The Pittsburgh Steelers running back concerns


Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer (photo credit: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer (photo credit: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

We are now halfway through the preseason and so far the Pittsburgh Steelers have failed to impress anybody. In fact after the first two game of the preseason they have left more questions than answers on the table.

One of the many concerns facing the Steelers right now is who is going to start at running back. The Steelers went into the preseason with a three way competition for the starting running back job between Jonathan Dwyer, Issac Redman, and Le’Veon Bell. Now as they head into the third preseason game which is known as the dress rehearsal for the regular season, the starting job is still up in the air.

The original plan for the Steelers was that second round pick Le’Veon Bell would start the third preseason game like he did in week 2 but earlier in the week Bell was diagnosed with a right foot sprain. The rookie running back has no time table for his return but could miss anywhere between 6-8 weeks. Fortunately Bell does not need any surgery but how well will he play when he does come back?

With Bell out, that leaves the space open for Redman, Dwyer and LaRod Stephens-Howling. Redman and Stephens-Howling missed the last game against the Redskins but are expected to come back for the thirdĀ preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

So who would I start against the Chiefs in the third preseason game? I wouldn’t have a starter; the Steelers need to use this week to find out who will be able to most successfully run behind the struggling offensive line. In the first two preseason games Redman has less than ten yards rushing. Stephens-Howling has 40 yards rushing, and Dwyer leads the running backs with 83 yards rushing. Dwyer is statistically having the best preseason out of the trio but that’s due to the fact that he is the only one to play in both games.

The Steelers’ running attack has sadly been one of the bright points of the preseason, and that’s even with running behind a weak offensive line and having zero consistency at the running back position. While this might be the case the concerns at the running back position are still very real and if they can’t get the position shored up then it will only hurt the Steelers’ run-first offense.