The Pittsburgh Steelers couldn’t run the ball in 2020. They were last in the league both in yards per game and yards per attempt. With James Conner set to be an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) at the end of this season, fans know the Steelers will have to address their running game.
Some of the wheels have already been put into motion. Matt Canada being promoted as the new offensive coordinator is Step No. 1, and Adrian Klemm being named the new offensive line coach would be the next logical step in improving the running game.
But there is also the personnel on the team which is concerning. Without Conner, the Steelers have the following running backs on their roster who took snaps in 2020:
Benny Snell Jr.
Not the most confidence inducing group of players. Naturally adding talent is going to be at a premium this offseason.
There have been rumors which have put Green Bay Packers’ running back Aaron Jones on the Steelers’ free agent radar, and one NFL expert at ESPN believes the talented two-way player will find his way to Pittsburgh.
There’s much to be settled with Pittsburgh’s offense, including Ben Roethlisberger’s immediate future, but the addition of a game-changing running back like Jones could steady things. No, the Steelers aren’t traditionally big players in free agency, and yes, they have cap problems — but so does just about every team this year. They can make it work if they want to. The Packers aren’t going to pay guaranteed money to a running back, and it’s hard to imagine Jones’ new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, letting his client play under the tag without the promise of long-term security.
While this is just one person’s opinion, fans of the Steelers have to wonder if Jones would be the type of player they would want to add, even if it costs them more money.
Of course, the Packers will want to bring back their dual threat running back, this after he is coming off a 2020 campaign where he put up the following statistics:
YPC: 5.5 yards
Rec. TD: 2
For Steelers fans, the debate now is should the team consider a back with plenty of miles on his tires, or should they focus on the backs they have and adding to the group through the draft?
Let us know what you think in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the new league year, NFL Free Agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.