Steelers TE Vance McDonald is ‘never going to play the full game’ says OC Randy Fichtner
Tight end is one of the less-appreciated positions in the tight end. The Pittsburgh Steelers would sure appreciate a good one right now though. Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner clearly stated that current number one tight end Vance McDonald won’t ever play a full game, according to DK Pittsburgh Sports.
At first glance, this seems like a knock on McDonald’s skill. It speaks more to his injury history. The former San Francisco 49er has never played a full season in his six-year career. Playing him every snap would essentially guarantee that McDonald will end up on the IR. The Steelers are especially weak at tight end, after last year’s starter Jesse James jumped ship for the Detroit Lions. James and McDonald split snaps at almost exactly 50% each. Even with taking half the snaps, McDonald missed a game. It’s unrealistic to expect him to step up and take anywhere over 60% of snaps.
The options behind McDonald are not good. Xavier Grimble has never had more than 200 yards receiving in a season. Grimble also had a game-changing fumble against the Denver Broncos last year, so he clearly can’t be counted on. After him comes Christian Scotland-Williamson, a former rugby player. Scotland-Williamson has never played a down of regular season football, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if he didn’t even make the team.
The Steelers have some dynamic offensive weapons, but tight end is a problem position for them. The days of Heath Miller are long gone in the Steel City, and there’s no one to pick up the slack.