If the playoffs are here, Bruce Arians knows what people in Pittsburgh are thinking.
It's time for the Steelers' old reliables, a smothering defense and a pound-it-out running game. Just like the good old days of the 1970s, when the Steelers won four Super Bowls in six seasons.
Arians, the Steelers' offensive coordinator, wonders if it's not time for some new thinking.
"It's different in Pittsburgh because people believe that if you run it 30 times, you win. Well, OK, let's go kneel down three times and we'll win," Arians said. "But while I've been here, we didn't win any Super Bowls that way. I know how we won it, and No. 7 Ben Roethlisberger won it for us, offensively in the 2005 season."
The Steelers' offense became uncharacteristically reliant on the pass this season, partly because RB Willie Parker - a 1,200-yard rusher each of the previous three seasons - injured a knee in September and has lacked his speed and cutback ability.
Their 460 rushing attempts this season were the fewest they've had since 2003, when they ran 446 times with former Arena League QB Tommy Maddox leading the offense. Their 3.7 yards-per-carry average also was their lowest since 2003, when they averaged 3.3.
Arians said they shouldn't fret. The forward pass, he said, has been perfectly legal for more than a century now.
TITANS: The team returned to practice with Pro Bowl DT Albert Haynesworth, DE Kyle Vanden Bosch and C Kevin Mawae all watching.
Haynesworth sat out the final two regular-season games with a sprained left knee. Vanden Bosch missed the final three and had minor surgery to repair a groin muscle Dec. 16. Mawae hurt his right elbow in the Titans' win against Pittsburgh and sat out last weekend's loss to Indianapolis.
The Associated Press