Steelers Versus Giants: RB LaRod Stephens-Howling Shows Good Vision, Patience And Cutback Ability

Pittsburgh Steelers running back LaRod Stephens-Howling made his debut Saturday night in the black and gold and he did not disappoint.

The University of Pittsburgh product carried the ball seven times in the game for 40 yards and that included six carries in seven plays during the Steelers second offensive possession of the game. “The Hyphen” showed great vision, patience and cutback ability on several runs and it wasn\’t more evident than on the six yard run on the third play of the second possession.

Below is an animated gif and three still shots of the play.

Stephens-Howling sees the middle linebacker mirroring him and filling the lane to the left. It looks as though this play will go for no gain initially, but the running back looks right and sees right guard David DeCastro controlling and turning an over-committing outside linebacker out of the lane. Even though center Maurkice Pouncey is losing control of his block on defensive tackle Linval Joseph, Stephens-Howling is able to use his quickness and power to break through the attempted  arm tackle.

While this is a great example of an inside zone run and good blocking by both Decastro and right tackle Marcus Gilbert, the patience, read and cut by Stephens-Howling made it go.

The Steelers running back was asked if he liked the zone blocking scheme after the game.

“I love the schemes here,” said Stephens-Howling. “It\’s a little different from what I\’m used to, but I\’ve been able to adapt quick, and yeah, I love what they do up front.”

Steelers Giants LaRod Stephens-Howling Run




  • Richard Edlin

    Nice play-action fake too. You could excuse nearly a safety if he’d gone back on his heels there …

  • Not_an_obamazombie

    And he is a hometown favorite from Johnstown!

  • 2443scott

    from what i saw he seems well ahead of dwyer he just was same as last year not quick on the get go when you have to be to get through the holes …i think bell then howling then red i think dwyer is on out side looking in …

  • CP72

    Watching this and rewinding plays to watch certain guys. Stephens-Howling does make some nice cuts. David DeCastro looks like the pro bowl caliber player we all thought we drafted. I like this running scheme so far. The Giants can’t stop us running the ball. Dwyer better look out I think he may have went to 4th on the RB depth chart.

  • thatninjab

    Foster destroyed his man

  • Shannon Stephenson

    they say the steelers will most likely keep 4 HB’s. that is 3.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    seeing what DeCastro did to that LB was just plain funny

  • cencalsteeler

    This new ZBS caters to scat backs with vision. It fits LSH style of play. It does not fit Redmans or Dwyers. I have always been a supporter of Dwyers, but Tomlins glares after Dwyer dropped those two passes speak volumes. He’s in Tomlins dog house for sure. Was I drinking too much, or did Redman not see too much time? Where was he? I thought they’d trot him out on that 4 and 1 instead of hard counting? What was that all about?

  • chris ward

    Great block by Decastro kept his feet driving.


    I’m guessing they know what they are getting with Redman and are trying to keep him healthy. Just a guess though!

  • Intropy

    It’s easy to say Pouncey is losing control of his man, but by that point he’s driven three yards off the los (with some help initially from DeCastro) and forcing the flowing linebackers deeper to get around the mess.

    You could easily see the difference between the two blocking schemes as soon as the ball was snapped, and they looked far more effective with the ZBS.

  • GNG

    He played 1 series I think.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Loved the play by LSH. I remember hoping the Steelers would bring him in after he was cut by Arizona. (I actually had him on my fantasy team during his starting stretch for the Cards, so I was watching him rather closely.) LSH has the vision and the DECISIVENESS (especially) that Mendy was lacking. Stephens-Howling might redirect behind the line, but he’s quick to his opening and doesn’t miss his chance when it’s there. He’ll be a GREAT component to our backfield in 2013…and maybe beyond?