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Steelers New OC Under Massive Pressure Before Season

The Steelers offensive coordinator is under pressure to perform in his first season with the organization.



PITTSBURGH, PA — The Pittsburgh Steelers brought Arthur Smith in to kickstart their stagnant offense. It was the same reason the Atlanta Falcons hired him as head coach. Following an impressive stint as offensive coordinator with the Tennessee Titans, the Falcons believed they landed a stud for their organization. His tenure with the Falcons went awry, but he’s in a new and better situation.

The circumstances are undoubtedly better for Smith with the Steelers, but that also means the pressure is ramped up. Even in his first year, the expectations are that this team will find new life on offense and get over the hump in the postseason. With the sky-high expectations, it makes sense that CBS Sports analyst Cody Benjamin listed Smith fourth on his list of “12 Non-QB’s Under Most Pressure for 2024 NFL Season.”

“Relieved from his head position with the Atlanta Falcons, Smith certainly has better options at quarterback in Pittsburgh,” he wrote. “Even still, his skill weapons are so-so, and a year after Kenny Pickett went to waste amid an in-season coordinator change, all eyes will be on how his play calls help — or hurt — Steel City’s playoff hopes.”

The offensive lineup in Pittsburgh is a massive upgrade from what Smith worked with in Atlanta. Russell Wilson and Justin Fields give him two options at quarterback. He has a blossoming star at wide receiver in George Pickens. And the running combination of Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren should make Smith reminiscent of the Titans backfield when he was the coordinator there.

The question is whether Smith’s style of offense and the Steelers’ personnel clicks. Smith’s playcalling will likely favor his backfield, allowing Harris and Warren to replicate their 2023 seasons in 2024. He doesn’t have the depth on the outside that he had in Tennessee or an All-Pro tight end as he did in Atlanta, so he’ll have to find a way to feed Pickens and establish a true number two passing option.

As the season draws closer and game action begins, the pressure on Arthur Smith will mount. The team has Super Bowl ambitions. The defense should be elite again, but the same can’t be said for the offense. Until they show improvement against opponents, the pressure on Smith and Steelers will continue.

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