Steelers tell players to hit Carson Wentz when he’s running

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The Steelers have a message for Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz on Sunday: Run at your own risk.

Wentz has been running the ball more often lately, with seven attempts in Week 4 against the 49ers and nine in Week 3 against Cincinnati. As the Steelers prepare to face Wentz, Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Keith Butler has given his players a clear instruction.

“If Wentz takes off, he’s told his players you remember he’s a runner and not a quarterback,” NFL Media’s Aditi Kinkhabwala said of Butler. “That means you hit him and hit him hard enough to deter him from doing it any further.” ”

It sounds familiar. Sounds a bit like something someone said the 49ers should consider doing to a certain quarterback who had walked through and around the Titans in the AFC Championship as defensive players came up with the idea. to subject Mahomes to the same type of physicality that face running backs regularly.

In an age when the NFL protects its quarterbacks (especially the stars) at all costs, quarterbacks who become runners lose those protections. So if you hit quarterbacks like running backs and they feel like it’s like running backs, they can think twice before they run again.

That might not match the league’s fairly recent obsession (in the grand scheme of things) with player safety, but it certainly does match the reality that football remains a physical game based in part on football. establishment of domination and intimidation of an opponent. As anyone who’s ever been hit hard in any sporting setting knows, that first big hit always makes you think twice before risking a second.

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