By Jason Beck | Sports ReporterA little more than a year ago, the Steelers had one of the most impressive run defenses in the league.
The Steelers, at least on paper, had one more year to put together a winning season, and in that span, they had the league’s best pass defense, allowing just one sack per game and giving up just four touchdowns.
The last two seasons, however, the Pittsburgh Steelers have struggled to stay healthy, and Aranda was hired as offensive coordinator on a three-year deal last March.
Aranda took over the offense in 2017 and led the Steelers to a 1-4 record and the divisional round of the playoffs, but it’s not been a smooth ride.
After suffering a season-ending knee injury in Week 15, Aranda struggled through the entire year, leading the Steelers with just two sacks allowed.
In 2017, Arano was fired, with the Steelers then dealing with injuries to key players including DeAngelo Williams, Emmanuel Sanders, and Antonio Brown.
Now, the former Penn State assistant coach is back at the helm, and he’s had a solid start to the 2017 season, allowing a career-low seven sacks in a win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Arandi, a native of New York City, was brought in to replace Tom Coughlin after he was fired by the Jets in February.
The move gave the Steelers the opportunity to fill an offensive coaching vacancy, and they were hoping Aranda could help with the pass defense.
A few weeks ago, Araneas defense fell flat, allowing the Bengals to outscore the Steelers 20-3.
It’s not a huge change from last year, when the Steelers defense gave up a league-high 4.4 yards per play, and it certainly wasn’t enough to get the offense going.
The Steelers have been able to move the ball, but the defense has struggled.
Last year, the defense allowed 3.2 yards per pass attempt, while this year, it has allowed 3 yards per attempt, the second-lowest figure in the NFL.
It has allowed 8.2 sacks, tied for the most in the last five years.
The most noticeable trend has been that the pass rush has struggled to come together.
Last season, the pass rushers allowed a league high 20 sacks, and this year the pass-rushers have allowed just seven sacks, with just one coming last week against the Cincinnati Bearcats.
The pass-rushing stats are a reflection of a team that is trying to find a quarterback and a coordinator, and as a result, the offense has struggled offensively.
This is not the first time that Aranda has been replaced by someone new in a job.
Last spring, the head coach of the Houston Texans hired a different offensive coordinator, with former Pittsburgh assistant coach/running backs coach/quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator Tom Savage replacing him in Houston.
The Texans were one of four teams to lose quarterbacks this season, but they managed to win their division and remain among the NFL’s top teams in total offense.