As if on cue, a chorus of Steelers’ ‘fans’ let loose with celebratory cheers and some even went so far as to say this was the move needed to get us to a seventh Super Bowl title.
While I understand this is a very small minority of fans, most of whom are 12 years old or 70, it still never ceases to amaze me.
Let me get this straight.
We are supposed to be more excited about adding another running back, with a checkered past mind you, than putting the ball in the hands of our future Hall of Fame quarterback?
Apparently the answer is yes so I guess the days of Franco and Rocky are back. Or at least they are trying to bring them back….
The worst thing that happened to Ben Roethlisberger was the Seattle Seahawks winning the Super Bowl. They used a solid running game, mixed with play-action passing and a dominant defense to steamroll Denver.
Art Rooney II must have been as giddy as a school boy thinking about his Steelers getting back to this style. While I do believe in balance between the run and the pass, I just don’t believe it to be in the same style it once was. Lining up in the I-formation with two and three tight ends just isn’t getting it done consistently any longer.
Art II and Kevin Colbert have been putting the pieces together for a return to “old-school Steelers” football for some time now and recent moves or lack thereof are proving this point.
They added perhaps the top offensive line coach in football in Mike Munchak. During Munchak’s 14 years as the offensive line coach in Tennessee, the Titans ranked an average of 11th in the league in rushing. Of those 14 seasons however, the Titans only made the playoffs six times.
The fact that the Steelers have yet to act on an extension for QB Ben Roethlisberger also concerns me. Perhaps there is a bit of truth to him not finishing his career in Pittsburgh as the offense transitions back to a run-first mentality.
With the signing of Blount, the Steelers are tight to the cap once again and with very few players left to restructure, why has the team not taken care of its’ franchise quarterback? To say they need more cap space would be an understatement.
Even further than that though in this rush to run the ball is the offensive line itself. I have the utmost confidence that Munchak will make this a better unit, but is it one that is designed to lead a power running game?
Behind David DeCastro and Ramon Foster, I’d say yes but the other three members of a potential starting line-up don’t exactly make me think of ‘earth movers.’ This makes me wonder if the Steelers wouldn’t pull the trigger on Taylor Lewan or Jake Matthews with the 15th pick.
The moves the front office has made so far indicate to me that the run-first mentality has returned and for some this is welcome news. The problem as I see it is one that even Bill Cowher finally recognized. The NFL today is based on passing to set up the run, not the other way around as it once was.
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 weekly on Trib-Live Radio talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.