This past Sunday, third-year tight end Zach Gentry played the second-most offensive snaps of his career, in their 27-19 victory over the Denver Broncos.
Often used in pass and run blocking situations, Gentry saw as many snaps as veteran tight end Eric Ebron, who played 25 total offensive snaps on Sunday against the Broncos. At the end of the game, Gentry had more receiving yards on one catch, than Ebron did on his two receptions. In the last two games, Gentry has seen his role expand and is slowly evolving into a viable option for veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to target.
During his senior year at the University of Michigan, Gentry earned the reputation as one of the most reliable tight ends in college football, as he finished third on the team with 514 receiving yards. Since being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2019, his opportunities have come few and far between. Last season, Gentry showed promise during training camp, but a knee injury late in the 2020 season derailed any hopes of him realizing his potential as an offensive contributor.
In the last two games, Gentry has registered the most receiving yards of his NFL career, while displaying his impressive ability to gain yards after a reception. He and rookie Pat Freiermuth have slowly formed a tandem that has added a well-needed dimension to Matt Canada's offense. As for Gentry himself, this season could be the one where he can finally show his true value to the team.