Steelers have a serious run-blocking problem that must be addressed
Is there for improvement?
Yes, everyone involved in run blocking can improve Watching this unit, there are very few plays where the entire offensive line is executing at the same time. There are plays where they have done it, so it’s not impossible.
The handful of times they do is when you see Najee Harris explode for a larger gain. Too often, however, as soon as Najee Harris gets the handoff he has to immediately dodge an interior defensive lineman or an edge rusher. It seems the linemen are stopping the run more vs the linebackers. That means from the snap of the ball, the offensive line is on their heels.
Najee Harris can create rushing yards on his own, which could not be said for James Conner, and Benny Snell. There is, however, only so much that he can do. The guys upfront have to win their one on one matchups or execute their assignments as drawn up by the coaching staff. Something has to change going forward, maybe that’s using the pass to set up the run, putting in the halfback toss to get Najee Harris on the edge, a little more of the I formation with Derrick Watt.
Again, there are some positive signs at times, so the group they have the potential to do it. Now whether they have the ability as a group remains to be seen. It’s only week 3 of the 2021 season, so things can turn around. It better happen quickly though, the Cincinnati Bengals are up next and they have the potential to field one of the more explosive offenses in the NFL. The Baltimore Ravens present their unique challenges with Lamar Jackson, and lastly the Cleveland Browns and their offense.
The Pittsburgh Steelers need to be able to run the football if they are going to keep the more explosive offenses off the field. No doubt, the Steelers when everyone is healthy have a top 3 NFL defense. However, you cannot ask them to consistently be on the field. And if you cannot run the football and your struggling with passing the football, it is going to be tough sledding for any offense. Especially one with a largely inexperienced offensive line.
The Pittsburgh Steelers upcoming schedule includes Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Baker Mayfield, Justin Herbert, and Lamar Jackson. Matt Canada, & Adrian Klemm better turn things around with this running game and quickly!