Going back to the mid-'70s, the Pittsburgh Steelers have always had a bruising and powerful running game, often providing the initial blocks for a much faster tailback.
From Rocky Bleier to Jerome Bettis, the black and gold have thrived on a punishing rushing attack, someone in a fullback role who can get the one or two tough yards on third down.
Yet despite gaining their latest Super Bowl ring, the Steelers are still missing the ever-punishing runner who can routinely make the crushing block and/or get the tough, short yardage conversions.
When “The Bus” left the team in retirement, it also left the garage empty of any vehicle big enough to carry the Steelers on his shoulders to victory.
However, if Pittsburgh is looking to fill that garage, there is one player the Steelers should immediately seek to acquire from the Seattle Seahawks.
That man is Owen Schmitt, who played his college football with the West Virginia University Mountaineers.
As someone who has extensively followed Schmitt’s career, I can tell you that he is just the man the Steelers’ front office is seeking. And if there was ever a player who was born to wear the black and gold, it is certainly Owen Schmitt!
Owen Schmitt is Pittsburgh!
Despite the fact that Owen averaged 4.2 yards a carry last year, the Seahawks only gave him five carries. Schmitt is also an excellent receiver out of the backfield, gaining 4.8 yards every time he catches the ball.
An excellent blocker, Schmitt would be just the guy to open the holes for the speedy Rashard Mendenhall or Willie Parker. In addition, Owen would also provide some much needed blitz protection to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
The residents of the Steel City pride themselves on their tough, hard-working, blue collar heritage and values. It is much the same style of play that Schmitt brings to work on a daily basis.
A punishing runner, Owen has often been described as “a runaway beer truck.”
He is tough to bring down and surprisingly agile for big man.
Twice I have seen him hurdle would-be tacklers. But generally, he would rather hit you!
With his old school, grind-it-out, flatten your opponent approach to the game of football, Schmitt is the quintessential Steeler.
He would be a god in the Steel City.
Moreover, Schmitt’s punishing style of play is absolutely wasted in Seattle, the land of Bill Gates and Microsoft.
The only thing soft about Owen Schmitt is his heart.
He loves his family, the game of football, and the fans of his adopted hometown of Morgantown, WV.
I have no doubt that he would also quickly grow to love the fervent fans who are ninety miles north of there. And they would quickly love him back.
Schmitt’s work ethic is second to none. In addition, Owen simply will not accept mediocrity from himself, once repeatedly banging himself on the head with his helmet following a shanked punt attempt.
Owen shows up to work every day. He doesn’t take any time off. And he never leaves the job halfway finished.
That is the tradition of the Steel City; it is also the history of Owen Schmitt.
It is about time the Steelers bring Owen to Schmittsburgh!