Aug 19, 2012; Pittsburgh , PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley on the sidelines against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half of the game at Heinz Field. The Steelers won the game, 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
On a recent radio broadcast on 97.3 The Fan, Ed Bouchette of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette discussed Pittsburgh’s running game and a recent conversation he had with Todd Haley on the subject. Although Isaac Redman appears to be in place as the Steelers’ starter in Week 1, Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator reiterated to Bouchette that the team is “still waiting for someone to take hold” of the starting job.
I do not blame Haley for his opinion on the matter. In fact, I would be uneasy as well considering how poorly Pittsburgh’s “running back by committee” failed last fall. The Steelers ranked 26th overall in rushing yards per game, and a dismal 28th overall in rushing yards per carry.
Granted, the offensive line’s constant shuffling and inconsistent performances definitely factored into Pittsburgh’s running game woes in 2012, it also did not help that none of Pittsburgh’s running backs stepped up to take a bigger role in the offense.
Although a veteran like Redman is the most healthy and best prepared to “take the reins” in the running game, the Steelers could still stand to use a “feature back” emerge during the course of the upcoming season. While a backfield consisting of players with diverse skill-sets is nice, what is even better is an “every-down” guy who can make the most out of 20-25 touches per game. Pittsburgh’s brass certainly thought that Le’Veon Bell could turn into that back, but his extended absence has left the franchise still scrambling for answers at the running back position.
Personally, I could care less who emerges as the team’s “bell cow” this year. I, like Haley, would just like to see somebody step up and take the job away from the others at the position outright.
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