How Ladarius Green’s release affects Pittsburgh Steelers TEs, Jesse James
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Ladarius Green combined one more time on Thursday to leave Jesse James atop the team’s tight end depth chart.
Since the 2016 season began, though, James has only had one game where he didn’t either start in the position or get the most offensive snaps of any Steelers tight end.
At first glance, the Glassport native and Penn State alum stands to gain the most from Green’s release with an injury designation. And as far as his being by far the most experienced pass catcher in the group, that’s true.
David Johnson, the Steelers’ only veteran tight end, has been targeted all of 43 times across five seasons in Pittsburgh.
Yet when comparing how the Steelers doled out tight end snaps with and without Green last year – there’s a spreadsheet for you at the bottom here – the future of the position without him is a little more complicated.
He averaged 9.5 more snaps per game with Green out of the lineup than with Green in it. Green was having one of the best games with five catches and 72 yards to his name before a blow to the head against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 15 ended his season and Steelers career.
James’ snaps had decreased in each of the previous two weeks while Green’s grew. Though there was room for both, the former San Diego Charger came closer to filling a role in the Steelers’ ideal, win-or-lose-control-of-the-season offense.