4 ways the Steelers can fix the run game

4 ways the Steelers can fix the run game

Over the course of the last three games, the Pittsburgh Steelers have really struggled to establish any sort of run game. Even on Sunday, when the team was up big on the Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh opted to keep throwing the ball rather than line up and run it. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger dismissed any worries about it noting as long as the team is winning, this is all that matters.

But let’s just say that hypothetically the Steelers do need to run the football to win a game. Do you feel confident they could do it? If not, read on because this is how you fix the Steelers run game.

Play to your strengths

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The Steelers aren’t a great run-blocking team. But David DeCastro and Maurkice Pouncey can still get it done. To a lesser degree so can Matt Feiler. If Pittsburgh wants to establish the run game with James Conner it would be best to run behind those three on the inside instead of wasting time working outside behind the tackle and tight ends. And don’t get me started on how pointless the addition of Derek Watt has been.

Use the sweeps sparingly

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Everyone loves to see those jet sweeps with Chase Claypool and Ray-Ray McCloud. But without an inside run game to establish those jet sweeps are useless. We saw the Bengals just sit on them on Sunday since there was no threat of Conner getting the ball on the inside.

Deep shots to push safeties back

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Pittsburgh’s controlled, short-passing offense is serving them well right now. It allows Roethlisberger to complete a high percentage of passes and lets his young skill players make plays. But what it does is pushes the safeties up and make run lanes more crowded. Pushing the passing game deeper will push the safeties back and give the run game some room to operate.

Or just don’t bother

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s not kid ourselves. This offense belongs to Roethlisberger. He’s drawing up plays in the dirt and those arent’ dives and trap plays. The fix might be to just not worry about it. Let the run game be a distraction and stick to the passing game. The biggest downside to this will be when the time comes when the Steelers need the run game due to circumstances and I’m not sure it’ll be ready.

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