Steelers coordinator Haley looks forward to less predictable run game

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Add OC Todd Haley's name to the list of those who believe the 2012 Steelers were better than their final numbers represented, especially their running game. He believes their biggest fault was predictability.

The running backs of the Pittsburgh Steelers are hoping to leave their horrible 2012 output in the past, and so is their offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoted Haley in this morning's edition of his Steelers Notebook, talking about his evaluation of the team's traditional inside power scheme versus their newly added outside zone attack.

"We want to be a balanced team in general. I think we're one of best inside gap-scheming running teams, but, when we had to rely solely on it last year because we didn't have the ability to be versatile, defenses can gang up on you. So you're running uphill a little."

Haley points toward former personnel for being a primary reason for the team not adding the outside zone schemes last year, although he does not point the finger at Chris Rainey, Baron Batch or Jonathan Dwyer for preventing the transformation. He felt the offensive line was holding the team back.

"We're younger and we're more athletic. No disrespect to Max and Willie, they won a lot of games here, but they were at a stage where there were some limitations that you had to protect them a little bit. You couldn't do everything you wanted to do."

Max Starks is currently a backup tackle with the San Diego Chargers, and Willie Colon is fighting for a starting job with the New York Jets.

If Haley is correct, the new offensive line configuration of younger athletes should improve the running game on its own. Add a one-cut back like Le'Veon Bell to find holes created by Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro and Mike Adams, and the Steelers could boast one of the better rushing attacks in the NFL.

If they only find more of the same with Starks, Colon and Rashard Mendenhall now gone, the Steelers will have to find someone else to blame for their mediocrity.

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