Yesterday at Mike Tomlin’s press conference, the head coach said that the carries would be split rather evenly between Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount. That may be the most disappointing thing that I’ve heard all offseason.
No matter how good LeGarrette Blount was in New England last season, or how many people say that Le’Veon Bell needs to improve his YPC average, Bell should be getting the large majority of the carries in Pittsburgh this season. No questions asked. Bell is clearly the better back, and that isn’t an insult to Blount. Bell may only be a second year player, but he is already one of the only bell cow backs in the league.
Bell has the vision, quickness, power, and elusiveness that makes him a worthy feature running back. Blount doesn’t have any one outstanding quality that would make him a candidate for a heavy workload, but he is average to above average at most of the qualities required in a back. He does make for a very good alternate to the starter, and that’s exactly what he should be in Pittsburgh.
What the Steelers have in mind seems like a 55-35-10 split between Bell, Blount, and the rest of the backs. What they should be thinking is more like a 65-25-10 split. That doesn’t mean that Blount won’t get his fair share of the carries either. If you go by how many carries the offense totaled last year, 25 percent of that would be just under 100 carries. That comes out to just over 6 carries a game. That is plenty enough for Blount to show off his big play talent in a game.
Now that Bell has a viable offensive line to run behind, he should be even more effective than he was at the end of last season. With those 65 percent of the carries he should be plenty good enough to carry the team. Which means Blount will be in a supportive role with more help from Dri Archer and crew.
If the coaching staff is wise enough to give Bell the reigns to carry the running game, then the running game should be good enough to shoulder a lot of the load on offense. Now it’s just time to hope that they’re wise enough.
What do you think Steelers Nation? How do you think the Steelers carries should be split?