It has been said that when one door closes, another door opens. Such is the case for Steelers running backs Dri Archer and Josh Harris.
When the Steelers decided to close the door on disgruntled running back LeGarrette Blount by cutting him during the bye week, they opened a door of opportunity for both Archer and Harris.
The two running backs now have the chance to prove that they can compliment feature back Le’Veon Bell in the Steelers backfield.
Dri Archer was a third round pick out of Kent State with great speed and the ability to catch the football.
The Steelers had big plans for Archer coming into the 2014 season, but those plans were curtailed after Archer injured an ankle early in the season. He has only 8 total carries for 41 yards and never really has gotten back into the flow of the offense, but now may have an increased role.
Offensive coordinator Todd Haley spoke about Archer and his abilities …
Todd Haley: “We haven’t had an opportunity to really use him, which I know has probably been frustrating to him, but he can run inside and out, and he has shown us that since Day 1. The thing with him is that you give him a crease, and he can take it all the way.”
Josh Harris was an undrafted rookie out of Wake Forrest and has been on the Steelers practice squad since the beginning of the season. He is fast ,running 4.4 and has been showing flashes of ability in practice leading up to this point.
Harris spoke on his new found opportunity …
Josh Harris: “It’s not like these opportunities come to all people, so I have a very unique opportunity to show what I can do, and I have to take full advantage of it, I need to show people that my time here has been worth it, and I can help this team in whatever way they need me.”
Harris has the support of his teammates, as Le’Veon Bell spoke on his faith in Harris and his ability to get the job done…
Le’Veon Bell: “He’s real explosive and strong, and fast, real fast, and he’s gotten better each and every week. I’ve seen it, and I think he can pick up things right now. He just has to get comfortable in our offense, and he’ll be fine.”
One thing for certain is that Head Coach Mike Tomlin won’t be afraid to lean on either Archer or Harris if needed. He had this to say on the subject at his press conference this week…
Mike Tomlin:“I’m not reluctant at all, just because Dri has a limited number of carries in his career and Josh (Harris) has none doesn’t mean they can’t be significant contributors to our efforts not only this week, but moving forward.”
Dri Archer and Josh Harris now have an open door of opportunity . What they do with it is now up to them.
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
~Alexander Graham Bell