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Old 12-02-2011, 06:17 AM   #1
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Default Steelers run game lacks results this season

Steelers run game lacks results this season

By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, December 2, 2011

There were dropped passes and penalties, including a silly one for having too many men in the huddle.

But what irked Bruce Arians most about an offense that managed only one touchdown last Sunday in Kansas City is that the Steelers averaged 3.9 yards per carry.

"It's got to pick up for us to be where we want to be," the Steelers' offensive coordinator said Thursday. "It's not the number of carries, it's the quality of the carries. When we run it, we have to run it better."

Sledding for the Steelers' running backs may not get any easier Sunday.

The Cincinnati Bengals visit Heinz Field for a 1 p.m. game, and they bring with them the NFL's fifth-ranked rushing defense (92.7 yards allowed per game). They limited the Steelers to 3.5 yards per carry Nov. 13 in Cincinnati.

The AFC North rematch represents the Steelers' first game in December, and that may be as significant as it is symbolic.

The importance of the running game is magnified at this time of year, especially in cold-weather climates, where weather is such an X-factor. That reality may explain the timing of Arians calling out the running game.

"That wind starts blowing, it starts to get cold, that ball starts to get hard, you've got to be able to run the ball, make teams start to quit and give up," said running back Isaac Redman, who is second on the Steelers with 267 rushing yards. "It's something we really haven't done this year is run the ball down teams' throats."

The Steelers are averaging 4.2 yards per carry and rank 18th in rushing offense (109.6) despite throwing the ball 57 percent of the time.

There seems to be a feeling in the Steelers' locker room that the ground game is close to breaking through even though leading rusher Rashard Mendenhall is on pace for less than 1,000 yards.

"It's going to happen," Steelers right guard Ramon Foster said. "We have the nastiness. We have the athletes, too. We definitely take it on our back to get that started and get a lot better at it."

Arians had high praise for several of the Steelers' offensive linemen yesterday, including Foster and rookie right tackle Marcus Gilbert.

The Steelers picked Gilbert in the second round of this year's NFL draft and had been grooming him to play left tackle. They plugged Gilbert in at right tackle after Willie Colon went down with a season-ending arm injury in the season opener.

"He's actually a better run blocker than Flo right now," Arians said of Flozell Adams, who played right tackle last season. "Flo did an unbelievable job with what he had left in his body last year. His mass covered up people more than he moved them. Marcus is getting movement, and he and Ramon (Foster) have become a pretty solid side as far as run blocking."

Arians has been criticized for being too enamored with the pass. And when asked about talk by the running backs that they would like more opportunities, Arians smiled.

"Run it better, we'll run it more," he said. "It's just like the passing game every receiver wants it. It's a nice problem to have."

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

Read more: Steelers run game lacks results this season - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbur...#ixzz1fNYFjAjn

(Please Santa all I want for Christmas is a new OC who knows how and when to RUN the ball. - mesa)
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:49 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers run game lacks results this season

If we used a FB we could run the ball!!!
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:29 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers run game lacks results this season

Yea Bruce, because the screen to Hines has ALWAYS worked right (NOT) ? so that is why you keep calling it?

Rashard gains a little confidence and breaks off a 7 to 10 yard run and then you immediately switch it to a pass. I bet you won't stop throwing a 30 yard pass to Wallace when its 3rd and 4.

Don't throw it to Heath even though he continues to make great catches when his number is finally called.

Oh yea and one more thing Bruce - when are you going to tell your running backs to stop lining up a whole 7 yards behind Ben. Might want to get a little more creative instead of running it to the right.

Oh, and once you start succeeding against defenses with that empty set 3rd and 1 you should keep calling it - until then - STOP THE MADNESS
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers run game lacks results this season

Funny how he says "run it better, run it more," yet immediately after 2 great runs by Mendenhall, Ben throws 40+yard bombs to Wallace. One was intercepted. One was incomplete.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers run game lacks results this season

Anyone have any stats on number of times Mewelde's number has been called over Redman? It seems like Redman has been lost in the shuffle or am I wrong on this one?

In general, I wish we as fans would have something tangible to say ok, the Steelers are playing this team, so Bruce usually attacks them this way. It seems like we are playing against ourselves, practicing things to see what works instead of actual game planning.

I'm sure to some degree that is always the case with most teams that you don't know until you try it - but I just don't see anything logical. Ed Bouchette of PPG is usually the first in line to defend Arians and continually has brought up Wallace dropping the ball and Moore not fumbling the ball at the goal line. I put that Moore fumble as being more of a great play by Chiefs D (much like the Matthews play on Mendenhall in XLV) than him being reckless with it. As far as Wallace dropping it - yes, one of those he should have caught, but that's the reason it is a low percentage play - the distance makes it a hard ball to catch - why else do people erupt when those plays connect?

Please, please, please more logic! Like I said yesterday, this team has proven to step it up in playoffs and put together great games on offense but even then we are either playing from behind or holding onto a lead. We have yet to see this group get out to a huge lead and keep the foot on the pedal. Fine line - basically for my selfish reasons, I'm tired of the heart attack games!
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers run game lacks results this season

the Steelers' offense seems to come out different every game. they seem to lack an identity. when you play quality teams you know what their plan is as it works game in and game out. each week the Steelers' offense comes out you don't know what they are going to look like. One game Miller has 7 catches and the next game 1. One game they run no huddle 80% of the time and then you don't see it for 3 games. One game it's quick short drops and passes that work great (and little sacks on Ben). Then 4 games goes by and you see no quick drops/passes, a 5 sack game and a beat up Ben.

Look at film, see what works, make that who you are and tweak that to make perfection. run with it until it no longer works.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers run game lacks results this season

Ah, the art of making a non-issue an issue for the sake of a story. If we were sitting with a mere 2 or 3 wins then we could be concerned about the lack of the running game. But we're not. We're also not a running team anymore.

Facts are facts.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:06 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers run game lacks results this season

Probably is a non-issue, but I would just like us to stay on it until they stop it. Don't try to trick the defense every series. I don't care if we run (or pass) every play. If the defense can't stop it keep on it.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:17 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers run game lacks results this season

Quote:
Originally Posted by soulkitchen View Post
Probably is a non-issue, but I would just like us to stay on it until they stop it. Don't try to trick the defense every series. I don't care if we run (or pass) every play. If the defense can't stop it keep on it.
Don't get me wrong, I want a good ground attack, too. But at the same time it's not all doom-and-gloom because we're missing one right now.

That better change in the playoffs, though, if we want ring #7.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:18 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers run game lacks results this season

Just say get back to being a bully and make other teams defense stop what we are doing instead of basically stopping ourselves by being to "cute" sometimes.
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