Good Tuesday to you Steelers fans.
Our Steelers are now on their bye week which means that the news this week is likely to be slow. Some years I find myself really hating the bye week while others, like this one, I don’t mind so much. One could argue that with a two-game winning streak a break from the action is exactly what they don’t need. But I trust that you’ve been paying attention. You know Ben Roethlisberger could use a break. That sore hip of his could use some serious rest. So too could all of the groins and hamstrings that have plagued our guys for the last several weeks. Some coaches will tell you that the bye week never comes at the right time. Others will say “it’s always the right time” so who really knows? What I know is that a literal gauntlet awaits this team over the final 11 games and I could use the break as much as them.
Tweet of the Day… The Jets or Giants could seriously use his skill set at RB.
“Mr. October” (my earliest baseball memories)
Block or charge? https://t.co/nbi0ZxvOgp
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) October 19, 2021
Let’s start with the obvious. James Washington had eight, count’em eight! snaps on offense Sunday Night while Ray Ray McCloud had 52. This speaks of one thing. The Steelers are more comfortable with McCloud in the slot than they are with Washington or anyone else for that matter. Still, I thought we’d see much more of Washington… Eric Ebron had 11 more snaps than did Zach Gentry. I’m curious to see how this changes week to week… Tre Norwood had just 15 snaps on D but he made them count with at least three big tackles… Cam Heyward was in for 89% of the snaps and I have to believe Mike Tomlin would like to see that number lower. The problem is who do you trust to replace him for any length of time?
The Running Game
There has been an interesting development in recent weeks with regard to the Steelers’ running game. In Green Bay, Joe Haeg got the start because of the concussion suffered by Chuks Okorafor. While it wasn’t anything to write home about, the Steelers had their best running output of the season in the loss. Last week in the win over Denver, Haeg was nowhere to be seen as Okorafor returned. Najee Harris went on to record his first career 100-yard rushing game. That brings us to Sunday night. The running game was struggling. Dan Moore got dinged up and in came Joe Haeg. Right on cue, the running game started to have some success. With all this said, what does it mean? I think Haeg is naturally a better a run blocker than he is a pass blocker so that’s one thing. I believe Denver was not nearly as good as their record indicated heading into week five. It’s possible that Seattle was guessing pass more than run due to the nature of the game at that point in the second half. In other words, I’m not sure we can glean from all of this. I think we need more information to go on.
Get your questions to me this week! Shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “mailbag” and I’ll be sure to answer. Whether it’s the Steelers, the NFL or something random I guarantee I’ll have a reply!
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