Steelers Depend Too Much on Running Game: It's a Family Tradition

josh rolandContributor IDecember 17, 2008

Most families have certain traditions or customs that they pass down from generation to generation. This holds true with the Rooney family and the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise.

If you were to look back through the team's history, from its start in 1933 all the way to present day, you would notice that some things have never changed. Pittsburgh is known for producing stellar defenses, finishing with winning records, never ever having cheerleaders, and running the football.

Pittsburgh has always terrorized opposing defenses with a strong running attack. This attack featured current and future Hall of Fame players such as Bill Dudley, Franco Harris, John Johnson, Johnny McNally, Jerome Bettis, Willie Parker, and possibly even the recently discovered big playmaker Mewelde Moore.

The Steelers have always had success running the ball the majority of the time, and only passing if absolutely necessary. That is why they always draft RBs early in the draft and dig deep into their normally stingy wallet to keep or acquire players in free agency.

The current run/pass philosophy has been working for over 75 years. It is a Steelers family tradition that will be around forever. Right?

We can only hope not. Our offense is currently ranked 21st in the NFL, and anybody who has watched them play can understand why.

The offensive line is just terrible. Its inability to open holes is the lone reason for such a depleted running game. This would not be the case if Bruce Arians had any idea what he was doing. He has been given every single weapon he needs, but is unable to figure out how to use them.

If Arians were smart, he would depend less on the run and more on the pass. We have a QB who lost his first start, but went on to win his next 14 to cap off his rookie season. He is the youngest QB ever to win a Super Bowl. Ben Roethlisberger is as elite as they come.

We also have a tremendous receiving corps. Hines Ward has earned three team MVP selections and four Pro Bowl selections in his career. He can catch just about any ball thrown his way and he is one of the only receivers in NFL history that some defensive players are afraid to hit.

The Steelers also have depth in Santonio Holmes' playmaking ability. He is a consistent go-to guy and has won games for us before. Holmes is also someone who could be used for trick plays.

Nate Washington is another solid option at receiver. He is enjoying a breakout season, which includes a couple of 50-plus-yards catches and three TD receptions.

The passing game is topped off by the Dynamic Duo of Heath Miller and Matt Spathe. Both are solid options with good hands and both are good at blocking.

The only flaw of the Steelers offense is the line. If they were able to protect Big Ben and buy him some time to find an open receiver, our passing game would be outstanding.

This is clear if you look at the stars at QB, WR, and TE. If the offensive line was able to open holes and block, then our running game would dominate most others in the league.

Moore and Parker should split carries, with short-yardage situations being handled by Carey Davis. Or maybe Najeh Davenport should be brought back for short yardage.

The main point is that Bruce Arians is an idiot.

He has done nothing to improve an offensive line that has about as much talent as that of a youth football league. He does not use his players to their full potential, either.

Bruce Arians is like a carpenter, and his players are his tools. What he needs to do is figure out how to use his tools to perfect his finished product, which is his offense. If he does not start using his tools, it must be because he isn't a carpenter. If he isn't a carpenter, then he shouldn't pretend to be one.

In other words, if Bruce Arians does not improve this offseason, he needs to be replaced.