One aspect of the Pittsburgh Steelers offense I look forward to seeing more of this season is 12 staff. What this means is that the Steelers use a running back and two tight ends. The addition of rookie tight-end Pat Freiermuth makes this possible, and it will really open up the diversity of the Steelers offense.
But what 12 staff also means is that there are two wide receivers on the pitch. I fully understand that the two receivers on the field in a given situation will be situational between the big three on the list. Chase Claypool, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson are all starting caliber recipients and get their moments.
Claypool is a future star of this league. He has size and speed just like players like Calvin Johnson and DK Metcalf and is the one guy on the list who can pull the top out of a secondary. Smith-Schuster is a natural castle recipient, and he is also the most experienced and successful recipient on the depth map. His relationship with Ben Roethlisberger alone buys him all the snaps he wants.
This leaves Johnson. When the Steelers drafted Johnson in 201
Johnson’s situation is exacerbated by his 16 drops, 14 of them were on passes within five yards from the line of scrimmage. Since he is basically designated as the downstairs guy, if he can not get those catches downstairs, he would be the easiest guy to sit down when the Steelers want to create inconsistencies.