Do the Pittsburgh Steelers Finally Have an Offensive Coordinator?

Arthur Smith has had his ups and downs as the head coach in Atlanta, more downs than ups. Along with many others, he did not make for a good coach in Atlanta. When he was with the Tennesee Titans, he was an excellent offensive coordinator for the team and what they were trying to do. He helped turn Derrick Henry into a top-five running back every year he was there. Will he be good for the Pittsburgh Steelers?

Do the Steelers Finally Have Their Offensive Coordinator?

Arthur Smith the Coach of the Atlanta Falcons

In three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons as the head coach, he had a record of 21-30. Every season he somehow had the same record every year of his tenure there of 7-10, that will not cut it. Within those three years, they have had three high draft picks that most NFL fans feel were not used to the height of their potential. We are, of course,¬†speaking of Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and this year’s rookie generational talented running back, Bijan Robinson.

Bijan Robinson Usage

The motto is to play your best players. So, fans always wondered why Tyler Allgeier saw almost as many attempts as Bijan Robinson. The split between Allgeier and Robinson was a little too close to say that the generational talent was used properly. Allgeier received 186 attempts in that backfield while Robinson received 214. While Smith did live up to his run-the-ball nature, fans believe the right running back wasn’t used at the right times.

Kyle Pitts Usage

The lack of usage that he gave Kyle Pitts was the fans’ biggest issue with Arthur Smith. In the 2021 NFL Draft, the team went out and spent their fourth-overall pick on another potential superstar in Kyle Pitts. Pitts had one of the best rookie seasons ever for a tight end when he first joined the Falcons organization in 2021. He caught 68 out of 110 targets for 1,026 yards, almost breaking Mike Ditka’s rookie record. After that, his stats dropped in a major way leaving fans wanting a lot more after the hype coming out of college and the outstanding first season her gave us.

Drake London Usage

Next, we will talk about Drake London’s time with Arthur Smith. Now, London had two back-to-back solid seasons. He was also drafted to be the “the man” in the Falcons organization. Fans still feel like a lot of “meat was left on the bone” with him.

Arthur Smith the Offensive Coordinator

Arthur Smith had real success when he was the offensive coordinator for the Tenessee Titans. In the two seasons he was the offensive coordinator for the Titans he had two winning seasons with two playoff appearances. Within those two seasons (2019 and 2020), the Titans had one of the league’s top running games with Derrick Henry averaging 5.3 yards a carry on 681 attempts, with one of those seasons, Henry rushing for 2,027 yards.

Let’s not forget that under Arthur Smith, the Titans got the best out of Ryan Tannehill when he was almost an afterthought. Tannehill had his best two seasons in his career under Arthur Smith. In 2019, Tannehill’s completion percentage was 70.3%, and in 2020 he threw 33 touchdowns, both were career highs for him.

The Pittsburgh Steelers so desperately want to fix their running game with Najee Harris¬†and Jaylen Warren. From 2020 to 2023, the Steelers have ranked 29th in team rushing. Knowing the Steelers’ history and what they like to do, that is not Steeler football. With Arthur Smith bringing his hardnosed running scheme over to the Steel City, that ranking will be a lot higher this season.

Arthur Smith may not have made the best head coach but he was certainly a good offensive coordinator. This marriage with the Steelers is looking like a match made in heaven.

Main Image: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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