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DIESELMAN
12-02-2011, 02:39 PM
There were dropped passes and penalties, including a silly one for having too many men in the huddle.

But what irked Bruce Arians most about an offense that managed only one touchdown last Sunday in Kansas City is that the Steelers averaged 3.9 yards per carry.

"It's got to pick up for us to be where we want to be," the Steelers' offensive coordinator said Thursday. "It's not the number of carries, it's the quality of the carries. When we run it, we have to run it better."

Sledding for the Steelers' running backs may not get any easier Sunday.

The Cincinnati Bengals visit Heinz Field for a 1 p.m. game, and they bring with them the NFL's fifth-ranked rushing defense (92.7 yards allowed per game). They limited the Steelers to 3.5 yards per carry Nov. 13 in Cincinnati.

The AFC North rematch represents the Steelers' first game in December, and that may be as significant as it is symbolic.

The importance of the running game is magnified at this time of year, especially in cold-weather climates, where weather is such an X-factor. That reality may explain the timing of Arians calling out the running game.

"That wind starts blowing, it starts to get cold, that ball starts to get hard, you've got to be able to run the ball, make teams start to quit and give up," said running back Isaac Redman, who is second on the Steelers with 267 rushing yards. "It's something we really haven't done this year is run the ball down teams' throats."

The Steelers are averaging 4.2 yards per carry and rank 18th in rushing offense (109.6) despite throwing the ball 57 percent of the time.

There seems to be a feeling in the Steelers' locker room that the ground game is close to breaking through even though leading rusher Rashard Mendenhall is on pace for less than 1,000 yards.

"It's going to happen," Steelers right guard Ramon Foster said. "We have the nastiness. We have the athletes, too. We definitely take it on our back to get that started and get a lot better at it."

Arians had high praise for several of the Steelers' offensive linemen yesterday, including Foster and rookie right tackle Marcus Gilbert.

The Steelers picked Gilbert in the second round of this year's NFL draft and had been grooming him to play left tackle. They plugged Gilbert in at right tackle after Willie Colon went down with a season-ending arm injury in the season opener.

"He's actually a better run blocker than Flo right now," Arians said of Flozell Adams, who played right tackle last season. "Flo did an unbelievable job with what he had left in his body last year. His mass covered up people more than he moved them. Marcus is getting movement, and he and Ramon (Foster) have become a pretty solid side as far as run blocking."

Arians has been criticized for being too enamored with the pass. And when asked about talk by the running backs that they would like more opportunities, Arians smiled.

"Run it better, we'll run it more," he said. "It's just like the passing game every receiver wants it. It's a nice problem to have."

By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Dec 2, 2011

Mendenhall definitely needs to get his act together. Hit those holes like you want that yardage. So tired of watching him dance around and hesitate. Like the article says, with the cold weather setting in, our running game needs to emerge, it doesn't have to dominate but it does have to be consistent and more reliable.







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Rampage
12-02-2011, 02:45 PM
The running game really lacks any sort of identity. It isn't a powerful run game nor is it a finesse run game. Just kind of blah, run because you have to type of scheme.

K Train
12-02-2011, 03:21 PM
lets not totally blame mendenhall, actually lets mostly blame the lame run blockers he has working for him at the moment

DIESELMAN
12-02-2011, 04:19 PM
lets not totally blame mendenhall, actually lets mostly blame the lame run blockers he has working for him at the moment

Definitely agree, there are other issues that have made our running game what it is. My point on Mendy, there has been lots of times where has run with authority and gained more then his share of yards, despite the issues with the OL. Once he gets the rock, it's up to him, no one else, to do something positive with it. The OL is getting healthy and working together to establish itself, that can help the run game quite a bit.


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aaronsmith91
12-02-2011, 05:39 PM
I will have to look it up to confirm, but I'm pretty sure Rashard leads the NFL in gross yardage.

LatrobePA
12-02-2011, 06:46 PM
"gross yards" meaning ewww puke?

aaronsmith91
12-02-2011, 07:05 PM
"gross yards" meaning ewww puke?

No aggregate yards. Most rushing yards is a different story

DIESELMAN
12-02-2011, 07:29 PM
I will have to look it up to confirm, but I'm pretty sure Rashard leads the NFL in gross yardage.

Gross yardage? Is that like a RB runs 10 yards east-west to get 2 yards north-south for a total of 12 yards? :greengrin:


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Raleigh Steel
12-02-2011, 08:17 PM
hmmm, a fullback could be put to good use.

or, running from a formation that doesn't tip off that you are running or where you are running.

Goodfrom55
12-02-2011, 08:24 PM
hmmm, a fullback could be put to good use. .

Oh don't get me started. . .Couldn't agree more, and I'll leave it at that.

aaronsmith91
12-02-2011, 11:54 PM
Gross yardage? Is that like a RB runs 10 yards east-west to get 2 yards north-south for a total of 12 yards? :greengrin:


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Rashard is all about the east-west to set-up the 2 yard gain. It`s like our o`s pa.

CowherPower
12-03-2011, 05:11 PM
You usually can't fully blame the running back completely for a lack of a running attack. Part of is the offensive scheme you're trying to run, part of it is the offensive line, and part of it is the runner himself. Mendenhall has a style that lends itself to needing a good, run blocking, offensive line. If he has holes to run through he can make people miss and run over people. If he has to pick and choose a small opening then he has problems. It's not a lack of talent, he's as talented any back in the league is. It's a matter of just taking the handoff, and going where you're going. No dancing, no extra second deciding what to do.

BlitzburghRockCity
12-04-2011, 10:22 AM
How nice would it be to see the Steelers be able to get a 100 yd rushing day on the ground, from 1 of their backs instead of a combined effort from 3 of them? It may not happen today because the Bengals have a good run defense. Sooner or later it'll happen though.

Stairwayto7
12-04-2011, 10:39 AM
Steelers running game lacks....HEART! I dont blame mendy for everything but he doesnt run with heart!

Nolrog
12-04-2011, 10:46 AM
lets not totally blame mendenhall, actually lets mostly blame the lame run blockers he has working for him at the moment

There are a few issues that plague the run game.

Certainly the offensive line plays a role here. They really don't open great holes for a back to get thru.

Mendenhall has to share some of the blame (I'm not saying you're not assigning him blame K). His stuttery jukey style doesn't fit with this line. IMO, we're better served with someone who hits the hole quickly and gets what he can.

I think the lack of a good solid full back hurts the run game as well. Someone that could seal that back side backer coming for a stop in the backfield or to clear out the hole. Even with this pass happy league, a team that can run the ball at will and keep the opposing QB off the field will do well.

Stairwayto7
12-04-2011, 05:48 PM
Well I thought Mendy ran better today funny thing though I thought he ran harder after they let Redman run some, coincidence??

Stone
12-04-2011, 06:14 PM
The running game really lacks any sort of identity. It isn't a powerful run game nor is it a finesse run game. Just kind of blah, run because you have to type of scheme.

BINGO!


lets not totally blame mendenhall, actually lets mostly blame the lame run blockers he has working for him at the moment

Doesn't Redman run behind that same line?

steelersbabex25
12-04-2011, 06:31 PM
Hm Mendenhall not producing what a surprise.

Stone
12-04-2011, 07:05 PM
Redman has a higher yard per carry average and he is the 3rd and short back. What does that tell you?

Stairwayto7
12-04-2011, 07:55 PM
Hm Mendenhall not producing what a surprise.

Mendy started out a little dancey but once he saw Redman come in and run hard, he came back in and I was more impressed!

Raleigh Steel
12-05-2011, 09:14 AM
Well I thought Mendy ran better today funny thing though I thought he ran harder after they let Redman run some, coincidence??

i said during the game thread, that redman running hard can only be good for mendy. i liked that redman got more carries which seemed to light a fire under mendy! now if we stay with that formula, big things can happen for this team!