Watching Steelers rookie phenom Maurkice Pouncey hobble down the steps of the team's charter plane upon arrival in Dallas Monday, using a walker to aid him, was just plain unsettling.

Kind of reminded me of watching Dick Clark on New Year's Rockin' Eve of late. You can't help but cringe at the memories of what used to be and at the ghastly reality of it all: nothing lasts forever.

Pouncey's rookie run of health and superior play appears to have ended right at the NFL finish line, just as Dick's frontman days of watching the ball drop are headed the ways of a wax museum.

Now, here's hoping Steelers' backup center Doug Legursky is a step up from Ryan Seacrest as a fill-in. Certainly, the Big Legursky is a step up on the man scale, and this ain't American Idol that "Bronco" is prepping for.

This is Steelers football. Traditionally, ground and pound and defensive takedowns. Where girls are girls and men are men, like a perfect All In the Family Carroll O'Connor sitcom open.

And a guy nicknamed Bronco, after the 1930's legendary fullback, should at least be able to fulfill that mantra. I don't know about you, but I'll skip seeing Legursky calling out blitz protections and trying to pass block behemoth B.J. Raji (can't they make bigger pants for a big man than that?). I want to see Bronco mauling someone on Super Sunday.

Isn't this the season where the team President set the tone a year ago, demanding (ok, strongly suggesting) the Black and Yellow run the ball in 2010? "Hit the pedal once, and make the floor shake," was Art Rooney II's basic idea. So Wiz Khalifa may have actually put it in words for him, but you get the point.

Rashard Mendenhall and Legursky ran it against Rex Ryan's D in the AFC Championship game to the pretty tune of 121-yards. Now, with only the18th best run defense in football in Green Bay standing between Number 7, isn't it obvious what the game plan calls for?

If playcaller Bruce Arians and QB Ben Roethlisberger forget what got them here now, it'll be a crying shame. Balance. Forget 37-36 final scores and 503 passing yards. Different year, different circumstances. Run the football to win in Dallas.

This Packers defense allowed 10 runs of 20-yards or longer this season. Adrian Peterson ran for 131 against them. Michael Turner got them for 110. Matt Forte had 91. Jhavid Best and Brandon Jacobs had a greater than 4.0 per carry average against the Pack D. 10 teams ran for 100 or more in a game this year as a collective.

Allowing a Dom Capers blitz scheme to tee off against Jonathan Scott and Legursky while attempting pass protection can only end with one result, no matter how elusive Ben can be.

Here at the end, remember Art's suggestion from the beginning: run it better than they can stop it.

Posted in Pittsburgh Steelers

Leave a Reply