PITTSBURGH — It is no secret the Pittsburgh Steelers have misplaced any capacity to run the soccer. And because it begins to have an effect on their cross sport, and their document, everyone seems to be starting to marvel why they are not attempting to repair it.
In current weeks, the Steelers have sunk to the underside of the league in operating the ball. In opposition to the Washington Soccer Workforce, their 21 dashing yards averaged simply 1.5 yards per carry, bringing their season common to three.7 YPC.
So, what’s subsequent? The Steelers get James Conner again from the Reserve/COVID-19 checklist after lacking the final two video games. His 645 yards by 10 video games would not scream “drawback solved,” however it leaves the door open to regain momentum.
Maurkice Pouncey returning to the sector helps as nicely. For the primary time since Week 11, the Steelers will stroll right into a stadium with their beginning offense intact and a urgent want to search out success on the bottom.
Leaving one barring query – the place is Derek Watt?
The Steelers spent $9.75 million this offseason to signal a brand new fullback. Watt’s particular groups efforts made him a precedence for the group, however their important concern was having somebody within the backfield who can block and keep wholesome.
Final season, Rosie Nix spent a lot of the season coping with accidents. The Professional Bowl fullback ultimately discovered himself on the open market, changed by somebody the Steelers believed would supply extra consistency in availability.
This season, Watt has missed 4 video games with a hamstring damage. On the time, it was regarding to not have a fullback current on the sideline. However since Week 10, Watt has been obtainable, he simply hasn’t been used.
“It is dependent upon the matchup of the week because it pertains to the folks that you’re getting ready for,” head coach Mike Tomlin mentioned on the shortage of implementing Watt into the offense, “so we’ll make these issues this week as we put together for Buffalo.”
Tomlin dismissed including extra Watt to the bottom sport.
“I am much less involved in regards to the personnel teams we select to make use of and extra involved in regards to the outcomes inside these teams that we select to make use of,” he mentioned.
And it is not sensible. The Steelers have not had a 100-yard rusher in seven weeks, have thrown the ball over 100 occasions within the final two weeks, and suffered their first lack of the season. If there have been ever a time to change up personnel teams within the run sport, now can be it.
The Steelers saved Watt on the sideline once they failed to achieve one yard on the goal-line in Week 13. They selected to throw the soccer contained in the five-yard line with out even making an attempt a run. And nobody had any concept why the plan was to surrender on including an additional blocker in short-yardage conditions.
“Derek [Watt] does a great job of being that fullback, but when push got here to shove, I actually suppose we might put him on the tight finish place,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger mentioned. “We might put him on the halfback place. I really feel assured that he may very well be within the sport on the tailback place in blitz decide up. I really feel like we might get him out in routes if we needed to. He is form of that swiss military knife that may do some little bit of every little thing and do all of it fairly nicely. He is grow to be an amazing asset to this group, each on particular groups and on offense.”
That asset has performed not more than 11 offensive snaps in a sport this season.
Just a few weeks in the past, that may very well be chalked as much as lack of time spent with the group. No offseason and lacking common season time with accidents add up, and it was a legitimate excuse to slowly work Watt into the offense.
It is Week 14, although. The Steelers are actually preventing to maintain the highest spot within the AFC whereas changing into extra weak to their opponents.
Nobody needs to stroll into the postseason as a one-dimensional group. The Steelers won’t flip their operating sport into 150 yards per sport, however they might flip it into a bunch that opposing defenses should be involved with.
“I do know you guys have loads of questions in regards to the run sport. Hopefully we could have solutions with our efficiency,” Tomlin mentioned. “However once more, you possibly can reference my earlier solutions to all of these questions concerning the run and our incapacity to do it as of late.”
Tomlin and the Steelers aren’t a group to miss flaws of their sport. They’ve adjusted up to now. They’ve adjusted this season. However time and time once more, they let the operating sport deteriorate. And it is hitting some extent the place you are beginning to marvel why they signed a $10 million fullback to play particular groups.