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Can The Steelers Be More Run Balanced Directionally In 2013 With More Zone Blocking?


The Pittsburgh Steelers have predominantly been a heavy right handed running team over the course of the last several season, but in 2012 they were extremely right handed and really just a team that ran between the two guards.

If you look at the table below, which runs from the left side to the right side, you will see that only 4% of all combined rushes went off left end and that only 7% of all rushes went to left tackle.

To better illustrate the numbers, 71% of all of the Steelers runs last year went between the two guards and that was easily the highest percentage off all teams in 2012. In addition, 72% of all rushes went from either up the middle or to the right and this ranked them behind only the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Jets accordingly.

In 2012, the Kansas City Chiefs only ran 49% of the time between the two guards and this is of course where new Steelers offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. coached last season. Bicknell is expected to implement more of the zone blocking scheme with the Steelers in 2013, and along with rookie running back Le\’Veon Bell, we hope to see not only an improved running attack this year, but a more balanced one directionally.

The table below should be sortable.

——–Left End———Left Tackle——Left Guard——Middle———–Right Guard—-Right Tackle—-Right End

TM # % AV # % AV # % AV # % AV # % AV # % AV # % AV
ARI 33 10% 5.2 74 22% 2.6 18 5% 3.4 120 35% 2.5 13 4% 6.5 50 15% 3.1 35 10% 4.9
ATL 60 16% 3.7 36 10% 3.2 39 11% 4.4 73 20% 3.6 39 11% 3.2 55 15% 4.1 62 17% 4.8
BAL 52 12% 5.8 50 12% 4.4 91 22% 4.2 67 16% 4.3 60 14% 4.8 63 15% 3.4 39 9% 4.3
BUF 26 6% 4.9 51 12% 6.6 49 11% 6.4 167 39% 4.9 67 16% 3.6 49 11% 5.2 22 5% 6.6
CAR 85 19% 6.5 51 11% 4.8 67 15% 3.6 121 27% 3.5 47 10% 3.6 19 4% 3.3 59 13% 7.1
CHI 55 12% 4.5 51 11% 3.8 60 13% 3.3 90 20% 5.1 65 14% 4.6 68 15% 3.6 61 14% 6.5
CIN 43 11% 3.6 49 12% 3.8 48 12% 4.2 109 27% 3.6 60 15% 5.2 49 12% 4.3 47 12% 3.8
CLE 34 9% 6.4 64 17% 3.0 68 18% 3.8 66 17% 3.6 89 23% 4.3 49 13% 3.6 16 4% 5.3
DAL 44 13% 4.6 41 12% 5.2 38 11% 3.1 84 25% 3.8 43 13% 3.3 49 14% 2.9 39 12% 4.2
DEN 27 6% 4.0 61 13% 4.0 50 11% 3.2 154 34% 4.1 61 13% 3.8 68 15% 2.7 35 8% 7.9
DET 38 10% 4.7 71 18% 4.2 15 4% 4.9 137 36% 3.7 18 5% 4.0 63 16% 4.3 42 11% 5.2
GB 68 16% 4.5 50 12% 2.3 37 9% 3.9 88 21% 4.4 44 11% 4.9 44 11% 3.2 83 20% 5.3
HOU 82 17% 4.9 84 17% 3.6 57 12% 3.3 93 19% 4.3 46 9% 3.9 73 15% 5.9 55 11% 4.7
IND 89 21% 5.3 51 12% 4.4 29 7% 4.0 169 40% 3.2 17 4% 4.0 26 6% 4.3 39 9% 6.3
JAC 45 13% 5.1 21 6% 4.4 31 9% 3.1 170 49% 3.9 25 7% 3.0 20 6% 4.3 38 11% 4.0
KC 85 17% 7.0 45 9% 3.0 33 7% 3.8 152 31% 4.0 52 11% 5.9 75 15% 4.2 48 10% 6.3
MIA 48 12% 6.9 64 15% 5.1 48 12% 3.5 123 30% 3.8 39 9% 4.1 63 15% 3.6 31 7% 4.9
MIN 61 13% 6.0 35 8% 6.9 51 11% 5.0 173 37% 4.4 47 10% 5.8 50 11% 7.7 49 11% 8.8
NE 54 11% 5.2 67 13% 4.4 97 19% 3.8 123 24% 4.2 68 13% 3.9 50 10% 4.3 48 9% 4.8
NO 45 13% 6.5 34 10% 4.1 75 21% 3.7 61 17% 5.1 82 23% 3.3 32 9% 3.2 28 8% 5.9
NYG 55 14% 6.6 67 17% 3.5 68 17% 4.3 66 17% 5.2 53 13% 6.2 49 12% 4.2 37 9% 4.2
NYJ 36 7% 4.1 47 10% 3.5 43 9% 3.4 212 44% 3.7 45 9% 3.6 69 14% 4.5 31 6% 6.1
OAK 65 18% 3.0 61 17% 4.0 30 8% 2.5 72 20% 4.1 30 8% 2.8 57 16% 4.8 52 14% 4.7
PHI 96 24% 5.2 50 13% 3.3 17 4% 3.3 64 16% 4.3 29 7% 2.6 46 12% 3.8 98 25% 5.7
PIT 17 4% 7.7 29 7% 4.8 65 16% 3.2 127 32% 3.4 94 23% 3.2 43 11% 4.6 26 6% 5.7
SD 48 12% 4.0 52 13% 2.9 31 8% 3.8 126 32% 3.9 43 11% 4.4 55 14% 4.2 37 9% 2.8
SEA 57 11% 5.5 110 21% 5.5 47 9% 4.0 104 20% 4.6 46 9% 3.4 101 20% 4.9 52 10% 7.2
SF 103 22% 6.4 64 14% 5.4 46 10% 4.2 118 25% 4.9 39 8% 4.2 46 10% 4.0 52 11% 7.7
STL 41 11% 5.4 58 15% 5.2 27 7% 4.2 104 27% 3.7 40 10% 3.7 88 23% 4.0 32 8% 8.8
TB 47 12% 4.5 71 18% 6.8 73 18% 4.2 106 26% 4.0 51 13% 5.4 35 9% 4.9 21 5% 2.5
TEN 40 11% 5.7 35 10% 4.0 50 14% 5.7 127 35% 5.0 37 10% 4.0 44 12% 5.1 35 10% 2.0
WAS 131 26% 6.8 59 12% 4.3 44 9% 5.2 65 13% 5.1 39 8% 4.4 52 10% 3.8 115 23% 6.2

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • http://twitter.com/AndrettiJETS Andretti JETS

    Hmmm, did I understand that correctly?

    Running straight ahead into the pile is not effective.

    Shocking.

  • Bill Bob

    Foster is a bum , DeCastro is out of his league was a good collage player only ,He will rip up another leg trying to block . I heard the coaches faces turned ash white when he showed up last year at training camp he was over matched by backup linemen which means you really suck.Adams is a joke and Gilbert is lazy and falls down more than a baby trying to take its first steps. This will go down as the worst OL in steelers history may get the Rooney project Tomlin fired

  • SteelersDepot

    congrats on the being the most idiotic commenter of the week.

  • Chris Doakes

    Thank u exactly he’s a idiot probably not a Steeler fan

  • Mike Amaro

    Man obviously you know absolutely nothing and should be medicated due to your stupidity…….ill tell you what I can do, give me your address and ill send you some toilet paper so you can wipe the shit that’s coming out of your mouth and enjoy some Steeler Football.

  • Addison

    That whole thing from Dave Todd that Jack is getting bad reports is getting me a little nervous about the whole line and the running game

  • T R

    Said perfectly. Damn idiot.

  • dgh57

    Geez!!!!! Are the Steelers in trouble or what?!!!!!

    LeVeon Bell will be lucky to get 600 yds. rushing this season!!!!

    Big Ben sets a new NFL record of being the 1st QB to be sacked 70+ times!!!!!! That’s if he last that long to get sacked that many times!!!!

    I guess are defense better improve big time in the TO dept. because we’ll need TOs taken to the HOUSE to win many games!!!! Special Teams better chip in too!

  • Michael Mazanowski

    What he say?! Lol!

  • Michael Mazanowski

    I wish I had two more thumbs because I would give those titties 4 thumbs down! Lol! Its Bill Bob guys…..come on!

  • r4kolb

    Really you heard the coaches faces did that? Who is your source?

  • dgh57

    Why confine him to only a week?!! More like in the history of this blog site!!

  • r4kolb

    Guess they forgot we no longer have “The Bus” anymore.

  • hergieburbur

    Wow. Just… wow.

  • hergieburbur

    There are one or two others that give him a run.

  • hergieburbur

    Idiocy aside, I have been saying this the entire off season. Teams new they could stack the D of center on obvious running plays because we weren’t likely to go left.

  • dgh57

    That may change this season, because I heard(maybe from this site) that DeCastro likes pulling to the left!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Wilkes420 Christopher Wilkes

    I have a feeling our line is not only going to be healthy all year long, but they’re also going to be dominant rushing the ball again. With this new scheme and Bell it’s time for these high draft pics to start paying off.

  • Jazz

    I agree with most of what you said; we shall see if DeCastro is a bust this year. I agree, Gilbert is lazy, doesn’t take his craft seriously. I disagree with your assessment on Adams though; I think he will turn out to be a decent RT, possibly good LT if he gains some muscle mass this offseason. Tomlin a Project? C’mon Man; you people need to stop it with this guy. Yes, I too was very disappointed with his decision making process during the course of games in 2012. As a matter of fact, I think he should have been reprimanded for some of those decisions he made, ridiculous! However, the guy has made it to two SuperBowls, winning one. Enough of this talk about getting their with Cowher players; Bill got to the 1995 SuperBowl with Chuck Noll’s players. By the way, he lost!

  • SteelerDave

    Two reasons why we will run to the left a lot more: Max is gone and he lacked the mobility to run block effectively; DeCastro excelled at pulling to his left in college.

  • steeltown

    Ha!

  • steeltown

    Wow… is that predictable or what… cant wait for the new coach and scheme and RB to bring back some consistency and balance

  • steeltown

    I love how fans pass judgment on Adams and DeCastro already… its far too early to gauge their ability… Hell we cant even fully gauge Cam Heyward, Cortez Allen or Worilds yet

  • steeltown

    Agreed. Plus the addition of Bell (who will hopefully be a 3down back) will help keep Teams honest

  • http://www.facebook.com/donny.simmons.50 Donny Simmons

    I think you are right. Foster and DeCastro can both pull right or left and don’t sleep on Dwyer this is going to be a big year for him.

  • marcus

    I’ve not been happy with any of the drafts since Tomlin started. Steelers had a chance to draft Sean Lee, but Tomlin lobbied for Jason Worilds even tho Lee was rated higher. The rumor is Tomlin shows favoritism towards black players, and if it’s between drafting a white guys vs. a black guy Tomlin will always bet on black. I’m not a racist, an I hope it does not come off that way, but I know 2 people now that have said that about him, 1 works inside the Steelers organization, and 1 who works for Root Sports Network and would never say such a thing if he didn’t believe it to be true.

  • http://twitter.com/softdrums Shea Fahr

    Perhaps he should go back to his Browns blog…

  • http://twitter.com/softdrums Shea Fahr

    Agreed, definitely got my attention too. I hope it is wrong but DT is usually spot on with that stuff or he would not even have said it.

  • marcus

    There were reports that Al Woods was giving DeCastro fits, but that was more of a praise on Woods then a knock on DeCastro

  • PoKey21

    I think if anything for the first time in years the Steelers will be great in short yardage and goal line situations. With Pouncey and DeCastro in the middle and Bell behind them they should definitely be able to pick up the tough yardage and run the clock out more efficiently.

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