There are few debates surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers that get people fired up as much as the one over the ‘Steeler Way.’
Most fans interpret this one of two ways; they either use it to describe how the organization does things or they use it to describe the style of offense the Steelers are supposed to have.
For purposes of this discussion I shall focus on both because one leads to the other. Steeler fans typically fall on one of two sides these days on many issues and when it comes to the offense they fall on running the ball versus passing the ball.
Confusion on this matter is often the result of talking heads that get inside the mind of Steelers’ fans and such was the case this morning. ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning opened with the game as they normally do and both Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic talked about how “this isn’t how the Steelers do things.”
“The Steelers are known for defense and ground and pound,” said Greenberg. “They aren’t doing that and therefore aren’t successful.”
So let me get this straight. Because the Steelers of the 1970’s and through much of Bill Cowher’s years were ‘run-first’ teams, that means this one has to be also?
I guess Green Bay didn’t get the memo because they throw the ball at will despite being a run-first team for most of their existence. Same for the Colts and same for the Broncos and same for the Patriots and so on…
Why is every other NFL team allowed to change the ‘way’ they do things offensively except for the Steelers? If getting back to the run is truly what the ownership and coaching staff want to do then trade Ben Roethlisberger to a team looking for a QB and get some linemen in return.
Bruce Gradkowski can hand the ball off 45 times per game as well as Roethlisberger can so why wait Kevin Colbert? Make the move.
The bottom line is that the two opposing sides in this debate aren’t willing to compromise. It’s either ‘be a running team or be a passing team’. Why can’t it be both? Why can’t the pass set up the run?
Three straight runs to open the game on offense last night had to have the ‘ground and pounder’ club praising the spirit of the Chief despite having to punt. You have a $100 million quarterback and you’re paying him to hand off.
Worse yet, the running game is non-existent because this offensive line is still not on the same page. Le’Veon Bell coming back is not going to suddenly bring back the days of Rocky, Franco or the Bus. Sadly, there is a massive group of Steeler fans who believe otherwise.
The problem continues to be up front and it continues to be an issue of ‘running back by committee’ which failed again last night and wasn’t even necessary.
The “Steeler Way” is not working and it hasn’t for several years now. It’s time to look in the mirror, accept who you are and make the change. The identity crisis needs to end.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.