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Old 11-26-2012, 03:54 PM   #15
AndyWitmyer
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Default Re: Why do we cycle so many running backs?

1) We're cycling through as many RBs for multiple reasons - not the least of which, as punishment (some it deserved - some I'm not so sure). Tomlin could not have been impressed with ALL of his backs fumbling...honestly, I can't blame him for assuming that, you know, maybe one of them would keep a hold of the ball through the course of a game, but...ya know...this is the NFL...assume nothing. Negative reinforcement will often work (like most people, players do generally want to keep their jobs) - but, if overused, players might become desensitized or even jaded towards the coaches or even the team in general. This may eventually result in a wounded morale - something the Steelers really can't afford right now.

2) Tomlin and Haley might be doing some gameday experiments with the backs that we have - although risky, this would (in theory) be a good opportunity to evaluate what our backs, and determine where their strengths and weaknesses may lie. While it could pay off in giving our backs the chance to show us what they're made of, doing so on gameday is risky, and could easily lead to some wildly unpredictable results.

3) They may be trying to confuse the opposing team by rotating the backs and hoping that the other team will be thrown off by the flurry of different players. It also allows our backs to potentially minimize individual injuries by spreading it across multiple players. This isn't necessarily a bad idea - but, seeing as how our offense is in the midst of yet another identity crisis, I'm not convinced that opposing teams will be fooled by the rushers we have, given their apparent mediocrity. I'm not saying they all suck, or will always suck - but, they lack individual identities, and as a consequence, instead of differences, we see among them a universal penchant for getting stuffed and/or flagged on every other play. Oh, yeah...and that thing fumbling thing.

With the last game though, of the reasons I listed, the first one is probably the most likely to be true. Regardless, all three will have their pros and cons. We'll see how our RBs respond next week.
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