It seems that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger isn't the only Steelers player questioning the play-calling of offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Running backs Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer essentially said the team has abandoned the ground game.
"Some games, it feels like we just go away from it," Redman told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "We didn't run the ball bad [vs. Dallas], we weren't getting smashed the last game, we just didn't run it that much. We had 16 or 17 runs. When we were winning games, we were up in the 30 mark and we pretty much win when we do that. Hopefully, we can get back to that."
Pittsburgh has 17 rushes in each of its past two games, losses to San Diego and Dallas. It’s the first time the Steelers have had fewer than 20 rushing attempts in back-to-back games since 1991, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Pittsburgh’s 34 rushing attempts the previous two weeks were the fewest in the NFL. The Steelers' 138 yards rushing over that span is third-worst in the league.
It wasn't too long ago that the Steelers had three straight games with a 100-yard rusher. Dwyer cracked 100 yards at Cincinnati and against Washington, and Redman gained 147 yards at the New York Giants. All three games were wins.
Dwyer agreed with Redman that the team has to stop getting away from the ground game. "Just keep implementing it throughout the game with our passing game," he said.
The Bengals have the ninth-ranked run defense in the NFL. Since Dwyer ran for 122 yards against them, the Bengals have allowed just one running back to rush for more than 75 yards, a span of seven games.