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. Team president Art Rooney II had this to say about the state of the running game when he spoke with media last week.
“We’ve already started to make some changes to address that, and there are more to come,” said Rooney. “We probably are going to have some changes on the roster at running back this year with James (Conner) being a free agent. There’s no question it’s something that we have to address. I think everybody in the building agrees that you can’t finish 32nd in the league in rushing and feel you’re going to have a successful season.”
Most people thought the Steelers would simply target a running back in the 2021 NFL Draft, and while that still may be the case this spring, it also looks as if the Steelers might be hitting the free agent market for a proven commodity.
Recent reports are linking the Steelers showing interest in Green Bay Packers ball carrier Aaron Jones.
#Packers running back Aaron Jones is expected to receive heavy interest from the #Dolphins, #49ers, #Steelers, and #Bears. Plenty of other teams will have interest, but those four are teams to keep a close eye on. Green Bay would still like to re-sign him as well.— Evan Massey (@massey_evan) February 5, 2021
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.