Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster said last month that he will be playing on the outside of the team’s offensive formations more often in the scheme being installed by offensive coordinator Matt Canada this offseason and we’ve been hearing more about how things will look in Pittsburgh this week.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger discussed the new look on Tuesday and wide receiver James Washington had his chance to talk to reporters on Wednesday. Washington said the offense “a little different formation-wise because were not used to some of the terminology” that Canada is using and, as Smith-Schuster suggested, wideouts are being asked to do some different things.
“I don’t think it really affects [the receivers] too much, but it actually gives us more options, be in different positions, get different matchups and get matched up a little bit,” Washington said, via Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “The formations are a little different, but I think it will help us because it will help us line up in different positions and move people around pre-snap and get the matchups we want against certain guys.”
The Steelers have talked a lot about wanting to get the run game going. If they can, there will be fewer passes for Washington, Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool, and Diontae Johnson, but Washington said he’ll take winning over catches. That might not help him as he hits free agency next year, but winning would be welcome in Pittsburgh given the way last season wound down.