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News » Pittsburgh Steelers Inside Slant 2008-12-23


Pittsburgh Steelers Inside Slant 2008-12-23


Pittsburgh Steelers Inside Slant 2008-12-23
One thing's for certain as the Steelers circle the wagons before they begin their second playoff run under coach Mike Tomlin: That playoff run will have to go on without, well, the run.


The Steelers just cannot run anymore. They tried again in Tennessee without any success. They ran for 71 yards, and 14 of them came from three Ben Roethlisberger scrambles.

Their running backs ran 21 times for 57 yards. The previous week, their backs ran 22 times for 64 yards in Baltimore. The week before that, their backs ran 21 times for 53 yards against Dallas.

The past three weeks, Steelers backs ran 64 times for 174 yards (2.7 per carry), with Willie Parker gaining 101.

"We're going to get it all together in the running game and hopefully it will be set for the playoffs," an optimistic Parker said after the latest impotent performance.

The lack of a ground game is seen as the Steelers' trouble spot heading in the playoffs. They have been the best running team since the 1970 NFL merger, and recently featured Jerome Bettis with Parker. But Bettis retired after the 2005 season, and Bruce Arians changed the offense when he became coordinator in 2007.

Out went the fullback and in came the two-tight-end offense. That's what the Steelers used again Sunday, with no fullback lining up in their backfield and the unit leaning more on a finesses style. Even when Pittsburgh had first down on the Tennessee 3-yard line in the first quarter, it went with one back, and Parker got bounced backwards twice.

There seems little chance they will magically rediscover their offense in the playoffs, and without that threat, defenses will tee off on Roethlisberger, who was sacked another five times Sunday to bring his total to 46.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 23, 2008

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William Gay Name: William Gay
#22
Position: CB
Age: 23
Experience: 2 years
College: Louisville
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