As the Steelers emerge from their bye at 2-6, there’s one and only one motivation. Win.
To make that happen, the coaching staff will be willing to shake things up.
And while it’s our understanding that this doesn’t mean running back Najee Harris will be benched (yet), Jaylen Warren will get more touches moving forward, per a source with knowledge of the team’s plans.
That meshes with comments made earlier today by coach Mike Tomlin. Harris, a 2021 first-rounder who was solid as a rookie, has been criticized for excessive dancing and hesitating. Undrafted out of Oklahoma State in 2022, Warren gradually has gained more and more admirers by running hard.
It’s part of a broader effort by the coaching staff to make changes aimed at winning more games. The Steelers need to win seven of the final nine games of the season in order to avoid Tomlin’s first losing record of his 16-year career as the team’s head coach.
For the season, Harris has 108 carries for 361 yards, good for an average of 3.3 yards per carry. Warren has 29 carries for 153 yards, an average of 5.3 per attempt.
Obviously, the running back position isn’t the only problem. But Harris, a presumed breakout player this season, could be getting less work and, eventually, could be sliding behind Warren on the depth chart.