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Tomlin says Archer will play running back and receiver

Archer AP

Steelers rookie third-rounder Dri Archer recently said he’s not sure what his duties will be in his first NFL season, but that he expects to have a big role.  His coach provided some clarity on Friday.

Appearing on NFL Network, Mike Tomlin said that Archer will play both running back and receiver in 2014.

“We’re gonna work to get the ball in his hands in space,” Tomlin said.

It’s still unclear how many reps Archer will get at tailback, especially with Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount at the top of the depth chart.  Tomlin added that the “division of labor” among the tailbacks will sort itself out during camp.

Archer also is expected to compete for opportunities in the return game, which could make him a multi-purpose weapon, if his speed translates to the next level.

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44 Responses to “Tomlin says Archer will play running back and receiver”
  1. clashpoint says: Jul 12, 2014 7:09 PM

    Archer has been getting great reviews from his teammates so far as a hard worker, for his versatility and his incredible speed. Go check him out on YouTube, he has blindingly fast, game-breaking speed. At the combine he tied with Calvin Johnson for the fewest steps ever in running the 40, and those are two very different kinds of athletes. Archer has huge strides for such a short guy. He should do kick offs at least, if not punts, and get a few carries and catches every game – and every touch he has the skills to score. I can’t wait until they start playing the games! Go Steelers!

  2. crownofthehelmet says: Jul 12, 2014 7:35 PM

    Dri will be responsible for a new nickname catching on – Jimmy “Bread” Smith – for how often he toasts him.

  3. brandonj21 says: Jul 12, 2014 8:05 PM

    My fantasy football sleeper ….

  4. benlw2 says: Jul 12, 2014 8:12 PM

    The Steelers do love their gimmick plays and gimmick players

  5. kjoseph2009 says: Jul 12, 2014 8:12 PM

    Speed will win games, like The Jimmy Johnson Dallas teams…

  6. paychrisjohnson28 says: Jul 12, 2014 8:15 PM

    Dri Archer is 5’8 175 lbs…a little slight of stature… We will see if he can take a pounding by these huge players in comparison to him…sure he is fast….but can he take an NFL type hit at his size? We will see…

  7. kjoseph2009 says: Jul 12, 2014 8:24 PM

    He won’t get the big hits since he has such a small moving target.

  8. jtbsteeler says: Jul 12, 2014 8:36 PM

    Two weeks until camp. Time to win a division.

  9. kremis says: Jul 12, 2014 8:38 PM

    Since being Tebowed out of the playoffs 0 wins and 0 playoff wins. Desperate times call for desperase measures. This is the answer? Might want to signe bill leavy and crew!

  10. dcapettini says: Jul 12, 2014 8:51 PM

    Amazing how many of these guys go to the Pro Bowl even before camp opens. To paraphrase Mike Tyson, they are all Supermen until they get hit.

  11. whalesarenotmammals says: Jul 12, 2014 9:03 PM

    The only Archer I am familiar with is the character from the epic Kirsten Dunst movie Small Soldiers

  12. bobzilla1001 says: Jul 12, 2014 9:04 PM

    Tyson’s famous quote is: “Everyone has a plan until they get hit.” Nice try, though.

  13. bornsteel62 says: Jul 12, 2014 9:12 PM

    ‘desperase’ measures…
    ‘signe’ bill leavy… (no caps)
    I look forward to kremis’ posts, a true genius.
    Spell check anyone

  14. yojoemama says: Jul 12, 2014 9:27 PM

    Dri did 20 bench press reps at the combine, which is in the range of DL and OL draftees. Pound for pound, he may be the strongest player in the league.

  15. gpclaw says: Jul 12, 2014 9:28 PM

    Archers size won’t be an issue. The Steelers have a lot of coaches on staff, who have experience coaching players such as Archer. Archers touches will most likely occur in the open field, on plays designed to take advantage of his ability to play in space. The only running he will do between the tackles, will most likely be a shotgun run on third and long, facing a nickle or dime sub package.

  16. troy43mvp says: Jul 12, 2014 9:35 PM

    Speed is not a gimmic, I am hopeful that he pays off for the Steelers. Right now though he is a hard working rookie, with a good set of skills. Like with any rookie in July we sit back and wait for promise to turn into production.

  17. sportsfan18 says: Jul 12, 2014 9:47 PM

    yojoemama says:
    Jul 12, 2014 9:27 PM
    Dri did 20 bench press reps at the combine, which is in the range of DL and OL draftees. Pound for pound, he may be the strongest player in the league.

    1 0
    Report comment

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That is good for a 175 lb guy… I’m impressed.

    I mean the big, bad reigning Defensive Player of the Year in the SEC, who is 250 plus pounds and a defensive lineman pushed out a whole 17 reps at the combine this past spring… now he wasn’t last mind you, just second to last.

    There were a couple of DL’s who MORE than doubled the Def Player of the Yr from the SEC in this particular drill.

    Now ONE player, who I’m guessing was injured or something, must have had a brokeback or something, fractured vertebra, something because he only pushed out 14 and then two other brokebacks, again they had to have a back injury or something as they only pushed out 17 reps too.

    This Mr. Archer is in good company you see having pushed out MORE reps than the reigning def player of the yr from the SEC AND… only one LESS rep than one Mr. Jadeveon Clowney.

    Mr. Clowney only pushed out 21 reps.

    Good job Mr. Archer and good luck to you.

  18. rascalmanny says: Jul 12, 2014 9:49 PM

    Well hey, Tomlin can always just step out on the field as a diversion.

  19. pittspuke7 says: Jul 12, 2014 9:50 PM

    “division of labor” translation= we really don’t have anyone very good to name a starter right now, hopefully someone will drop from the sky that is starter material.

    Bornsteel62. I imagine kremis was laughing too hard after reading the spin Tomlin gave that he had trouble finding the right letters on the keyboard.

  20. coachbeck says: Jul 12, 2014 10:13 PM

    Backs this small have a hard time in the AFCN.

  21. sandy102270 says: Jul 12, 2014 10:38 PM

    Until he proves otherwise, Archer is a 3rd round kick returner and not much else.

  22. jayfish6402 says: Jul 12, 2014 11:18 PM

    Archer has so much speed that it’s ridiculous. He can obviously play running back like a beast, he can catch great, and he can return either punts or kicks, along with Antonio Brown.

  23. 6superbowls says: Jul 13, 2014 12:01 AM

    Kermis. Keep crying about that SB. Remember Fast Willie Parker bustin one down the field on you Seahawks? This dude’s faster than Willie.

  24. abanig says: Jul 13, 2014 1:08 AM

    I think he’s a returner & gadget guy. I was shocked they took him so high, but they made up for the selection with the Bryant selection in the 4th. He’s going to be a steal!

  25. ubepunkedagain says: Jul 13, 2014 1:14 AM

    He will be harder to see and spot on that field than a mythical Bengal fan.

  26. tiggerblood says: Jul 13, 2014 2:43 AM

    This is my question, why would the Steelers bring in Blount when they have Le’veon Bell with a season of experience under his belt? Do the coaches have some doubts on Bell’s abilities? Injury concerns? Everything I’ve read on Bell points to him ripping up the league yet they brought Blount in. Bell had his moments last season where I said “Wow the Steelers next great back” and other times he looked slow or sluggish trying to get the corner(which Archer will definately not have a problem with) or running too tall through traffic I understand he’s a tall back but he needs to get them shoulders down more often. No big deal a little more conditioning and coaching I thought heck this guy is gonna be the steal of the decade in my Dynasty league now Blount and Archer are in the fold. Is Bell still gonna get the bulk of the carries or will Blount and Archer steal the show?

  27. xsm941f says: Jul 13, 2014 2:47 AM

    Just for the record the Tyson quote was “they all have a plan, until I hit them”. I. That said Archer may have been pound for pound the strongest player in the draft as well as the fastest.

  28. youpeopleareallthesame says: Jul 13, 2014 3:10 AM

    (Notice how Bengals fans don’t go out of our way to knock steelers teams?) Yet certain (crownofthehelmet) people come out of their way to insult us.

    Fun story: 3 years ago, in a home Bengals loss: as the game was slipping away from my team, this muscle bound Steelers fan started hitting me on the back of the head. Quickly and often. I was wearing my #14 jersey (a potential mistake) so I was obviously a Cincy fan. This is my only experience with steelers fans. The game was clearly over, and this man decided to rub it in and physically touch me.

    I’m sure that EVERY fanbase has THAT GUY, but still…

    And if you’re that guy… I can’t finish this sentence because I’d get deleted, but COME ON DUDE!!!

  29. clashpoint says: Jul 13, 2014 4:27 AM

    Nothing counts until the season starts, yeah yeah we all know this. Everybody’s all-pro in the off-season. Everybody’s a player beast in their underwear, wait until they put the pads on. Heard ‘em, all, even said ‘em all.

    All I’m sayin’ is I love what the Steelers have done this off-season and Archer is just a small part of it. Get it, small part? Ha! A lightning fast, extremely strong for his size, small part of this off-season. I like the direction the Steelers are headed, and I like their chances once they start playing the games. All you trolls can suck on that.

    “He’s not small. He’s just short.”
    - Mike Tomlin on former Steelers guard Darnell Stapleton, a Super Bowl champion

  30. steelers84 says: Jul 13, 2014 7:15 AM

    Strap on your seatbelts put on your head gear I cannot wait this is gonna be one exciting year….The Steelers are back!!!

  31. Smash-Mouth.com says: Jul 13, 2014 8:42 AM

    A good bet here is to see how Haley used Dexter McCluster in Kansas City as that is likely to be the model for how he’ll utilize Archer.

    I continue to think his most immediate impact will be on special teams as a punt/kick returner. He was lethal in that role in college and, while it will certainly be more challenging at the pro level, he has the chance to make a major impact here as a rookie IMO.

    The added benefit….and it’s a big one….will be that it will get Antonio Brown out of punt return duties. Brown is far too valuable to the team at this point to be returning punts.

  32. s4l72 says: Jul 13, 2014 8:45 AM

    You cant hit something you cant catch. Dri will have an impact on every game. My motto is ” do a lot of what you do and do it well.”

  33. olcap says: Jul 13, 2014 8:56 AM

    If either Bell or Blount fumbles once, Tomlin will bench them.

    The likelihood of one or both of them fumbling once is pretty high, so that’s where Archer will get his chance, after they’ve been benched.

    It’s the Tomlin way.

  34. tinytoolalldrool says: Jul 13, 2014 9:10 AM

    8-8 again.

  35. jtbsteeler says: Jul 13, 2014 9:16 AM

    Im calling the league office right now checking on when Ray Rice’s suspension is going to be handed down. Thank me later.

  36. steelcityfinest13 says: Jul 13, 2014 1:33 PM

    I see some of the same comments from the first article about him so ima repost what I said……I dont care how you view him…this kid was actually clocked at a blazing 4.18……. I dont care about his size…if you let this guy geta step..just 1…..he’s GONE!!! thats lightning with feet. ..

  37. nickster2k says: Jul 13, 2014 1:39 PM

    Oh good. I thought he was going to play Guard.

  38. coachbeck says: Jul 13, 2014 1:50 PM

    Lol the Tomlin way.

    Win with what Cowher built with his asst coaches. Running the Cowher systems.

    Then let the team talent go to heck. Tell Arians to go away and bring in Haley.

    All the while busting on draft picks to replace the talent they keep losing to age or free agency

  39. Nofoolnodrool says: Jul 13, 2014 2:44 PM

    Lol the Tomlin way.

    Win with what Cowher built with his asst coaches. Running the Cowher systems.

    Then let the team talent go to heck. Tell Arians to go away and bring in Haley.

    All the while busting on draft picks to replace the talent they keep losing to age or free agency

    Funny this poster posses as a coach and bashes Tomlin. Hey coach show me you Super Bowl ring…I thought so just another troll click baiting for a hobby.

  40. Nofoolnodrool says: Jul 13, 2014 3:43 PM

    Bornsteel62. I imagine kremis was laughing too hard after reading the spin Tomlin gave that he had trouble finding the right letters on the keyboard.

    5 54
    Why would the click bait champ Kremis have trouble finding the keys when he types the same message every time? Some trolls are very amusing and clueless.
    When Archer shines these trolls will be hiding as usual….nah they will just keep posting the same thing over and over. Kids…..

  41. Red-zone Ron says: Jul 13, 2014 5:07 PM

    The O- line is in need of a upgrade, therefore his touches will limited due to the lack of sustained drives. Their defense needs a year to be cohesive that enables the Offense more opportunities to score. I
    Red zone Ron

  42. Red-zone Ron says: Jul 13, 2014 5:09 PM

    A la Tavon Austin

  43. sandy102270 says: Jul 13, 2014 7:22 PM

    “You cant hit something you cant catch.”

    He got hit plenty at Kent State, and only played one full season in the MAC, which isn’t exactly known for producing defensive studs.

    Good luck keeping him on the field against NFL caliber athletes if he gets more than 8-10 touches a game.

  44. earvinmagicjackson says: Jul 14, 2014 12:54 PM

    Every team is goin’ to the Super Bowl!! Go, every team! Yay!

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