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Old 01-04-2013, 04:50 PM   #91
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Default Re: The scoring problem has nothing to do with the passing game

Steelers’ rushing woes drop to historic levels

By Alan Robinson
Published: Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Steelers‘ worst full-season rushing yardage totals in past 50 years:

Yards Year Record

1,092 1966 5-8-1

1,378 1965 2-12

1,397 1967 4-9-1

1,488 2003 6-10

1,537 2012 8-8

1,542 1969 1-13

1,627 1991 7-9

1,690 2008 12-4

1,715 1970 5-9

1,721 1968 2-11-1

Fewest yards by Steelers‘ single-season leader (16-game schedule):

Yards Player Year

610 Merril Hoge 1991

623 Jonathan Dwyer 2012

696 Earnest Jackson 1987

705 Merril Hoge 1988

762 Amos Zereoue 2002

Team president Art Rooney created a stir when a playoffs-free season prompted him to mandate the Steelers run the ball more consistently and efficiently.

That was nearly three years ago, and it still hasn‘t happened.

Since Rooney‘s mandate, the Steelers‘ rushing yardage bumped to 1,924 yards in 2010 (from 1,793 yards in ‘09) but has declined to 1,903 in ‘11 to 1,537 in ‘12, or only 49 yards fewer than they had while going 6-10 in 2003 — pass-heavy Tommy Maddox‘s one full season at quarterback.

Blame it on injuries, personnel turnover or the inability to identify and stay with a feature running back. Whatever the reason, the Steelers‘ running game reached historically low proportions during a 2012 season in which the productivity was confined mostly to a three-game midseason stretch.

Even as the Steelers tried Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman and Rashard Mendenhall as their lead runner, and they handed carries to Chris Rainey and Baron Batch, those 1,537 yards were their second fewest in a full season since the NFL adopted a 16-game schedule in 1978.

It also was their fifth-worst rushing season in the past 50 years and their worst in any nonlosing season during that time. Dwyer‘s 623 yards also represented the second-lowest total by a team leader to Merril Hoge‘s 610 yards in 1991.

Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, for comparison‘s sake, had far more yards in December (861) than Dwyer did all season.

Was it the lack of an identifiable feature runner, especially when former 1,000-yard runner Mendenhall was sidelined for the first month after knee surgery?

“I‘m sure that would be a fair assessment,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “But there are also several reasons why that didn‘t occur, just general ineffectiveness being one of them.”

The Steelers seemed to have sorted out their running game when, during a three-game stretch from Oct. 21-Nov. 4, Dwyer ran off games of 122 yards against the Bengals and 107 against the Redskins and Redman ran for 147 yards against the Giants. Coincidentally, a much-injured offensive line settled down as Max Starks, Willie Colon, Maurkice Pouncey, Ramon Foster and Mike Adams started and blocked effectively.

But Colon and Adams later got hurt, Foster was forced to switch sides, David DeCastro returned to start at right guard, Kelvin Beachum became the third right tackle and Doug Legursky filled in at multiple positions, and no running back had more than 56 yards in a game after that.

Dwyer carried 17 times in each of his 100-yard games, but he had that many carries only once more the rest of the season.

“I think I‘ve proven myself this year to have the ability to compete for that job and compete for that role, and that‘s what I‘m going to prepare myself for in the offseason,” Dwyer said.

Regardless, the running game bottomed out during the eight-turnover, five-fumble game Nov. 28 in Cleveland, where Tomlin seemed to lose confidence in all of his runners. From then on, no running back gained more than 52 yards.

Starks‘ recommendation is to identify a feature back and stay with him.

“You can‘t have as much uncertainty going into a week,” Starks said. “Be more definitive about who your starter is, who is that main guy, and then who are your auxiliary and situation guys. Early on we didn‘t have that — it was like by committee, trying to feel it out. I think going into next year (there should be) clear and defined roles after training camp.”

Longtime NFL general manager Charley Casserly, now an NFL Network analyst, said the Steelers must do one more thing going into next season.

“They‘ve got to find a runner,” he said.

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz2H2uR8QKG
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:29 PM   #92
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Default Re: The scoring problem has nothing to do with the passing game

If we draft Chance Warmack from Ala. in the first round, our OL next year is Adams, Warmack, Pouncey, DeCastro and Gilbert. You would be surprised how much better our backs look with a healthy, stable line in front of them.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:35 PM   #93
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Default Re: The scoring problem has nothing to do with the passing game

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If we draft Chance Warmack from Ala. in the first round, our OL next year is Adams, Warmack, Pouncey, DeCastro and Gilbert. You would be surprised how much better our backs look with a healthy, stable line in front of them.
No way can we draft another offensive lineman early. Our entire line would be 1st and 2nd round picks. It won't happen
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:47 PM   #94
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Default Re: The scoring problem has nothing to do with the passing game

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No way can we draft another offensive lineman early. Our entire line would be 1st and 2nd round picks. It won't happen
if he's the best player available at our pick i don't see why not. not a bad idea to solidify your o-line until the next decade
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:47 PM   #95
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Default Re: The scoring problem has nothing to do with the passing game

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No way can we draft another offensive lineman early. Our entire line would be 1st and 2nd round picks. It won't happen
Because it's not necessary. We haven't had our starting offensive line together yet and people are already asking for another linemen to be taken in the first round - it's a wasted pick. Let's see how our guys do as a unit (a healthy unit) before we start taking linemen when we could be reloading our defense.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:05 PM   #96
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Default Re: The scoring problem has nothing to do with the passing game

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If we draft Chance Warmack from Ala. in the first round, our OL next year is Adams, Warmack, Pouncey, DeCastro and Gilbert. You would be surprised how much better our backs look with a healthy, stable line in front of them.
Lets hope DeCastro and Adams pan out....i know it was only a couple of starts but DeCastro looked like a free agent lineman. Im not saying he is or will be a flop, but he got trampled. For one of the top lineman in the draft, thats not good. Adams has his issues too, but i think everyone figured he needed a little more work. DeCastro was NFL ready.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:23 PM   #97
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Default Re: The scoring problem has nothing to do with the passing game

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if he's the best player available at our pick i don't see why not. not a bad idea to solidify your o-line until the next decade
You can't put all your cap space into one position.... like the Steelers did by paying Roethlisberger more than P Manning, Brees and Rodgers (by cap penalty). Other parts of the team will suffer.

Offensive lines of SB QBs by draft pick:

Manning's SB OL: 1st, 4th, 5th, UDFA, UDFA
Brady's 1st SB OL: 2nd, UDFA, 3rd, 1st, 4th
Brady's last SB OL: 2nd, UDFA, 5th, UDFA, 7th
Brees SB OL 4th, 5th, 5th, 4th, 2nd
Rodgers SB OL: 2nd, 2nd, 7th, 4th, 4th

If you think the OL is the issue you are wrong. The Steelers draft big maulers like Kemoeatu and Colon and put them in pass protection. The problem is they aren't built to pass protect. The other problem is an OL made up of Ogden, Allen, Webster, Upshaw, Munoz would still give up 30 sacks a season playing in front of Roethlisberger while he holds the ball for 5 seconds on every pass.

The OL gets hurt year after year when they are pushed back into each other while trying to sustain blocks for Roethlisberger.

There is nothing wrong with the OL that Ben growing up and playing in a real system can't fix.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:28 PM   #98
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Default Re: The scoring problem has nothing to do with the passing game

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Lets hope DeCastro and Adams pan out....i know it was only a couple of starts but DeCastro looked like a free agent lineman. Im not saying he is or will be a flop, but he got trampled. For one of the top lineman in the draft, thats not good. Adams has his issues too, but i think everyone figured he needed a little more work. DeCastro was NFL ready.
I agree DeCastro looked terrible in pass protection. Geno Atkins embarassed him but Geno Atkins embarassed a lot of players this year. Atkins is the best interior lineman in the NFL right now. DeCastro had played 1 game at the time.

Adams is going to be a very good player. Loved his hustle and he was always the first guy to stick up for teammates. He has a great motor. I think he will be the LT because he also has great feet. Time will tell.

This OL will not reach its peak until 2014 but should show big improvement next year.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:17 AM   #99
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Default Re: The scoring problem has nothing to do with the passing game

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If we draft Chance Warmack from Ala. in the first round, our OL next year is Adams, Warmack, Pouncey, DeCastro and Gilbert. You would be surprised how much better our backs look with a healthy, stable line in front of them.
If Gilbert can get his head straight. He took a big step backwards this year.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:28 AM   #100
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If Gilbert can get his head straight. He took a big step backwards this year.
I think moving Gilbert to guard next year is the answer.

Starks DeCastro Pouncey Gilbert Adams

Someone has to be the odd man out if Starks stays and I hope he does.

Legursky and Foster the main backups. Of course someone will get hurt and everything will change.
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