Pulling Guards On Display In Steelers Win Over Bills

If you like watching guards pull, you had to enjoy watching the Pittsburgh Steelers win this past Sunday over the Buffalo Bills.

In total, the Steelers ran the counter a total of 14 times for 71 yards and all featured running back Le’Veon Bell carrying the football. It should be noted, however, that one of those plays that went for no gain was wiped out by a penalty on the Bills defense for offsides so in essence Bell averaged 5.46 yards on 13 counter runs. Let’s also not lose sight of the fact that Bell scored twice.

While we’ve seen the Steelers pull right guard David DeCastro to the left several times so far during his career, it isn’t often that we see left guard Ramon Foster pull to his right and that’s obviously because of his lack of mobility. However, with Foster sidelined Sunday with a chest injury, B.J. Finney started in his place and he showed a great deal of athletic ability the 6 times he was asked to pull to his right. Those runs netted 31 yards by the way.

Below is an example of Finney out in space and working to the second level to cut off Bills safety Corey Graham.

With it looking like Foster will return this week from his injury, he’ll more than likely be back as the starter for the remainder of the season even though Finney has played extremely well in his two starts at left guard. While it’s way too early to start worrying about what will happen in 2017, it will be interesting to see if Finney can push Foster for his starting job next year.

Steelers Counter Plays Versus Bills

6:05 (Shotgun) L.Bell left guard for 3 yards, TOUCHDOWN. (DD pull)
6:22 (Shotgun) L.Bell left tackle to PIT 38 for 7 yards (C.White). (DD pull)
5:43 (Shotgun) L.Bell right tackle to PIT 49 for 11 yards (P.Brown, R.Darby). (BF pull)
2:24 L.Bell left end to PIT 32 for 12 yards (M.Dareus). (DD pull)
10:34 L.Bell left end pushed ob at PIT 43 for 7 yards (P.Brown). (DD pull)
8:33 L.Bell right end to BUF 30 for 5 yards (R.Darby, J.Ihedigbo). (BF pull)
5:35 L.Bell left end for 5 yards, TOUCHDOWN. (DD pull)
3:58 L.Bell left end pushed ob at PIT 40 for no gain (P.Brown). PENALTY on BUF ­J.Worthy, Defensive Offside, 5 yards, enforced at PIT 40 ­ No Play. (DD pull)
3:23 L.Bell right end pushed ob at BUF 45 for 10 yards (Z.Brown). (BF pull)
14:55 L.Bell right tackle to BUF 8 for 4 yards (L.Alexander). (BF pull)
13:31 L.Bell left guard to BUF 42 for 6 yards (P.Brown, J.Hughes). (DD pull)
10:43 L.Bell right tackle to BUF 19 for 1 yard (J.Worthy). (BF pull)
7:27 L.Bell left guard to PIT 25 for no gain (C.Graham). (DD pull)
3:53 L.Bell right tackle to BUF 21 for no gain (L.Alexander). (BF pull)


    I say they take this exact gameplan into Cinci and run with it. Pun intended.

  • WilliamSekinger

    It was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a very long time.

  • nutty32

    The counter pull-sweep left worked really well in both games last year, but the Bengals seemed to have adjusted and were intent on stopping this play in the playoff game & this year’s week 2 match-up. I suspect Munchak will having something new cooking to adjust to their adjustment.

  • nutty32

    Pulling Guards, Pulling Centers, Pulling Tackles & TE – It’s awesome watching how athletic and angry the O-Line plays. Munchak deserves a raise.

  • SilverSteel

    Wow, Finney looked really fast. I bet he could even play some FB if needed.

  • VaDave

    It’s called bring in Finney and let them guess which side we are going. They will not be able to stack the weak side, like they have in the last two games you mentioned. Also, big difference with Bell and D.Will running it, that weren’t available in the playoffs, than Toussant

  • VaDave

    Agreed. He’s no slouch in the trenches either.

  • PapaJuju

    Why when you have Nix?

  • SilverSteel

    I am really getting excited about our O line depth. It has been soooo long since we had that. Depth all around even in our DBs and Safeties. Really pumped for next year!

  • SilverSteel

    I meant in case of injury (if needed). Nix has had back issues and that pounding can’t help. His shear size and strength with his speed makes for some real versatility. A couple of us think that the “tackle eligible” spot Hubbard is occupying would be better served by Finney.

  • VaDave

    To me, I would much rather watch this style than the aerial circus the NFL has become. The heck with Fantasy football.

  • Sam Clonch

    Think Ramon may have a battle on his hands come next pre-season.

  • srdan

    I think this is the issue with the NFL. The bills game you and I can appreciate. I’d call us purists. But teh NFL isn’t marketing this to you and me. They want new fans. And for most of them they can’t tell if a guard pulled. But they can see a 30 yard pass. I think this is the reason they are stacking the rules the way they have.

  • srdan

    Competition breeds winning.

  • 6 ring circus

    Think Willam “The Refrigerator” Perry. An unstoppable force. But yea, break glass in case of emergency.

  • VaDave

    It is a shame. Spot on about the target market. For me, I wish they’d bring back the mud and leather… well maybe not the leather…..lol! Dang, I was around to watch mudder linemen like Kramer, Thurston, Wooten & Hickerson plowing up the fields. There was a reason Brown racked up all of those yards, and it was mainly because nobody laid a hand on him until he was 4 yards downfield. It was the same thing with Kramer and Thurston running the Packer Sweep. Everybody knew it was coming, but there wasn’t a thing the defense could do about it. Just plain beautiful, they way the game was meant to be played.

  • VaDave

    They really have done a nice job with personnel through this rebuild period. We still need a dominant OLB ( due to the Jones flame out) and we got another dynasty. I’m just hopping we can get another year out of Haley and Munchak before they move on to greener pastures.

  • woodsworld58

    I’m not sure we should wait that long. Finney has played so well, I think he should be starting and/or splitting quarters with Foster. Finney looks great pulling, and is just the level of athletic ability we need at LG. I’m a Foster fan, but Finney is playing lights out.

  • VaDave

    I’m thinking, leave Hubbard alone right where he is. Why would you move Finney? You really want a tackle size guy there, which is exactly what Spathe was, only with an 80’s uni number. Moving Finney to TE would reduce the effects of his best assets, move fast and play in space. BTW, Johnson is the back up fullback in case of Nix going down. JMO.

  • Charles Haines


  • SilverSteel

    I meant as opposed to having Finney sit on the bench when Foster comes back. We could find some ways to use him in the “tackle eligible” spot.


    I really like Foster, and said he would have a resurgent year last year w/the acquisition of Williams (sharing the loss of their mothers before the season previous)…and he did; but that does not mean he is still the least athletic of all of those guys up there (by far) on the line with him, and is why we don’t ask him to pull as much as we can actually succeed with BJ in there now.

    Foster is a great backup Guard for the playoffs, but to really take it to and confuse the D’s we will be facing we have to be able to pull either way every play.

    Steelers Going to the Superbowl!

  • Sam Clonch

    He’s played well in spots, but with playoffs on the line they’re not going to pull the starter. Not unless he’s playing like crap and hurting the team. Foster isn’t a pro-bowler, never was. But he’s a competent, team leader, who can get the job done. He took way less than he could have gotten elsewhere to stay with the team because they needed him. Throwing in a new guy who like I said, played well in a few games, but really hasn’t earned anything, would be a slap in the face and could potentially wreck the locker room.

    If there’s a change coming, it’ll be next year when they can really give BJ some first team reps and see what he can do before they make a decision.

  • LucasY59

    LeVeon won Fantasy games for a lot of people last weekend…

  • dennisdoubleday

    I’m on the Finney bus. It is just so hard to stop a team that can pull guards in either direction and supplement the blocking with Nix. It adds another dimension.

  • 20Stoney

    Here’s hoping one of those pulling guards knocks the snot out of Burfict a few times (or more).

  • Jaybird

    I’m with ya Silver- Finney as tackle eligible couldn’t be any worse than Hubbard. What the hell has Hubbard done? I think he’s a bad guard and worse tackle.

  • Jaybird

    You nailed it with how hard it is to defend against two guards that can pull well. Im on Baby Face Finnster’s bus as well .

  • pittfan

    i miss the mud too!

  • Steve

    Will say that Munchak has the Oline firing out and plowing players. This Oline we have is the best.

  • Steve

    This time of the year is when depth is needed for hurt players. Its the only way to go deep in the playoffs, to have quality backups. With good backups it makes the starters work harder, so they don’t loose their job, or stay out too long. If only we had a quality backup QB.

  • dany


    you can appreciate all aspects of football. as well as complain who every single on of those aspects could be better!