Under Chris Morgan, JC Hassenauer says the Steelers included non-linemen for meetings

By taking over the offensive line with two regular games left, not many new Olympic coach Chris Morgan would be able to change. No one reinvents the wheel, especially when you’re one of the guys turning it, Morgan served as an assistant and moved into the lead role when Adrian Klemm traveled to Oregon.

But center / guard JC Hassenauer said Morgan made a change to the team’s weekly preparation, bringing non-offensive linemen into the meeting room.

“One thing we did, we incorporated many more outside guys into the meetings,” he told reporters Wednesday via Steelers.com. “We had some close meetings. We also had running backs in there. So I think that kind of helped everyone get a bigger grip and a better understanding of the whole game that week.”

That grip turned into production. Pittsburgh easily had its best rushing day, not just this year, but of the last four, its 190 yards the most it’s run for in a game since 2017. Najee Harris carried the bulk of that burden, in total 188 yards in career. Pittsburgh ran the ball well from start to finish, unlike in other games where defensive indifference allowed the offense to find traction on the ground, just like the second half of the Vikings and Chiefs games.

Like running defense, urgent offenses are a full-time effort. O-line does the heavy lifting, but everyone else gets involved: Tight ends, wide receivers, backs. And having running backs to be a part of the room gets everyone on the same page. A better understanding of how blocking schemes unfold and what the back reads while carrying the ball.

With results like what Pittsburgh got Monday night, Hassenauer said he expects Morgan to do the same over the course of the week.

“I think we out here will continue to do that, too.”

Although Morgan’s adaptation felt like an obvious one that should bring criticism in Klemm’s way, Hassenauer said both men are good coaches.

“I have a lot of respect for Klemm, obviously a lot of respect for [Morgan]. I think they are both phenomenal coaches. I think Klemm will do a great job in Oregon. Can’t say enough about both of them. I think they are both fantastic football coaches and offensive line coaches at that point. “

The Steelers’ running game faces a tough test this weekend against the Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore enters the game as one of the league’s best running defenses. In Week 12, Harris averaged less than 3.4 yards per game. carry. If Pittsburgh can run well in this game, they will likely not only end the regular season with a winning streak, Morgan will likely retain his job as the offensive head coach.

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