The Pittsburgh Steelers running game was beyond miserable in 2020 and it resulted in the team being ranked last in the league in several statistical categories related to that portion of their offense. While Steelers team president Art Rooney II has already put out the mandate this offseason that the Steelers offense be much better at running the football in 2021, a fan still took him to task on the subject Thursday during his question-and-answer call as part of the Steelers Nation Unite program.
“I agree with you a hundred percent,” Rooney said to the caller about his concerns for the Steelers running game moving forward after a horrible 2020 showing. “We’ve got to be a lot better at running [the football] and certainly we don’t want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers being last in the league in rushing ever again. So, I think it’s something that our coaches are focused on and we’ll be looking for ways to improve in the draft.”
The Steelers figure to draft at least one running back and one offensive lineman this year in an effort to improve their offensive running game in 2021. Perhaps one of the top three running backs in this year’s draft class will land in Pittsburgh via the draft after the first two rounds have ended and maybe even a center and tackle as well through the first four rounds.
Additionally, the Steelers also hope that new offensive coordinator Matt Canada and new offensive line coach Adrian Klemm can both help improve the running game from a schematic and technique perspective as well. On the heels of the Steelers retaining quarterback Ben Roethlisberger this offseason, perhaps we’ll see more pistol from the offense in 2021 as part of a plan to improve the running game.
The Steelers don’t figure to add much to their offense in the form of unrestricted free agents this offseason and that’s not surprising considering the team’s salary cap situation. That said, they have already signed free agent tackle/guard Joe Haeg since the new league year got underway a little more than a week ago. Haeg is best suited to be an eligible sixth offensive lineman for the Steelers in 2021 and if that’s the plan for him, hopefully his addition will help improve the running game some whenever he’s on the field.
Rooney made sure to let everyone on the Thursday call know that the team is working hard to get the Steelers running game way out of the cellar in 2021.
“So, I agree with you, it’s something we’ve got to fix and we’re working on it,” Rooney said.