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Thread: Steelers want to run the ball

  1. #1
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Steelers want to run the ball

    Put down that pistol: Steelers want to run the ball

    Jim Corbett, USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2013



    Running back Jonathan Dwyer led the Steelers last year with 623 yards rushing
    That was the lowest total for the franchise's leading rusher since Merrill Hoge rushed for 810 yards in 1991


    LATROBE, Pa. Don't expect the Pittsburgh Steelers to be slaves to the chic offenses sweeping the NFL. They'd rather be slaves to history.

    "I mean, this is Pittsburgh. We're going to run the football, that's what our offense is going to be about,'' receiver Plaxico Burress said. "We're going to have to run the football. The Steelers and running the ball go hand in hand, like a ball and chain. Receivers are committed to helping run the ball, blocking downfield, not just catching the ball and worrying about scoring touchdowns.

    "Everybody else around the league is going to be going up-tempo, flashy, four- and five-wide, pistol, shotgun, spread passing. We're going to stay true to our roots and run the football.''

    Because to the Steelers, running the ball means winning championships, and head coach Mike Tomlin took last year's 8-8 finish -- without a postseason appearance -- personally. So, it's back to the Steelers of old.

    "I'm hacked off whenever we're not world champions, so I've only had one instance (Super Bowl XLIII) since I've been here where I wasn't,'' Tomlin told USA TODAY Sports after Monday's first padded training camp practice. "I'm not making too much of 8-8. That's last year. This is not a continuation of last year.

    "Yes, in some ways, that type of hacked-off-ness can be good fuel. But we better be prepared to move on. Obviously, our intentions are to be the world champions. That's not going to change.''

    A smash-mouth run game is as much the fabric of Steelers football as a Terrible Towel, but first the Steelers must find their No.1 back. Jonathan Dwyer led the Steelers last year with 623 yards, and that was the lowest total for the franchise's leading rusher since Merrill Hoge rushed for 810 in 1991.

    Dwyer, Isaac Redman and rookie Le'Veon Bell will compete for carries, although none is a slam-dunk cinch to win the job and none is a long-distance threat. The top slot is up for grabs.

    "We have a young, talented offensive line group and we're going to play to their strengths,'' Tomlin said. "If a back can distinguish himself from the pack, we'll give him the ball. Obviously, you'd like to have a known featured guy. But it's got to be something that's taken by someone.''

    A new-look, zone-blocked running game is even more critical given that the status of two-time Pro Bowl tight end Heath Miller is unknown. No one, not even Miller, is sure when last year's leading receiver (71 receptions and 8 touchdowns) will return from reconstructive right anterior cruciate ligament surgery seven months ago.

    "Heath is a huge piece of our offense you don't replace,'' offensive coordinator Todd Haley told USA TODAY Sports. "We're hoping we don't have to. If anybody can make it back (by the season), he will. But right now, he's not here and we have to be ready to go either way.''

    The first series of Monday's padded practice was an encouraging start. The first-team offense set a dominant, zone-blocking tone.

    "You have to be able to excel at that blocking scheme in today's NFL,'' Haley says. "Last year, everything had to be perfect for us to gain four yards on a running play.

    "We have a lot of guys with a little chip on their shoulders who have been told they can't run it and aren't good enough. They've made the commitment to be better. Inside, outside, there was enough good to be excited about.''

    The landscape seemed to shift a bit in the AFC North division over the weekend, when the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens lost tight end Dennis Pitta, making more painful the offseason trade of wide receiver Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers.

    Still, the Steelers are considered no better than the third best team in the division after the Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals.

    "I'm pretty sure my daughter would pick against us when you lose (linebacker) James Harrison, (receiver) Mike Wallace, (nose tackle) Casey Hampton, you go 8-8 and lose some of your key contributors like Heath Miller -- you've got a team that looks like it's going backwards,'' veteran linebacker Larry Foote said. "But football is played on grass, not on laptops.

    "We've never missed the playoffs two years in a row since I've been here since 2002. And we don't plan on it this year.''

    Forget the fashionable air shows dominating the league. Tomlin insists the Steelers will run the ball again.

    "We're the third AFC North team right now,'' safety Ryan Clark said. "They say it's Baltimore and Cincinnati, and we're going to be fighting not to be last along with Cleveland. So we have to go out and prove people wrong. You have to be able to run the ball and impose your will on defenses in this league.''

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...-bell/2597885/

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    Yay (10 character minimum now?)
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    If the Steelers can get back to running the ball effectively and efficiently and having Ben at the helm the offense will be dangerous. Many teams that rush the ball great simply don't have a quarterback of high enough caliber to take advantage of their running game (Vikings, Bills, Chiefs, Titans). Some do, but their quarterbacks are young and learning, these teams will be dangerous as their quarterbacks mature (Redskins, Seahawks, 49ers).

    Rushing the football is good when you have a quarterback that can take advantage of that fact. I hope one of the backs comes to the forefront and rushes for 1300 yards.

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    With Pouncey at C and DeCastro and Foster at the Gs there should be no reason not to be able convert those 3rd and 1 or 2 yard situations. I expect some road grating up front!

  5. #5
    Hall of Famer ikestops85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
    With Pouncey at C and DeCastro and Foster at the Gs there should be no reason not to be able convert those 3rd and 1 or 2 yard situations. I expect some road grating up front!
    I would hope that is the case but I don't have as much faith in Pouncey as you do. I think he has regressed each year he has been here. He had a great rookie season but over the last 2 years I have seen him do a "Sean Mahan" immitation too many times.
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    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Dwyer slims down, way down

    Jonathan Dwyer turned serious about his workouts this summer. He weighed as much as 265 pounds in the spring.

    "I lost 25-30 pounds," Dwyer said. "I am about 230 right now and I'll hopefully get down to about 225 before this first preseason game. I'll continue to put in the work and be the best I can be."

    Dwyer led the Steelers with 623 yards rushing last season. The media guide lists him at 220 and the updated roster at 229.

    "It was dieting and just working hard," Dwyer said of his weight-loss routine this summer. "I worked out two to three times a day, sometimes on Saturdays and Sundays, too. I would run hills and do all types of stuff, not to just lose weight but to be conditioned. This is definitely the best shape I have ever been in since I have been in the league."

    He said some teammates were surprised when they saw him at Saint Vincent College.

    "Some people have given me double-takes because they don't know who I was.

    "It's a good shock for everybody."

    http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...#ixzz2aVuXUnAG

  7. #7
    Fads are fads for a reason. Teams move towards 4-5 wide passing. Teams draft and scheme to stop 4-5 wide passing. Eventually its much less effective. Who benefits? The balanced team able to do it all, and able to attack another teams weakness.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    Dwyer slims down, way down

    Jonathan Dwyer turned serious about his workouts this summer. He weighed as much as 265 pounds in the spring.

    "I lost 25-30 pounds," Dwyer said. "I am about 230 right now and I'll hopefully get down to about 225 before this first preseason game. I'll continue to put in the work and be the best I can be."

    Dwyer led the Steelers with 623 yards rushing last season. The media guide lists him at 220 and the updated roster at 229.

    "It was dieting and just working hard," Dwyer said of his weight-loss routine this summer. "I worked out two to three times a day, sometimes on Saturdays and Sundays, too. I would run hills and do all types of stuff, not to just lose weight but to be conditioned. This is definitely the best shape I have ever been in since I have been in the league."

    He said some teammates were surprised when they saw him at Saint Vincent College.

    "Some people have given me double-takes because they don't know who I was.

    "It's a good shock for everybody."

    http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...#ixzz2aVuXUnAG
    Competition will do that. Nice to see.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post

    "Some people have given me double-takes because they don't know who I was.

    "It's a good shock for everybody."

    http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...#ixzz2aVuXUnAG
    I'm sexy and I know it!!!

  10. #10
    Hall of Famer ikestops85's Avatar
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    Did anyone else see this quote in the article and scratch their head?

    Jonathan Dwyer led the Steelers last year with 623 yards, and that was the lowest total for the franchise's leading rusher since Merrill Hoge rushed for 810 in 1991.
    Isn't 623 yards still less than 810 yards?
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