The last Pittsburgh Steelers rusher to gain 1,000 yards a season was Rashard Mendenhall in 2010. Le’Veon Bell was on pace to crack the 1,000 yard mark after coming in the lineup in week four. Bell would finish his rookie season with 860 yards, 8 touchdowns, and average 3.5 yards a carry. Out of the whole league, Bell was ranked 17th best rusher. As well, Bell even set the Steelers record for scrimmage yards by a rookie.
Yet the Steelers would still finish 27th in rushing yards for the season. The combine rushing yards by the Steelers were 1,383 yards. The Steelers with injuries and fumble issues always seemed to find themselves falling short of the goal line touchdowns. Steelers ranked 25th best in rushing touchdowns.
Can the rushing offense get worse or better as the 2014 season is fast approaching? The answer is not only better but extremely better. If offensive coordinator Todd Haley and Mike Munchak can work together, you will find a system that will put the running game back to the top.
Mike Munchak is a Hall of Fame member who played the with the Houston Oilers for 12 season as a offense of guard. He also coached the Oilers and renamed Tennessee Titans offensive linemen for 14 seasons in 1997 to 2010. During that time, four offense linemen total 10 pro-bowls invites and their five total running backs ran for 1,000 yards 12 times. So to break it down, in 14 seasons only two season was not a 1,000 yard season. That is impressive!
So if Coach Haley can work with Munchak, you will finally see a rushing attack by the Steelers that the fans has truly miss. Maybe we can see a duo that has been seen time and time again by opposing teams that were exciting to see. Giants running backs duo of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Warrick Dunn and Mike Alstott were very successful.
With the new addition of LeGarrette Blount with second year man Le’Veon Bell, we might see a pound for pound ground game that will have the fans thinking Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier. Smash mouth football and a running back duo that can open up the passing game. In 1975 Harris and Bleier became the first running back duo to have both rushers run for 1,000 yards. Could this year be like 1975? No I don’t believe that will be the case, but I do believe Bell will get over 1,000 yards and Blount could be near 500 yards if they are both used completely right.
Yet the old saying is, believe none of what you hear and believe half of what you see. I guess in the end, we all have to see the final stats at the end of the season to compare and to judge if I am wrong or right.