The Running Mentality

CINCINNATI – To steal a phrase from golf, in the NFL you pass for show and run for dough.<br><br> Everyone will say that it was only against the Bengals, but the Steelers getting their running game going Sunday was huge. It established to future opponents that the Steelers can still do it and, more importantly, showed to the Steelers themselves that they could still do it.

There's a mentality that goes along with lining up and pounding an opponent into submission. And when an offensive line does nothing but pass block week after week, you can get out of that mode pretty easily.

The Steelers ground out 138 yards Sunday, which was just an average day at the office in years past for them. But they also threw the ball effectively. When you can do both and do both well, your offense is very difficult to stop.

Here are some other thoughts from a writer who loves those games that go less than three hours:

© If there is a tougher player in the NFL than Hines Ward, I haven't seen him. The next time Ward runs out of bounds after catching a pass instead of lowering his shoulder and delivering a blow will be the first time. Are you watching Plaxico Burress?

© Jason Gildon still needs just three sacks to move past L.C. Greenwood into first place on the Steelers' all-time sack list. Joey Porter needs 43 sacks to do the same. Porter may pass Greenwood before Gildon does.

© During Wednesday's practice last week, the Steelers ran a reverse with Burress that was the slowest developing play I had ever seen … until they ran it against the Bengals for a seven-yard loss.

Come on guys, if the reporters on the sidelines see the play won't work, why don't you?

© Even though Amos Zereoue had 10 more yards than Jerome Bettis on the same number of carries, Bettis looked better Sunday. Bettis was moving piles and driving into defenders. He had a hop in his step. That being said, Zereoue still deserves to be the starter. He's just a better fit for the offense.

© Lost in everything was the fact that the Bengals didn't try to run the spread on the Steelers. As Gildon told me after the game, if they didn't do it early, they weren't going to do it. The Bengals didn't have the receivers this year to do it. I guess they needed Danny Farmer.

© Gildon also said that he lateralled the ball to Porter after his interception because Porter told him to do it. Maybe Porter should tell Gildon to get near the quarterback every once in a while.

© Anyone who guessed that Chris Doering would have as many receptions (6) for one less yard (47-46) than Antwaan Randle El three games into the season, raise your hand? What's that? Nobody taking credit for that one? Me neither.

© At one point Sunday, the Steelers lined Gildon up on the right side so he could go against left tackle Levi Jones, who gave up two sacks to Kendrell Bell and Porter. Gildon still didn't get to the QB.

© Opponents are completing 60.2 percent of their passes against the Steelers this season, but they are only averaging 130.7 yards per game. Tim Lewis must be doing something right.

Dale Lolley
Dale Lolley also covers the Steelers for the Washington Observer-Reporter

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