Mike Tomlin speaks out on expectations for Vance McDonald-Eric Ebron duo
The Pittsburgh Steelers are hoping to get more out of their offensive unit with Ben Roethlisberger rejoining the fray.
While the key players at the skill positions remain mostly the same, the Steelers bolstered their tight end group by signing Eric Ebron.
Head coach Mike Tomlin said he is excited to see the kind of matchup problems Ebron and Vance McDonald create when they are on the field, adding their skill sets allow for multiple looks and schemes (via Joe Rutter of TribLIVE):
“We know that he and Vance McDonald are the type of duo that are capable of creating issues for people with their talents,” coach Mike Tomlin said on a recent conference call with Steelers Nation Huddle members. “We’re excited about having those guys, and we’ll sort out the usage of those guys week to week.
“We know invariably that those guys and other have a chance to really make us versatile and make us an issue for those teams we play against.”
Ebron looked like he was on his way to stardom after a breakout 2018 campaign.
The former Detroit Lions tight end had shown flashes of talent in the Motor City, but he became a Pro Bowler with Andrew Luck in Indianapolis.
But Ebron dealt with some injuries and inconsistencies in 2019, battling for playing time with a healthy Jack Doyle and often voicing displeasure with his usage.
McDonald, meanwhile, was schemed more as a run blocker. He averaged just 7.2 yards per reception last year after posting 12.2 yards per reception in 2018.
Still, Ebron’s athleticism and presence in the red zone paired with McDonald’s more traditional, route-running strengths give Tomlin and the Steelers plenty of options.