What will the running back rotation look like?
The Steelers have built an old-school style of offense centered around a grueling running game that will mix in the pass. Luckily for them, they have a pair of capable running backs. Najee Harris is the hammer and is firmly entrenched in his role given his pedigree. Jaylen Warren came on strong as a change of pace back last year.
No, I don’t believe Warren will truly overtake Harris as a starter, but I’m also not in the camp that Harris will be used as a conventional starter. Warren proved to be the more efficient runner a year ago, and I expect his role to continue to grow. I see both as co-starters as opposed to one starter and a backup.
That said, it will be interesting to see what the team thinks. Will the Steelers use both running backs heavily or will there truly be a conventional starter? Could the split in carries and snaps be even closer to 50/50 as the numbers began to shift last year?
I am curious as to how the offense will play this one out. As well, it will also be situation dependent. If the Steelers are winning, Harris will be used to grind down the clock. If the team is down, Warren is the better pass protector and a better receiver/big play threat. There can also be situations where we see both players on the field. It will be very telling early on to see how the Steelers divvy up their running back work.