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Steelers Duo Looks To Build On Great Season

Although they may have started the season slow, the Steelers Running Back duo of Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren ended the season on an exceptional level. Once the offensive line showed a pulse and the Steelers coaches figured out the right situational use for both players, they were running wild. 


Sure, the duo of Harris and Warren might not be as sexy as some of the duos around the league like David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs in Detroit or Raheem Mostert and Devon Achane in Miami, but they get the job done. Harris and Warren are both guys who aren’t afraid of a little contact. They’ll run through you if they have to. 


Playing Steelers Football


Harris and Warren both exemplify what it means to play Steelers football. Smashmouth, in-your-face football. The way it used to be. Now the NFL has seemed to transition to the fancy pass-catching, finesse backs but the Steelers continue to stay true to the brand of the entire AFC North. No running back has broken more tackles in the NFL than Najee Harris since 2021. Harris has broken 81 tackles in his short time in the NFL. He also got to face a stacked box on 50% of his rushing attempts in 2023. Jaylen Warren got to face a stacked box 39% of the time. 


Even despite all the things working against them last season, the Steelers duo still posted good numbers. They both played in all 17 games with Harris posting 1,035 yards on 255 attempts for eight touchdowns and Warren wheeling his way to 784 rushing yards on 149 attempts with four touchdowns, and also posting 370 receiving yards on 61 receptions. By reaching the 1,000-yard plateau, Harris became one of five running backs in the NFL to rush for 1,000+ yards in 2022 and 2023, and it looks like he’s in good shape heading into the new year. 



Conversely, Warren was more of a threat in the passing game than Harris. Warren finished the year second on the team in Receptions only behind George Pickens and third on the team in receiving yards, just behind Pickens and Diontae Johnson. What does it mean? It’s probably a healthy mix of Warren just being a good football player and the Steelers ineptitude on the offensive side of the ball. 



Carrying The Momentum Into Next Season


With the Steelers offense looking like it’s getting an entire facelift, the Steelers Running Backs will look to keep things business as usual in 2024. It’s a fun joke online to call Harris a bust or Trent Richardson 2.0 but at the end of the day, he’s an excellent NFL running back. People like to poke fun at his yards per carry, which was up to 4.1 this season. Derrick Henry averaged 4.2 yards per carry. Why doesn’t he get the jokes? What gives? 


The emergence of Jaylen Warren has also helped Harris out a ton. At the beginning of his time in Pittsburgh, Harris was the bell cow. Leading the league in touches. It’s not good for the body or the longevity of any player. Now, Warren can come in and give the Steelers solid reps out of the backfield while Harris gets a break. Warren is also a great blocker, willing to throw himself at a semi-truck for the team if they needed it. Both guys embody what it means to be a Steeler, hopefully, they can stick around for a while. 




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