There are plenty of places to point the finger when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ ineptness in the Red Zone.
Whether it’s play-calling, personnel issues or poor execution, the Steelers have to get better in this area in 2015.
My gut tells me that Martavis Bryant will become a significant part of what Todd Haley and the offense try to do near the end zone. They showed some things last season in this area but common sense tells us that Bryant will become a bigger part of this now with more experience under his young belt.
Don’t be a bit surprised if the Steelers try adding more weapons to the Red Zone repertoire in the draft. While most of us focus on defensive upgrades, the addition of another big wideout or athletic tight end remain possibilities.
As healthy as the relationship between Haley and Ben Roethlisberger appears to be these days it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the frustration on Big Ben’s face when the offense is in the Red Zone. The issue isn’t so much play calling as it is personnel problems and that falls on Haley.
The offense clicked at a record pace in 2014 but Haley still tries to re-invent the wheel too often. His constant tinkering with personnel packages often leads to delays which in turn leads to delay of game penalties or needlessly spent timeouts.
This part of Haley’s offense must get better. With a defense that will likely struggle, touchdowns must be scored rather than the settling for of field goals.
Big Ben isn’t without some things to work on himself. Often his greatest attribute becomes his Achilles Heel. When he tries to extend plays in the Red Zone, he must recognize when hope is lost. Taking sacks means not only the loss of potential touchdowns but also means that Shaun Suisham’s job gets tougher.
Haley and Roethlisberger can help each other. Haley has to do more to get his QB out of the pocket and on the move where he is at his best. If the play isn’t there, Roethlisberger is more than capable of getting a few yards or throwing it away.
Haley mentioned in a recent interview that the Red Zone will be a major focus for them in offseason workouts and training camp. Let’s hope the focus pays off.