Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said during his Tuesday press conference that he is not planning to change up the running back pecking order this week against the Dallas Cowboys following the 34-24 loss this past Sunday to the San Diego Chargers.
Judging by the answer that Tomlin gave, Jonathan Dwyer will most likely start again and be backed up by Isaac Redman with Rashard Mendenhall likely to again be a healthy inactive for a third straight game.
“No, not as I sit here right now,” said Tomlin, when asked if the running back rotation might change this week. “Obviously we didn\’t run the ball in a manner in which we would have liked on Sunday, but really it was more a function of situations than our inability to run the football. We didn\’t convert third downs in the first half, they did. It led to a lopsided time of possession, obviously. Then the explosion plays that happened in the second half, the lateral that was ruled a touchdown, and of course the interception that gave them the ball on a short field, put us behind to a point where we became one dimensional and really wasn\’t able to establish ant semblance of a consistent ground game that we desire to establish.”
“So as we sit here today we intend to utilize the same people that we did last week. Hopefully those situations won\’t arise where we get one dimensional in a manner that we did last Sunday.”
The Steelers running backs had 11 carries for 33 yards in the loss to the Chargers and that group only received 3 carries in the second half thanks to the game being out of hand. The good news is that none of them fumbled.
Tomlin obviously likes the effort that Dwyer gave in the game and is comfortable in putting the blame on the Steelers offensive line, which is exactly where it should be placed.
Unless any of the running backs start fumbling or get injured, it is looking more and more like Mendenhall will not dress for games in the near future.