The Pittsburgh Steelers returned to a more successful running game in their win over Buffalo this past Sunday but I think they are capable of more by using less.
One of the negative issues of last year’s 8-8 team was the ‘running back by committee’ approach which featured as many as four guys and resulted in a whole lot of nothing.
I was hopeful that with the health of Le’Veon Bell being better that the Steelers would return to a feature back and perhaps one other guy to spell him on occasion.
If Sunday is any indication, the Steelers still seem to be in love with the committee approach.
Despite Bell having 22 carries, Felix Jones and Jonathan Dwyer also saw the ball from the running back position as well. Jones recorded four carries for 16 yards while Dwyer picked up 38 yards on 6 carries.
This tells me one thing; it’s time to leave Felix Jones on the sidelines and it’s time get Jonathan Dwyer a few more carries when Bell needs a break.
I say this not just because Dwyer appears to be a more legitimate threat from the running back position but also because he is a much better pass protector than Jones is. There really isn’t any reason for Jones to get those extra carries instead of Dwyer.
Bell and Dwyer form a very nice one-two punch and neither forces Todd Haley to do overly drastic things in terms of fitting the personnel to them or vice-versa.
The Steelers have seemed destined to finally return to a backfield where just two guys will carry the pigskin and I see no reason why this shouldn’t start immediately.
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 630pm ET talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.