Adrian Klemm wants the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive line to return to its physical roots. To be a tough, nasty, in-your-face kind of front five. You don’t have to tell Trai Turner twice.
Known for being a violent run blocker, Trai Turner joined Jim Rome to discuss his mentality in the run game.
“When you got guys with the ears pinned back on the other side and you’re teeing off on the ball,” Turner told The Jim Rome Show.” They’re trying to get sacks and look pretty and all that, it’s cool, right? But when you able to hit somebody in the mouth play after play, and it’s like a body blow or a jab, you’re softening people up.”
The old saying goes offensive lineman like to run block more than they do pass block. While pass protection doesn’t equate to being passive, there’s a certain momentum and energy built off lines who can run block and move their man from Point A to Point B.
Just like a boxer in Round 8, Turner says the impact of doing so over and over reveals itself later in the game.
“And them two of those three and those four yards turn into 15 and 20 to 30, 40 yard runs. That’s that was really what the game is in my opinion. I feel like if you don’t have a good running game, if you can’t go out there and deliver those blows, you can’t open a passing game. So I think the run starts it off.”
That will be Pittsburgh’s aim this season. The line needs to do a 180 from where they were at a year ago. After a decent first month of the year, the Steelers’ run game tanked behind an offensive line who looked old, tried, and just out of gas. They finished the year dead last in most rushing categories.
The organization has explored every avenue imaginable to improve their run game. Adding Turner was the final piece following David DeCastro’s release. Turner will need to prove health and mobility, two things that have been issues for several years, but if he’s healthy, he could return to his genuine Pro Bowl form.
The Steelers’ run game is looking to become more physical. But they also may implement more zone runs and ask their lineman to function in space and not just a phone booth. Turner says he’s comfortable in that scheme.
“I feel like I pride myself on being able to run this space. I pride myself on being able to go and hit people in space and not be afraid to hit somebody. And that’s really what it’s about, man. I think that that’s the initial start of football. Going out there, shoulder pads and helmet, and just hitting somebody.”