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Old 09-13-2010, 07:35 AM   #1
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Default Steelers' ground game packs a punch

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Steelers' ground game packs a punch
September 12th, 2010

The Steelers a (gasp!) running team again?

It is too early to say after just one game.

But for those who have screamed that offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is too pass happy and anti-fullback, a brief conversation between wide receivers Hines Ward and Mike Wallace during the Steelers 15-9 overtime win against the Falcons has to be encouraging.

“Mike came to me and said, ‘Man, all we do is run the ball,’ ” Ward said.

That is not entirely accurate.

Dennis Dixon did throw 26 passes compared to 31 runs, 22 of them by Rashard Mendenhall for 120 yards and the only touchdown of the game.

But the Steelers stayed the course with their running game, content to beat the Falcons with it as well as a defense that played like it was 2008.

And they may have unveiled a new blueprint in the process.

Or at least their plans for the next three games in which they will also be without suspended quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

“At times I got a little angry but I understood we had to do that,” Ward said of the Steelers favoring the run over the pass on the way to their eighth consecutive win in their season opener. “We didn’t want to put too much on Dennis and we had bad field position all day long. We just pounded and pounded, and at the end of the day we ended up winning the game from it.”

How long will the Steelers stick with the retro approach?

Tomlin sidestepped the question.

“We did what we had to do to win the game,” Tomlin said. “Next week we’ll see.”
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