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The Steelers ranked dead last in rushing yards per game (82.5) and yards per carry (3.6) in 2020. It was historically bad. The Steelers' 1,351 rushing yards in 2020 were the fewest in franchise history. Also, the Steelers 82.5 yards rushing per game in 2020 was their fewest average since 1966 when they averaged 78.0 yards rushing per game.
The Steelers' run game started the season off strong with rushing over 100 yards in each of their first five games and had a 100-yard rusher in four of those games. In their last 12 games (including the wild-card game loss to Cleveland), the Steelers rushed over 100 yards just once (Week 11 against Jacksonville) and didn't have a 100-yard rusher in any games during that span.
Last month, Steelers president Art Rooney II stated that the Steelers need to be more committed to the run game and more consistent.
"We have to start with a commitment to the running game, and that's something that I'm not sure we've always had," Rooney said via Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports. "So, as we look at changes to the coaching staff, I think that'll be part of the mindset. Again, in terms of the people in this building at this point, I think everybody understands we're going to have to be better than that. Again, I think that that contributes to the inconsistency that we saw on offense."
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert spoke with the Pittsburgh media today and he addressed the ailing run game as well.
"The group of guys we had last year did not produce a good running game. To put out the type of running game we did, nobody was good enough," Colbert said via Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Colbert also said that the offensive line is an "uncertain group" right now with Maurkice Pouncey retiring and Alejandro Villanueva and Matt Feiler set to become unrestricted free agents next month, along with Zach Banner coming off an ACL injury.
"It's our biggest area of losses," Colbert stated about the offensive line.
Colbert addressed the collapse down the stretch as well. The Steelers lost five of their last six games this past season, including the 48-37 loss to the Browns in the wild-card playoff game.
“Any season that ends without a Super Bowl is never good enough,” Colbert said. “I know the job I did, whatever that roster was, it wasn’t good enough. It is my job to put a 53-man roster together that isn’t coming up short at end of the season.”