy ran a 4.32 40-yard dash, Smith has to be able to find some kind of use for him. The new kickoff rules could benefit Austin as well, he and the freshly signed Cordarelle Patterson should be a lethal duo in that department. Russell Wilson might also like to throw the moonball to Austin, so that’s something to look for. Somebody will need to step up in the pass-catching department for the Steelers this season. They will be coming home from the draft with receiver help in some capacity, we just don’t know what round. 

Read More NFL News From Stadium Rant Here: NFL News


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