Although ranked 10th against the run, the Steelers permitted 102 rushing yards or more in five of their final six games -- including 164 in a 45-42 setback to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC divisional round of the playoffs.
"Last year, there were some games where we were kind of soft against the run. That's not Steeler football or Steeler defense," Rooney told fans on Steelers Nation Unite on Wednesday, when asked what the team must do to take the final steps toward a Super Bowl.
"... We have to start by making sure we are strong against the run and try to put the other team in a passing situation so we can get after the quarterback."
The Steelers took a step back on defense in part due to the serious spinal injury of Pro Bowl selection Ryan Shazier, who was lost for the season in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 13. The team yielded 96.0 rushing yards per game prior to Shazier's injury and 133.5 after the tilt.
The Steelers, who also led the league with 56 sacks, did not registered even one on quarterback Blake Bortles in the playoff game.