Adam Crowley

Adam Crowley

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James Conner shouldn't play unless he's 100 percent

The Steelers have rushed the ball more than they’ve thrown it in each of the games Devlin Hodges has played in.

Mike Tomlin said yesterday that they will let "practice be their guide" as it relates to James Conner's availability on Sunday. If Conner is healthy, how’s the running game going to shake out?

Tap the brakes a bit. The Steelers can’t play James Conner unless he’s close to 100 percent. When Conner's healthy, like he was against the Chargers, he's very good.

He was clearly rusty/banged up against the Browns and he was not effective at all before ultimately being benched.

Right now, the Steelers have a running back rotation that's working.

From Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall, to Le’Veon Bell and James Conner, the Steelers have always been a one-back football team under Mike Tomlin.

Well, this has been the year for innovation. This is the "paint the barn red" year.

The Steelers have switched up their game plan week in and week out based on their opponent. They used the wildcat against Cincy. Three inside linebackers against the Ravens. They moved Matt Feiler to guard against the Rams. They did a masterful job of spying Kyler Murray.

No Conner or he's less than 100 percent? Go with RB by committee.

Kerrith Whyte is averaging 6.7 yards per carry. He’s only had 14 carries, though. Maybe he's better in short bursts.

Benny Snell has been their “work horse” since Conner’s been out. He’s averaging 4.0 yards per carry.

I think Whyte can run to the inside or the outside. I don’t love Benny Snell trying to get outside. I think I’d keep the rotation largely the same.

Snell’s been good. He’s physical. He’s been good at the end of games. He can handle the work load. I don't know about Whyte. I think the more run Whyte gets, the less effective that he’ll be. Load management and all that fun stuff.

SO, let Snell have the majority of the carries.

The rushing attack is finally respectable. The Steelers shouldn't screw with what's working unless they know for sure that Conner will provide an upgrade.

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