Steelers Film Room: Rookie TE Rob Blanchflower Against The Eagles

By Alex Kozora

A breakdown of the play of Pittsburgh Steelers rookie tight end Rob Blanchflower against the Philadelphia Eagles last Thursday night.


1. 3rd and 7, 13:23 4th. He releases late on his route but the area to focus on here is his chip. Rookie defensive lineman Taylor Hart loops around on a stunt and Blanchflower throws his arm into the defender, knocking him to the ground. Make Mike Adams look good in pass protection and you’ve done a nice job.

2. 2nd and 2, 6:58 4th. Draw play. Blanchflower chips the LDE and then works to the second level to stick to the SAM. Does fall off late at the end but overall, it’s a quality block and he generates a good push. Like that ability to work in space.

3. 2nd and 22, 3:42 4th. Pass protection. Handles the edge rush from the linebacker lined up over the slot fairly well. Seals the edge and allows Bruce Gradkowski the time to get the pass off.




1. 1st and 10, 3:37 4th. Limited amount of snaps to work with here and I really only saw one negative snap. Bubble screen to Darrius Heyward-Bey. Blanchflower releases into the flat to block but doesn’t pick anyone up. Two defenders in the area but Blanchflower is indecisive, never locking in on any one player.


Aside from what happened during the plays, Blanchflower entered with the second-team in a two tight end set with Michael Palmer. In one tight end sets, the rookie was the lone tight end. That’s an encouraging sign and just clouds the #3 spot even more although I’d reason the team was taking advantage of its first long look at a healthy Blanchflower.

It may not indicate the team has penciled him into that spot; rather, just granting him a chance to see what he can do with more extensive work.

I don’t think his run blocking was dominant or anything that blew me away but it had improved. Doing a better job of staying on his feet and sticking to his blocks.

Limited work as a route runner. Two of them were simple drag routes that didn’t tell me much. A third came on Martavis Bryant’s touchdown, the ball coming out quickly.

He’ll likely get his best opportunity to showcase what he can offer tonight. Still, trying to see how a 7th round rookie that has missed a lot of practice can make a 53 over two veterans seems relatively implausible.


About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • cencalsteeler

    I give Blanch a pass on that screen pass to DHB. That play was probably designed for DHB to take it down the sideline. He cut back in, and Blanch was anticipating blocking his guy away from the sideline (Blanch’s angle and approach supports this). He can’t see what’s happening behind him. Other than that, he looks solid.

  • steeltown

    Ha! I love that chip /stiff arm he gives that guy in the 1st gif.. these are encouraging

  • cencalsteeler

    How about Adams going down field for a second block in gif 2? Talk about encouraging! And, he actually shoved the guy with authority!!

  • steeltown

    Adams has played better then he gets credit for

  • Steelers12328882

    This is what we all have been waiting for. A reason to give Paulson the boot! If only we had one for Chris Carter. Definitely not dominant play, but for me this was one of the most encouraging things to come from the Eagles game.

  • k33ger

    He also seemed wide open after that chip. Although, I can’t fault the QB for going downfield. Just you know…dont underthrow it so much next time 🙂

  • steeltown

    Yea im all for going downfield, but I think Flower could’ve got 1st down, there was a lot of green in front of him especially toward the sideline

  • James Kling

    Man, I’m sick of people always busting on Chris Carter. I mean, he created the X-Files, what the hell else do you want?

  • steeltown

    The Truth Is Out There

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    agree even number 17 tries to turn his player inside

  • whisn

    looks good to me, hopefully he can catch a few ball tonight and make the 53

  • Steelers12328882

    Noticed him open a couple times that game. He just needs a chance to show if he’s a receiver or not. Hopefully tonight.

  • steeltown

    Small sample size but according to Kozora’s notes, he was a perfect 4 for 4 in Team scrimmages in training camp

  • treeher

    We know what we (don’t) have with the Ps. Flower can’t be any worse.

  • When I was watching him against the Panthers, the way he moved around on the line before the snap, I thought he was Heath Miller a couple of times. I think he’d be a good addition to the team. With Heath, Spaeth and Blanchflower, I think we’d be good at the TE position.