Found January 25, 2013 on SteelBlitz Steelers Blog:
The Pittsburgh Steelers run game is not what it used to be. During the 2005 season the Steelers won a Super Bowl behind Willie Parker and Jerome Bettis and the run game. They passed the ball only when they needed too and Ben Roethlisberger only averaged 15 completions per game during the regular season. In comparison Roethlisberger averaged almost 24 completions per game in 2012 including only nine against the Chiefs in the game when he was injured. Roethlisberger was drafted by the Steelers in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft and has been their starting quarterback for all but two of those games (not including games missed by injury). When the Steelers drafted Roethlisberger he was meant to sit behind Tommy Maddux for a season before taking over as the starter. However, an injury to Maddux in the second week of the 2004 season forced Roethlisberger into NFL action sooner than planned. The Steelers lost that week 2 match-up to the Baltimore Ravens and Roethlisberger became the starting quarterback due to injury. The Steelers would not lose another game that season until the AFC Championship. After that point the Steelers have transitioned more and more to a passing team. In 2007 the Steelers won a second Super Bowl with Roethlisberger and the offense although balanced relied more on the pass than the run unlike the team that had won in 2005. When the Steelers returned to the Super Bowl in 2010 it was Rashard Mendenhall’s best season. During that season the Steelers rushed for almost 2,000 total yards. Since and including the 2005 season the Steelers top rushing seasons have been 2005, 2007 and 2010. Those also happen to be the three years the Steelers made the Super Bowl in that same span. In 2012 the Steelers recorded their worst rushing total in that same stretch (2005-2012) barely surpassing 1,500 yards on the ground. Knowing that is there any real surprise that they also equaled their worst record for that stretch going 8-8 for the second time since 2005. The question that now surrounds the team is: how do the Steelers get back to running the ball effectively? Many people think the team needs to find a feature back during the off-season, but is it the running backs that were the real problem during the 2012 season? The Steelers only had a consistent offensive line void of major injuries for three games during the season. Those three games came in weeks seven, eight, and nine against the Bengals, Redskins and Giants. The offensive line in those three games was Max Starks, Willie Colon, Maurkice Pouncey, Ramon Foster, and Mike Adams from left to right. During those three games the Steelers started Jonathan Dwyer at running back twice and Isaac Redman once. For those three games the team averaged 155 yards net rushing and their starting backs in those games (Dwyer, Dwyer, and Redman) averaged 125 yards per game on the ground. Following that game the injury bug once again hit the Steelers offensive line. The Steelers right tackle Adams, who was replacing an injured Marcus Gilbert, was lost for the season as was Colon. The team was forced to start Kelvin Beachum, who was the sixth to last player taken in the 2012 NFL Draft, at right tackle and Pouncey was moved to left guard for a game. Eventually the Steelers got their first round pick, David DeCastro, back from injury and he started at right guard which meant moving Foster to the right side. This shuffling of the offensive line caused problems in the run game as well as pass protection. Roethlisberger was sacked almost as many times in the four games he played following his injury as he was in the nine games he played before it. So before everyone writes off Redman and Dwyer as not being very good and decides that the Steelers best bet is to find a feature back in free agency or the 2013 NFL Draft maybe we should start looking at the offensive line’s conditioning program. A healthy offensive line could provide for a very good running game even if Dwyer or Redman is named as the starter in 2013. However, a new “feature” back may have just as many troubles as the running backs in 2012 if he is running behind an inconsistent and oft-injured offensive line. That’s not to say that a player like Alabama’s Eddie Lacy or South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore couldn’t help this team, but to think that they can single-handedly improve the run game may be a stretch. Another thing to look at when it comes to the run game is the offensive line coach that eventually gets hired. It will be interesting to see who is hired and what kind of scheme he runs. A zone blocking scheme could play to the youth and athleticism the Steelers have on their offensive line and return the Steelers to their days of glory both in winning Super Bowls and running the football. The post The Steelers Run Game is a Problem, but is it the Running Back’s or Offensive Line’s Fault? appeared first on SteelBlitz.

Why the Pittsburgh Steelers Are No Longer a Model NFL Franchise (Part 1 of 2)

The Pittsburgh Steelers are no longer one of the first teams that come to mind when people think of consistently successful NFL franchises. A model franchise can be counted on to make the playoffs every season with rare exceptions. The Steelers are not in that category. In the 21st century, the Steelers have missed the playoffs every third year. They made the playoffs in 2001 and...

Steelers Backup Quarterback Situation Will Be Interesting To Watch Play Out

The Pittsburgh Steelers will certainly be faced with a backup quarterback dilemma next season as both Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich are once again unrestricted free agents. While there is a good chance that one of the two will be brought back, you have to think that the position will be addressed via the draft or in free agency. The problem with both of those scenarios, however...

2013 Senior Bowl – A Few Potential Steelers Prospects I Will Be Watching Closely On Saturday

The 2013 Senior Bowl is Saturday, and like the rest of you, I will have my eyes on several players that I think might could help the Pittsburgh Steelers. Below is a list of just a few players that I look forward to seeing with a very brief synopsis of each. Feel free to add other names of players that you look forward to seeing play and what you are looking for out of each. DE...

Five Positions That The Steelers Will Address In 2013 Draft

By Jeremy Hritz It’s no secret that the Pittsburgh Steelers have several areas of need heading into the 2013 NFL Draft, and while need normally does not dictate who they draft early on, they will more than likely use their later picks to address lack of depth at certain positions. If when the Steelers select at pick 17, the best player on the board happens to be at their position...

The Steelers Need To Start Playing Young Players Sooner Rather Than Later

The Pittsburgh Steelers have always been known as one of the better franchises in the NFL at developing their own players instead of paying for free agents. The team has never been afraid to say goodbye to ageing veterans such as Jason GIldon, Joey Porter and Alan Faneca to just name a few. There has always been a player behind these names who have been developing for a while to...

Five Super Bowl Alternatives for Pittsburgh Steelers Fans

Super Bowl 47 will be played on Sunday, February 3, in New Orleans, Louisianna between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. For Steelers fans it is hard to decide who to root for in this game. The Ravens are the Steelers bitter rivals, but if the 49ers win they will tie the Steelers for the most Super Bowl wins in NFL history with 6. Many fans have said they just may...

Rashard Mendenhall likely done in Pittsburgh

We mentioned yesterday that the Pittsburgh Steelers will likely redo their backfield for next season.   Even the Steelers’ official website agrees with the idea that at least Rashard Mendenhall won’t be back in the Steel City next season. Mendenhall will be a free agent this offseason and after a disappointing season in which he came back from ACL surgery and the fact that...

How the Pittsburgh Steelers Can Again Become a Model NFL Franchise (Part 2 of 2)

Part 1 of this cliffhanger demonstrated how the Pittsburgh Steelers have become a second-rate power among NFL franchises. Ten teams have been reaching the playoffs more consistently than the Steelers in recent years. The Patriots, Ravens, Packers, Falcons, Saints, Colts and Bengals all made it to the postseason at least three of the last four years while the Steelers have only made...

The Prevailing Trend Linked To Playoff Success? Drive!

By Christopher DiMarino The primary concern that I've had for the Pittsburgh Steelers over the past few years appears to be a key theme in this NFL Playoffs. You see, I believe that the mental component of football is much more important than many lead on. Having the drive to win is vital and can separate otherwise equivalent teams. The Steelers proved a lot in the last decade...

Steelers’ Maurkice Pouncey is rooting for Ray Lewis and the Ravens

This might the first time ever that a player from the Pittsburgh Steelers has ever cheered for the Baltimore Ravens. Center Maurkice Pouncey told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he’s rooting for Ray Lewis since they’re from the same hometown in Florida. “I am rooting for Ray Lewis,” Pouncey said. “He is from my hometown (Pouncey is from Lakeland, Fla., and Lewis is from...

Someone Thought The Steelers Needed More Cheetah Print, RAWR!

Who's a sexy kitty? via
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.