The Pittsburgh Steelers had their longest run from scrimmage during the team’s Sunday win against the Indianapolis Colts as running back Trey Edmunds scampered 45 yards down the right side in the first quarter on nicely designed pin and pull play. Even so, the Steelers running game still lacks a desired successful consistency rate and head coach Mike Tomlin said as much during his Tuesday press conference.
“We’ve got to run the ball better on offense, particularly in the waning moments of the game,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “We weren’t able to maintain possession of the ball. I thought they won the line of scrimmage. We’ve got be better in those areas.”
Speaking of Edmunds, Tomlin talked about his play on Sunday against the Colts.
“It’s reasonable to expect him to just get better with more exposure in terms of ball placement, in decision making relative to the position.”
So, what did Tomlin mean by Edmunds needing more exposure in terms of ball placement? He outlined that a little bit on Tuesday by referencing Edmunds’ second-and-goal rushing attempt from the Colts 1-yard with 1:56 left in the first quarter that resulted in a two-yard loss.
“I thought that two-yard loss where we got dropped on second down down there, I thought it his ball placement was the issue. If Trey slides to his left and follows [David] DeCastro, he walks into the end zone. It had nothing to do with winning or losing the line of scrimmage, sometimes it has to do with ball placement, for example.”
You can see the end zone view of that goal-to-go rushing attempt by Edmunds below and quickly understand what Tomlin meant. Even right guard David DeCastro was aggravated that Edmunds didn’t follow him outside and into the end zone.
The Steelers running backs combined to rush for 83 yards on 21 total carries against the Colts. 45 of those yards came on the Edmunds long run so that means the other 20 runs netted 38 yards. Only six of the 21 total running back caries were successful ones. None of the five running back rushes in the fourth quarter were successful as well.
Sunday against the Rams the Steelers offense will face a Los Angeles Rams defense that has allowed just 3.56 yards per carry this season. The Steelers might not get starting running back James Conner back from his shoulder injury against the Rams, either, so the offense will have a tough task when it comes to running the football against the Rams defense if he can’t play.