Eric Ebron Finding His Groove in Pittsburgh
Eric Ebron was sole splash signing for the Steelers coming into the 2020 season. He was expected to offer a new element to an offense that was looking to bounce back from its worst season in recent memory.
Has is standard in the NFL, the new target needed to get comfortable with his new quarterback. With Ben Roethlisberger coming off of a season-ending elbow surgery, there were many that were skeptical of the 38-year-old and the offense he was leading. For Ebron, that meant that he needed to sell into a franchise. Immediately he became vocal and showed dedication to the team.
In week one he was doing more blocking than anything else. He was only targeted twice, catching only one pass for 18 yards. Still, the Steelers pushed for the win and Ebron praised his team. That production went up in week two, receiving five targets. He worked that in three catches for 43 yards. He was still blocking and showed a lot of energy out of the field.
Each week Roethlisberger also seemed more comfortable. He has multiple new targets. 2019 breakout wide receiver Diontae Johnson enters his second season in the NFL, and Big Ben only really had camp with him last year before he stepped into a big role. There is also rookie Chase Claypool who has shown flashes of brilliance so far this season.
With that comfort level, the tight ends have gotten involved. This came to a head on Sunday when Ebron’s number was consistently called. Against the Texans, the former Tar Heel pulled in five catches for 52 yards while also finding the end zone for the first time with his new team.
Ebron has been searching for his Pro Bowl caliber over the last couple of years. After a career year in 2018 where he tallied 750 yards and 13 touchdowns, he had his least productive season as a pro in 2019. However, now healthy and happy, he looks to reassert himself as one of the premier red zone threats in the league.
Ebron paired with Vance McDonald gives Pittsburgh one of the best tight end duos in the NFL, and it would seem that that impact is just starting to show its potential. As Ebron proves himself to his coaches and his quarterback, his name will be one to watch moving forward.