The Pittsburgh Steelers running backs have only gained 70 yards on 27 carries through the first two games of the 2013 season, so we can probably expect a new starter Sunday night when the 2-0 Chicago Bears come to Pittsburgh.
Despite the poor run game performance Monday night in the 20-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, head coach Mike Tomlin made it sound like Felix Jones will be the new starter moving forward until rookie Le’Veon Bell is ready to return from his foot injury during his Tuesday press conference.
“Our run game was obviously below the line, but I was encouraged by some of the things that Felix Jones was able to do and probably will be able to do moving forward,” said Tomlin.
Jones, who the Steelers acquired via trade with the Philadelphia Eagles midway through the preseason, carried the ball ten times Monday night for 37 yards and he showed some attributes during those carries that evidently gave the Steelers head coach some hope moving forward.
“Knowing when to bounce the ball to the perimeter, knowing when to stick his foot in the ground and get vertical, and take what’s there and when to challenge people,” said Tomlin about Jones. “I thought he showed some natural run instincts and things that are exciting that we can build from.”
The Steelers run game is currently ranked 31st overall in the league after two weeks and we have yet to see much of the new outside-zone blocking scheme that was supposed create more space for the running backs. Jones best fits that scheme, so you can expect he will be the starter Sunday night against a Bears team that has allowed just 3.44 yards per rush in their first two games.