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Steelers offense needs balance, not just a running game

The Steelers want to get back to running the ball, but that doesn't mean they should ignore balance within their offense.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It has been since Jerome Bettis wore that famed No. 36 jersey that the Steelers were considered a "running team."

Since "The Bus" and Willie Parker have gone, so has the team's ability to grind out the clock and win games by bludgeoning opponents with their running game.

It is not a coincidence that along with those running backs leaving, a franchise quarterback was developing and some crucial linemen like Alan Faneca and Jeff Hartings were departing as well. Every season the Steelers sing the same tune about having to focus on the running game and eating up the clock in game situations.

The Steelers are back in business with OTAs underway, and of course you can expect them to be going through the same song in dance in terms of the team's ability to run the football. Starting running back, Le'Veon Bell, told Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, "Being the Pittsburgh Steelers, we are known for running the ball." and later added "Last year we weren't as good as we wanted to be. We want to get back to where we want to be."

Do the Steelers need to show the ability to run the football? Certainly, without a doubt that will help them win more football games. However, do they need to go back to the days when Ben Roethlisberger's stat line would read 11-20, 195 yds, 1 TD? No. You have a franchise quarterback that has won two Super Bowls and is a proven winner, you don't want to take him, and big play threats like Antonio Brown, completely out of the game plan.

The Steelers are a team in transition, but what they could be transitioning from is a lop sided attack, to a balanced attack. Instead of the goal being the return to the running game, it should be to finding a balance between the run and the pass. When a team can do both successfully, that is when they are truly lethal.