The Steelers have faced their share of top running backs this season and it doesn’t get any easier on Sunday when they host Jacksonville at Heinz Field.
“It doesn’t let up,” said linebacker
Jaguars’ running back Maurice Jones-Drew will be the latest to challenge the Steelers run defense. Jones-Drew is fourth in the NFL with 476 yards on 96 carries, and has 553 total yards from scrimmage, accounting for 40 percent of their offense.
“A big, big, big portion of their offense goes through him,” said defensive end
“Not only can he run the ball great but he can catch out of the backfield, screen plays. That is one thing that makes him such a threat. He is one of those guys everybody needs to be keyed on and we will be.”
Jones-Drew’s size can also present a problem for defenders. At 5-7, 208 pounds he is a powerful runner who is tough to bring down.
“He is a great athlete,” said linebacker
With rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert making just his fourth career start for the Jaguars this week Jones-Drew’s role is even more valuable.
“They want to get the ball in his hands as much as possible,” added Farrior. “They have a young quarterback they don’t want to put the load on so they are going to feed it to him as much as they can. They are giving the ball to him more on check downs. That is a good option for a young quarterback when he doesn’t see what he wants to see he is going to check it down to the back.”
Last week the Steelers were able to stop Titans running back Chris Johnson, holding him to only 51 yards. It was the type of performance the defense expects every week.
“That is the game we expect to play,” said Keisel. “It’s something we can build off of. It’s just one game and we can still have a lot of improvement.
“Every team is trying to pack a good running back. That is the NFL. Everyone knows the importance of a good running game. We expect to see that week in and week out. We have been good around here about stopping the run. Hopefully we can build off of last week and continue that this week.”
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After missing the Titans game with a hamstring injury, running back
“He’s ready to go,” said Arians. “Everything will be back to normal, except for
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“That means guys are scared of him and he is tough,” said safety
Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis came in second with 15% of the vote.
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Injury Update: Not practicing on Thursday were T