Monday, January 11, 2010

Steelers To-Do List: FIX RUNNING GAME

Concerning the notion that the Steelers must "regain their core identity" …

Just a thought: maybe the defense should regain it's core identity. If the thinking is that the running game should be able to "finish games," I'd just point out that the 2009 Steelers season was doomed mostly because the defense couldn't "finish games."

Pittsburgh had the lead in the fourth quarter 12 times in '09. They won nine games. Pretty sure that's not all on the running game. (By the way: NFL rules allow teams to get first downs through the air, too. Even in the final period. It's almost as if people are spinning a wheel and "running game" randomly came up. "Let's fix that!")

Yes, the running game could be better, but Ben could be better, too. Maybe we should trade for Peyton Manning.

I'm overstating it, obviously, but here's the point: how about people focus on the biggest problems and work back from there? I'm fine with drafting an o-lineman because the Steelers need one. But if the idea is to draft an o-lineman so the Steelers can "run when they want to" because the AFC North is a bruising division, well, that's dumb. I'll say it again: where was this talk last season when the Steelers' had a similarly average running game?

Since then, the passing game has gotten much better and the defense has gotten markedly worse. So the solution is to invest limited resources in getting back to smash-mouth football even though smash-mouth football guarantees nothing? That makes sense.

Here's to hoping Bobby April gets hired so we can change the subject. Lord have mercy.