Steelers want to stick to run, even without key parts


The Steelers don’t appear to be ready to change their plan, but they don’t appear to be close to getting back the guys they need to implement that plan, either.

According to Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Steelers aren’t expected to have either running back Le’Veon Bell or tight end Heath Miller back Monday, which will make it hard for them to run the ball the way they hoped.

Without them, coupled with the loss of center Maurkice Pouncey to a season-ending knee injury, the Steelers rushed for 32 yards against the Titans, the lowest of Mike Tomlin’s tenure as head coach. But the trend is clearly not moving in the right direction. They’ve only rushed for 100 yards in a game as a team once in the last nine games, and haven’t had an individual back go for more than 56 during that span.

“I think a consistent running game is really important not only to be good offensively but to strike a balance,” Tomlin said. “We haven’t been able to do that to this point. Obviously, we are working hard to do so.”

Of course, they kind of ditched it late Sunday, trying to shake things up against the Titans.

“You always hate to abandon what you practiced all week, but at some point, you’ve got to say, ‘Hey, let’s make some changes and we did there late,’ ” Roethlisberger said on his radio show on 93.7 FM.

The personnel shortfalls might keep them from being able to fix it soon, and trying to fix an ailing offense against the Bengals isn’t the best spot to be in either.

53 responses to “Steelers want to stick to run, even without key parts

  1. So getting rid of Dwyer didn’t solve the problem….and bringing him back won’t either as long as the line cannot effectively block.

    With the current personnel, they should switch to a quarterback that can run.

    Is there a free agent quarterback out there who could immediately generate enough chaos in the Pittsburgh backfield to loosen up opposing defenses?

  2. Pittsburgh Steeler football is won and LOST with the run game. Consistency and persistency is what breeds success, I wouldn’t expect anything else from them. You can talk trash, but the reality is it’s brought them six rings.

  3. jimthebuilder27 says:

    Mike Tomlin is just like Barry Switzer. He won Super Bowl 43 with Bill Cowher’s team an has merely driven them into the ground.

    Yep. There was no GM, no player personnel director; there were no injuries to key players along the way. Nothing. Just Tomlin screwing it up.

    Man, its really hard to respect the “common fan.”
    You’re all so hateful and stupid.

  4. Alot of injuries all in one game hard to overcome….

    I’m a Steelers fan but this bullet is getting hard to bite I agree with the statement that Tomlin won with Bill Cowher’s roster and the drafts over the past 5 years have been subpar at best…. Colbert and Tomlin both can take the blame for this when your 1st and 2nd round picks aren’t starters or don’t live up to the hype….

    Injuries have killed the Steelers the last couple of years as would with any team…. Just wish we could see what this team could do at 100%.

    Would have rather seen the Steelers draft Lacy over bell or instead of picking Dwyer back up yeah he knows the system (blah blah he still fumbles like redman) I would have liked to see a bruiser like Michael Turner get a shot…. Just have a feeling this Bell pick is going to not pan out kid had like 1000 carries in college and has been injuried twice now..

    But keep our heads up Steeler nation we are tied in the division big game on Monday night lets hope the center run game and offensive coordinator can right this ship! Bengals are young and talented have drafted very well over the last couple years but see ya on game day…


  5. Tomlin won with Cowher’s players? If Bill Cowher’s players were so good, why didn’t Cowher win more with them?

  6. Tomlin is actually more like Jon Gruden, who won with Tony Dungy’s players, when, suddenly, he didn’t.

    You sound like Righteous Ron Cook of 93.7 The Fan and Post-Gazette. I’ve heard Cook make this same argument repeatedly.
    “Why didn’t Cowher win more with Cowher’s players?”
    Cowher’s career record is 161-99-1. He went to two Super Bowls and won one of them. Having said that, Cowher’s record his final three seasons on the job was 34-14 … with the same group of players that Tomlin inherited. Tomlin’s record his first three seasons in Pittsburgh is 31-17. Both Cowher and Tomlin won Super Bowls with those players.
    Not sure I understand yours or Cook’s argument that Cowher didn’t win with Cowher’s players. Care to explain?
    Let’s try to remember that Cowher RETIRED. Tomlin will, at some point, eventually be FIRED.

  7. I bet you the team is rethinking forcing Bruce Arians to “retire.” The team hasn’t been the same since.

    Of course I am a Browns fan and I love watching the Steelers squirm, but the offensive coordinator is just offensive. What, he was hired because his father was a coach for the team (I know that isn’t why, but he hasn’t shown competence at any of his stops since before he got his head coaching gig.

  8. Something is desperately wrong when an offense scores ZERO points in the first 58 minutes of a game against what was the very worst defense in the entire NFL last year.

    You might as well call it a shutout. The game was over by the time Roethlisberger scored the garbage time garbage TD against a prevent defense.

    Teams will continue to load up against the run against the Steelers until Roethlisberger proves he can beat them with his arm and not just ride on the back of the Steeler defense hoping for a 9-7 win.

  9. The line has been a problem for years and everyone points to a 26 year old Ben that pulled them together. Its been 5 years he didn’t get healthier…he didn’t get younger. they need to Draft better up front to stop these problems.

  10. gordoom:
    Roethlisberger’s 26? So he came into the league at the age of 16?
    As for Haley, he was the OC when the high-scoring, Kurt Warner-led Cardinals advanced to Super Bowl 43, where Bruce Arians’ offense scored a whopping 13 points over the game’s first 58 minutes. Haley also was the Chiefs last head coach to win the AFC West…
    The line has only been a “problem” because Roethlisberger has made it a problem. Try pass-protecting for a QB who can’t or won’t read defenses. I’m guessing it’s not easy.

  11. I see Steelers’ fans are certainly sticking to THEIR running game. Running their mouths all day about a team that has clearly gone down the sewer.

  12. Cowher underachieved as a coach. He ran off Donahue who was most responsible for his success. They have made questionable draft picks like 3-4 ends in the first round. Only Bruce Smith and J J Watt have been successful. To a lesser extent Seymour and Ngata but they play as much DT. however their drafts as a whole have not been bad. The more questionable moves are sticking by guys like Redman.

  13. Cowher was the one who stuck his neck out and took Alonzo Jackson. The guys Cowher had influence in taking were not very good.

  14. pooflingingmonkey says:
    Sep 11, 2013 11:22 AM
    James Harrison is probably really glad he jumped off this sinking ship
    Do you remember he begged to come back after realizing the Steelers made him a fair offer???
    He’s now playing for half of what was offered

  15. Everyone can write off the Steelers if they want, but this Bengal fan wont be.

    AFCN games will be typical hard-nosed tough slugfests as usual, and I’m looking forward to seeing every one of them.

    The Steelers may have had a tough go Sunday, but I expect them to rebound and come out swinging Monday night. Its gonna be another close one. Can’t wait.

  16. Agree London, I too fear the wounded animal that is the Steelers. Funny how Cinti has taken a page on how to build a team from them as well. On paper it looks easy, but the game has to be played. AND thank you Steelers for not drafting Tyler Effeirt. Bet they are second guessing that one with all their injuries at TE, and further J Jones is on the bench watching.

  17. runtheball:
    Way to cherry pick.
    Your argument is ridiculous.
    In 1992, Cowher inherited legendary Chuck Noll’s team, one that went 7-9 in 1991 failed to make the playoffs in ’90 and ’91 , and coached it to an 11-5 record and a AFC Central title. Three years later (1995), he had the Steelers in the Super Bowl WITHOUT a running game.
    He won with Neil O’Donnell, Mike Tomzcak, Kordell Stewart and Tommy Maddox. Was he perfect, not at all.
    But he was a helluva lot better than most coaches. As for him running off Donahue: Thank you, Bill Cowher!!! That opened the door for Kevin Colbert, who, up until recently, has been doing a pretty job. How’d Donahue’s gig work out in Buffalo?
    Beyond that, I have no idea about what you’re talking about. Bruce Smith? JJ Watt?
    Remember Levon Kirkland and Jason Gildon?
    Cowher Power trumps Tomlin Turmoil any day!!!

  18. There has been a very dark cloud over Pittsburgh since 03/05/10. The only way to make it go away is to dump Rottenberger, of course.

  19. Everyone saw this coming. They have been on a downward decline for a while now.

    If Big Ben gets hurt early in the season, this team is top 10 2014 draft.

  20. The same fans calling for Haley’s head are the same fans who pushed Arians out of town. Last year, under Haley’s first year as OC, Ben was having a career year until he got injured in the KC game. After that multiple players went down to injury, and PGH lost at least 5 games by 3 points or less. For the few who keep saying Tomlin won with Cowhers players, Cowhers last season before retiring was 8-8. So obviously Cowher couldn’t motivate or get that team to a winning record let alone a SB. Tomlin came in and did take that team to a SB. Give some credit to the coach who inherits a team and motivating them to excel. As for OC, Haley took Arizona to a SB, and was able to get KC to a division title. Face it Tomlin haters, the Rooney’s aren’t about to fire him. They have a history of patience, and in the past 40 years that patience has paid off in 8 SB appearances, and 6 wins. So continue to feel entitled, continue to expect excellence, but be glad you aren’t a Jags fan, or a Browns fan or any other team who routinely has to except losing seasons.

  21. I like Mike Tomlin but I think it’s time we examine the mental state of the coach. We have NFL Play 60 Running Backs and Linemen and he thinks they’re going to run the ball? He’s high!!!!

    I think they are better suited to dink and dunk the ball 5-8 yards down field.

  22. Defense is stellar as always, they need to get turnovers tho. Ben had decent numbers, sacked 5 times and how much pressure was in his face? The run game was worse then horrid. Fix the line, the run game and passing attack will get better.
    The only AFCN team that has any room to talk after week 1 are the Bengals. The steelers may have gotten a garbage time TD, but the game was still possible to win. The Browns looked like theBrowns, enough said. Flacco and the Ravens looked terrible in all aspects. Flacco lead drives to 10 points in the first half, Rice got the other TD off the gift from Welker. Then he only managed to lead his team to 3 points before the garbage time TD. The defense that was much hyped to be the perfect storm by the fans looked like a JV football defense.
    As far as Ben being terrible, there’s an article out there comparing his first 7 years to Brady, P Manning, and Brees, he is compatible or better to the elite QB bunch. Not saying Ben is elite, but he is better then he’s given credit for. I know you can’t blame all the sacks on the line but most if them are on them.

  23. geno and company will be leading a bengal beat down on Monday night prime time! cant wait to see Steeler nation crying when there 0-2. James Harrison is going to feast! how do they plan to stop the pass rush?

  24. blosser:
    Defense needs to get turnovers.
    Why isn’t when the Steelers offense turns over the ball, that’s called “the Steelers beating the Steelers”? What you’re actually praying for is for Steelers opponents to beat themselves, right? Turnovers are a luxury and can not be counted on to win games…
    Secondly, of the five sacks, two of them were caused by lightweight running back’s inability to BLOCK.
    Finally, Roethlisberger’s “decent” numbers were made decent in a hurry-up offense against a prevent defense that only rushed three late in the game.
    And why to you continue to worry about the Ravens when the Steelers are 8-10 in the past 18 games?
    You really need to get Direct TV, dude.

  25. jm…worry about your own team. again with your excuses. welker muffs a punt, ravens recover, take advantage and score. but since the ravens did it its luck?…no its football. joe led a great drive to open the game and the ravens had a lead at the half. yes we got torched in the 2nd half and yes the defense looked awful. but you cant seriously think that ben played well and expect to have any credibility. that offense was worse than the ravens defense that day and will continue to be so for the rest of the season. and cinci…they lost too. you cant say they looked good and then lost and smack the ravens when they did the same thing

  26. runtheball says:
    Sep 11, 2013 10:42 AM
    Tomlin won with Cowher’s players? If Bill Cowher’s players were so good, why didn’t Cowher win more with them?

    Because amongst Cowher’s players WAS NOT A FRANCHISE QB….neil odonnell. nope, kordell, nope, tommy maddox (for one season, he was), once the got Ben, he was able to combine it with the stellar defense, and the sb trophies arrived….

  27. The only positive I saw out of the offensive line was (I think) zero penalties. Granted that’s at home and I’m sure that will change in Cincy…

    On defense, I’m glad McLendon looks to be handling himself.

    The obvious joke (besides the Steelers O in it’s entirety) that I’m surprised I haven’t seen yet…I wonder how much bounty money DeCastro collected from G. Williams?

  28. Scoobs, comparing a team that gave up 7 passing a TDs(with a defense Raven fans made out to be the second coming)and around 600 yards to a team that lost a close 3 point game is laughable. Flacco’s numbers were inflated, he lead the team to 17 points when the game counted, then got a garbage time TD and Rice got a TD on a gift from Welker, I am in no way saying that the ravens had luck on the muffed punt, I am just saying Flacco doesn’t get credit for those points because he failed to keep the drive going that lead to the punt.
    The Steelers offense was bad, Ben did what he could , the line can’t block and that’s been the case for 3 years now and the running game has been MIA for about 3 years now. Remember last year the steelers started out 2-3 then got to 6-3 before Ben got hurt, then the rest if the injuries rolled in, injuries happen but a team can only absorb so much.

  29. jm…the steelers offense was awful and because of it they were never in that game. they cant score…and thus they cant win. the ravens were winning and playing well…and the defense imploded. my guess is you didnt see much of the game and watched espn afterwards. as far as the td after the welker muff, no flacco didnt do much but he was the qb. so if you bury him for “not playing well” he gets credit for being the qb on the td.

  30. All the hatred on here….come on people. We all know we have biases towards our own teams. Personally I like it when all the AFC North teams are playoff contenders. It’s nice to play in a respected division unlike some teams that are perennial division winners only because the rest of the teams in that division combine for 20 wins.

    Truth is – all of the AFCN teams lost – any way you split it. They all could do better. Ravens got boned by the Orioles and had to play a really good Denver Team. Bengals had to go to Soldier Field and play a fairly stout Bears team. Steelers looked lost and have several key injuries. Browns are on the rise and had to play a Dolphins team thats trying to find solid footing to get out of the basement of the AFCE. But excuses are like A55holes – everyone has them.

    I suspect two teams will be 0-2 and two will be 1-1. Infact I will bet the farm on it haha.
    Now everyone play nice!

  31. There is nothing in the Bylaws that the defending champs get to open at home. They lost cause the whole team only played half the game.
    Scoobs I watched the majority if the game, missed the first touchdown, but seen all the rest.

  32. One more thing scoobs, I could hand the ball off to ray rice for a 1 yard drive any day if the week, doesn’t mean I deserve credit. Why put “not playing well” in quotes? Garbage time inflated Flaccos stats.

  33. scoobies05 | Sep 11, 2013, 2:57 PM EDT
    jm…the steelers offense was awful and because of it they were never in that game. they cant score…and thus they cant win. the ravens were winning and playing well…and the defense imploded. my guess is you didnt see much of the game and watched espn afterwards. as far as the td after the welker muff, no flacco didnt do much but he was the qb. so if you bury him for “not playing well” he gets credit for being the qb on the td.

    Come on scoobie moral victory? Really? You got Peyton much worse than you got Batch slapped. Lip stick on a pig still leaves you with a pig. It’s an l not a W……I know you got the concept you just like to beat your gums…keep beating .

  34. It’s frustrating to witness the Steeler’s staff not adjust when the game plan does not work. It was too little too late by the time they really opened it up. Let’s see… you have an above average thrower on the run and a broken, crap O-line. Do you think you could mix in a design rollout for your QB once in a while? How about sretching the field with your new fast rookie? Nope.
    Something! Anything! Steal back Whiz from the Chargers!

  35. After seeing the Cincy front 7 get pushed around like it was going out of style, I’d also focus on the run this week. After all the yap, easily the most overrated unit in the afcn.

  36. Something is terribly wrong when you bring in an offensive coordinator for the sole purpose of introducing a more balanced run/pass attack but you can only manage 100 yards rushing in one of nine games. Clearly this team did not do the necessary planning and preparation to implement this offense. That’s an institutional failure–coaches, players, and player personnel.

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