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Opinion: Hiring of Smith could work out for Steelers

With+the+trading+of+Kenny+Pickett+and+departure+of+Mason+Rudolph%2C+the+Steelers+found+their+next+backup+QB+with+the+addition+of+former+Chicago+Bears+QB+Justin+Fields.+Photo+courtesy+of+the+Pittsburgh+Steelers.++
With the trading of Kenny Pickett and departure of Mason Rudolph, the Steelers found their next backup QB with the addition of former Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields. Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It’s been a back-and-forth season for the Pittsburgh Steelers, with the team firing Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada mid-season and then making Eddie Faulkner the intern OC. Today, the team hired ex-Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Arthur Smith as the new offensive coordinator.

He rebuilt quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s career and helped the Titans develop the number two offense in the league.

— Ethan Green

The hiring comes three weeks after the Atlanta Falcons fired Smith after his three-year stint with the team. He led the team to no playoff runs and an identical 7-10 record for each season. So the hiring of Smith by the Steelers is no sure slam dunk.

But he was with the Tennessee Titans for 10 seasons, serving as offensive coordinator in 2019 and 2020. In those 10 seasons, he rebuilt quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s career and helped the Titans develop the number two offense in the league.

In Atlanta, however, he was much different. He couldn’t settle on their quarterback for the future, and he misused rookie running back Bijan Robinson, the number seven pick in last year’s NFL draft.

The Falcons had a strong running back core with Robinson, Tyler Allgeier, and veteran running back Cordarrelle Patterson. A draft pick like Robinson should have had more yards per game this year. Instead, it was an up-and-down season for him.

But with Smith’s experience as an offensive coordinator, he could provide hope for a Steelers team that had many first-round exits in the playoffs in recent years.

In the passing game, Smith made Tannehill’s career blossom in Tennessee. With a battle coming in Steelers training camp between Mason Rudolph and Kenny Pickett for quarterback, Smith could help each of their careers bloom.

The Steelers have a great running back core, with Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren – a second-year player who became explosive at the end of the year. Smith made sure Derrick Henry helped lead the Titans’ offense, so perhaps he can do the same with Pittsburgh’s running backs.

Although many people did not like Smith as a head coach, Steeler fans should not worry about that. Instead, they should hope that he will show the experience he gained as offensive coordinator in Tennessee.

With time, if Smith can help the quarterback and running backs be more productive, and if he avoids the mistakes he made in Atlanta, perhaps he can eventually turn this team into Super Bowl contenders.

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Ethan Green
Ethan Green, Staff Writer
Freshman Ethan Green is a first-year Staff Writer. When he is not playing Rocket League for esports, you can find him singing for Baldwinaires, watching TV, and hanging out with friends and family. 
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