Take Two: Dri Archer and Josh Harris aren’t going to give Le’Veon Bell much rest at running back
After parting ways with a belligerent LeGarrette Blount, the Steelers moved rookie Dri Archer up the depth chart and added Josh Harris to the active roster from the practice squad. It was expected that adjustments would be made to the offense to get Archer more involved, but he was ineffective against the Saints and Harris didn’t get any opportunities. Once again, Bell was the workhorse in the rush and added additional help as a receiver.
Tomlin expressed that he isn’t concerned about Bell carrying the load. “He has the pedigree for it and I think that’s one of the things that attracted us to him in the (2013) draft,” Tomlin said. “During his time here he’s proven that he’s capable of (his college performance) on the NFL stage, not only in terms of the running game, but his inclusion in the passing game…he’s a highly conditioned guy. He’s a mentally tough guy. He’s a competitor. Personally I think he’s built for it and he’s excited about having an opportunity to do it for us.”
Although Archer and Harris weren’t directly mentioned by Tomlin as being at Bell’s level of play, Tomlin insisted that the pair looked good in practice ahead of the Saints game. “We’re going to put them in challenging circumstances in a practice setting to get to know them,” Tomlin said. “I continue to expect these guys to move forward in terms of their readiness and be a bigger part of what we do moving forward.”
Tomlin’s answer seemed to ignore the fact that the press want to know how Archer and Harris will be utilized, not whether they will be. Archer’s lack of height has been an issue for Ben Roethlisberger in the open field and the speedster had been mainly used in screens. Fans want to see Harris play, not just practice. By talking around the question of how the Steelers will utilize the two players, Tomlin appeared evasive, giving the indication that even though he feels the two are good backups and players, they are nowhere near the level of Bell in the offense.
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