Anthony McFarland did what was needed for the Steelers
While a third running back doesn’t seem like a huge need, especially with two capable backs in front of the third, this team had an open competition there. Anthony McFarland was the veteran presence, but he hadn’t proven much since being taken in the fourth round of the draft. His roster spot was far from secure.
I had hopes of an undrafted rookie like Darius Hagens making some noise like Jaylen Warren did last year, but that never happened. Instead, McFarland got the most opportunities and made the most of them. He flashed his speed and ability to make an impact as a runner early and often in camp and during games.
There are still some severe limits to his game. Mainly, he offers very little as a special teams player. Considering Benny Snell manned this role for the past few seasons, the special team's contributions are arguably more important than the offensive ones. McFarland can return kicks, but that is a contribution that could be filled better by other players.
I wouldn’t be writing his spot in with pen yet. There are quite a few viable backs that could be cut and brought in that better suit the third-back role. In terms of training camp battles though, McFarland has dominated the other names in camp. He has firmly won his roster spot, even if a better name could still present itself.