Well, despite the success we've had running the ball the last few years, we haven't done that nearly as well this season. The run game started off really slow and never fully recovered. There's been a few good games, like San Diego, the first buffalo game and the KC game, but for this team to be really successful next season, the run game needs to be there consistently. Here's my two cents on what might help fix it.
First of all, we need to get Shonn Greene going early and often. He got off to a really sluggish start this season because the run blocking was so bad and we weren't feeding him the ball very much. But he's gonna hit 1000 yards this season despite not really being present for the denver game, and barely getting any production whatsover for the first weeks. He's a solid Back that works well for the ground and pound system that we want. Sure he's not a great pass catcher and doesn't have super blazing speed, but that's why we've got Joe Mcknight. We need to Commit to Shonn Greene and give him his carries from day 1, so that we can keep him going on a strong, steady pace the whole season.
We need a better Right tackle too, I think that goes without saying. A lot of analysts that try to piece together why the run game has been nonexistent say that the right side of the offensive line isn't as strong as last year. Brandon Moore had that hip injury so it's understandable why he didn't start off great, but he's been better as of late. Wayne Hunter however, is just flat out bad. We need a good, solid right tackle that can run block (and pass block for that matter) so that runs don't get blown up before our backs even get to the LOS.
We need to get good use out of Joe Mcknight as a third down back. He's got plenty of burst and is a very good complement to Shonn Greene. We've seen that he can be a good pass catcher out of the backfield too. We've also seen that when spread out he causes a bunch of matchup nightmares. Bottom line, the guy's a great weapon and we need to use him. Additionally we need some third Back that can take carries if someone needs a break or gets hurt. That might be Bilal Powell or someone else. I'd hope it can be Bilal Powell since we'd otherwise need to spend a draft pick on another back.
Finally, we need to be able to stretch out the field more in the passing game. When we can't take shots down the field, safeties don't need to play deep at all, and it makes it that much harder to get to the second level in the run game. We all know that Plax doesn't have the speed to be a big play threat anymore so we need to somehow get more speed on the outside.
That's just my two cents, feel free to comment and critique.