The Steelers had a couple of rough early season outings against the run and then closed the year by allowing 102 rushing yards or more in five of their final six games, including the playoff loss to the Jaguars that ended their season.
That didn’t cause them much harm when it came to their final ranking in the league. Pittsburgh finished 10th in the league against the run, but it was still something that team president Art Rooney II believes the team needs to improve in 2018.
“Last year, there were some games where we were kind of soft against the run,” Rooney said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “That’s not Steeler football or Steeler defense. … We have to start by making sure we are strong against the run and try to put the other team in a passing situation so we can get after the quarterback.”
The Steelers didn’t have much trouble getting after opposing quarterbacks in the regular season as they led the league with 56 sacks, but there’s one clear area the Steelers will look to address as they build next year’s defense. Their rocky end of the season against the run coincided with the loss of linebacker Ryan Shazier and, given the severity of Shazier’s injury, they’ll need to plan for someone to step into his role on a full-time basis.