Pittsburgh Steelers Dri Archer Will Be Work In Progress
Oct 5, 2013; Kent, OH, USA; Kent State Golden Flashes running back Dri Archer (1) runs as Northern Illinois Huskies defensive end Jason Meehan (49) chases during the third quarter at Dix Stadium. Northern Illinois beat Kent State 38-24. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
He’s really really fast. The fastest player drafted in 2014. He’s also no taller than the lawn gnome that guards my daylilies in the back yard. Pittsburgh Steelers Dri Archer is one fast and compact, dude. And, it looks like the team will be taking quite some time before they really figure out the kind of role Archer will play in the offense.
We’ll get a solid look at the phrase ‘speed kills’ when Archer is on the field – though I’m unsure who will be on the receiving end of that killing, the defense or Archer. He may be built and not a petite man, but I’m curious to see how he holds up when a 280 lb linebacker cracks him good either up or across the middle of the field. Should Archer stay healthy, it still might be some time before we see how Archer really fits into the offense. Even teammates aren’t quite sure what the coaches have up their sleeve. According to Scott Brown:
"Roethlisberger is optimistic Dri Archer will help the offense but he isn’t sure how the Steelers will deploy the fleet-footed rookie. Archer, Roethlisberger said, has been splitting time between playing running back and wide receiver. The third-round draft pick has also been among the players who have fielded punts during offseason practices. The Steelers are hoping to get more out of Archer than they did Chris Rainey, a fifth-round pick in 2012 who lasted just one season in Pittsburgh. “Is he a better runner than Rainey?” Roethlisberger said. “We won’t really know until we get some pads on and get on the field.”"
Well I think we can all feel good that he very well might amount more than what Chris Rainey did in a single season and career. He’s built a little better. Explodes off the ball quite a bit faster. And even appears to have a very decent attitude on the squad so far.
My hope is that Haley and his judgement aren’t clouded with the Archer Goggles and begins putting him all over the field all the time. Ten plays or less would be good, and anything more could actually add the potential of blown plays. Too many trick plays/shifts/etc. can confuse even the team doing them. But, if Roethlisberger’s thoughts are any inclination as to how the coaches are dealing with Archer, it could be quite some time – mid-season or later – until we see Archer’s full potential and impact power. Steeler Nation will have to bank on Haley in making the right calls (let the firestorm begin) to when and how to use Archer.
Personally, as long as I don’t see Ben in the Wildcat formation, we’re all good.
Here We Go!