Arthur Smith explains what he wants from his quarterback

PITTSBURGH — This story originally appeared on SteelersNow.com.

Pittsburgh Steelers new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith led quarterback Ryan Tannehill to career-best numbers when he was an offensive coordinator with the Tennessee Titans from 2019-2020. That’s what the Steelers are hoping Smith can do for Kenny Pickett. Resurrect his career and put him on the right path. Before Smith, Tannehill was considered a first-round bust with the Miami Dolphins.

As the Atlanta Falcons head coach, Smith didn’t succeed in developing Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder, but his work with Tannehill as an offensive coordinator was first-rate. Tannehill had an over 100 passer rating in both 2019 and 2020 and recorded a remarkable 55-13 touchdown-interception ratio over the two-year span.

During a one-on-one interview with Missi Matthews of Steelers.com, Smith explained what he needs from a quarterback in his system to succeed.

“I’ve been fortunate. I’ve worked with a lot of different quarterbacks at different parts of their career,” Smith said. “Like with Ryan Tannehill, he was at a different part of his career than Matt Ryan was when I got to work with Matt. And worked with young quarterbacks as well. And it’s exciting to hear the way that this offense is built with a lot of young players, and obviously where Kenny Pickett is at going into his third year. Playing with a young quarterback, (it’s about) being efficient, being able to get the ball out and making the smart decisions. Getting the ball in the playmaker’s hands and taking care of the football.”

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