On thing many people are forgetting is what impact pass pro has on the OL from a conditioning standpoint. Your pounding in the trenches is what wins your the battle of attrition. Dropping back 40+ times a game helps the defense win the battle of attrition while you self inflict. Then when the time comes where you "need to" impose your will in the run game...You already wore yourself down. When I played, I would have rather run the ball every play where the yard to go was under 7 on 2nd & 3rd and smack them in the mouth on 1st down to the point where they had to sell out against the run. Then keep them guessing against the PA when they did. You could feel their bodies wearing down as your fired out and took the wind out of them as the game wore on. It got easier and easier as the game went on and when you needed to pass there was no gas left in the tank to rush the QB and when you needed to run the push came from the OL. That part of football will NEVER change even in this QB league.
The Steelers have the QB and can get in a shoot out with the best of them. Come post season, there isn't a next week if the coaches across the field dialed it up. The sure equalizer in football is an effective run game. That is a whole story in itself. But getting positive plays on the ground on 1st down thickens the DC playbook on 2nd. Having shown you can run the ball keeps that playbook thick on 3rd & medium. Equally important is the fact that the seconds are ticking away means your D is resting and making adjustments between series. Just being able to improve the effectiveness and dial it up if & when you have to will seperate the Steelers from the pack. That will put them in a small group of teams where, if needed, they could use it to take away from the other teams strength. This passing offense will benefit and I don't anticipate a drop off. If the D picks up the TO & sacks now that Woodley & Harrison are healthy...The play count & opportunities will be there.