PITTSBURGH — The Steelers’ struggles in short-yardage situations this season have been well-documented.
On third or fourth down and 2 yards or fewer to go this season, the Steelers have converted on just three of 10 attempts.
Two of those three conversions have come on passing plays, with Ben Roethlisberger hitting James Washington late in the fourth quarter against New England and Mason Rudolph finding James Conner for 21 yards and a touchdown on third and 2 against Cincinnati last week.
They’ve been particularly troubled when trying to run for it. Benny Snell had a 23-yard gain on third and 1 against Seattle, but in each of the other five times the Steelers have run the ball in that situation, they’ve been stuffed for no gain or worse.
Against the Bengals, Snell and James Conner were shut down on back-to-back third- and fourth-and-short running plays in the first quarter. Jaylen Samuels was stuffed for a 5-yard loss in the second quarter.
One thing that the Steelers have yet to call in that situation is a quarterback sneak, despite their signal callers both checking in at 6-foot-5.
On Thursday, Rudolph said that the play is in the Steelers playbook, it’s just a matter of offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner pulling the trigger on it. Rudolph said he doesn’t mind getting in the pile to get a yard when the team needs it.
“Obviously, we have a lot of great backs in the short-yardage situations and they’ve been very effective in getting us those yards, but honestly, I would love to do it,” Rudolph said Thursday. “I tell him every week, ‘If you want to call it, go ahead. I’m good for it.’”