If the Pittsburgh Steelers are to salvage their 2022 season, the offense must find a way to extend offensive drives and generate points. As long as Matt Canada is in charge of the offense and there are question marks surrounding the offense, the run game is the one area this team can really build on while the other pieces grow.
But in order to do this, head coach Mike Tomlin may have to do two things. First, he is going to have to admit that perhaps Najee Harris isn't the do-it-all back he thought he was getting when he drafted him. And two, put aside his longtime philosophy of having a single workhorse running back and use a committee approach with Harris and Jaylen Warren.
Last week, against the Cleveland Browns, the UDFA Warren had something of a coming-out party running the ball. Harris had 56 rushing yards on 15 carries. Not an elite effort but his best of the season and a sure sign the offensive line is improving. Meanwhile Warren only got four carries but was second on the team in rushing with an impressive 30 yards.
It was refreshing to see a back run like Warren did. The vision and the quickness were evident and his ability to make a single cut and get upfield with no wasted movement really gave fans hope. I take nothing away from the physical tools of Harris but as I've said before he's far more of a physically gifted back than he is a talented one.
You couldn't have come away from last week's game and not wanted to see more of Warren on the field. Should it be 50/50? Perhaps not but there is no better weapon for a struggling passing game than a strong run game. The same applies to a defense that is gassed due to the futility of the offense. Running the ball, moving the chains and eating up the clock is exactly what this team needs heading into the gauntlet of games before the bye week.
Let us know in the comments if you want to see Warren and Harris split carries more evenly going forward.
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Story originally appeared on Steelers Wire