Roethlisberger Likes What He’s Seen So Far Out Of Archer

While it is yet to be seen just exactly how the Pittsburgh Steelers will utilize rookie third-round draft pick Dri Archer on offense in 2014, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger gave a progress report Tuesday on the Kent State product during an interview on 93.7 The Fan.

“We did a lot of red zone stuff today and he showed some good awareness, good football skills,” said Roethlisberger following Tuesday’s OTA practice at Heinz Field. “He caught a lot of balls out of the backfield and beat a lot of guys to the end zone. So, I like what I see so far and am excited to kind of see him grow and get better, and put pads on and see what he can do.”

While Roethlisberger might like the way Archer is progressing so far as the OTA practices start winding down, he still accepts the fact that he’s still a rookie and because of that, Archer likely be limited in how much he is used initially.

“We’ll give him the whole playbook, but we cant expect him to know the ins and outs, and to read the defense on the fly, and things that you would expect a veteran like Lance Moore to do,” said Roethlisberger. “We’ll give him the whole playbook, but expect him to know certain packages, certain routs and things that we’ll utilize him in. Red zone type things. Utilize his size and speed, and kind of see what he can do from there.”

None of what Roethlisberger said Tuesday about Archer is overly surprising, but it does enforce my belief that offensive coordinator Todd Haley will be doing good to get his speedy undersized weapon an average of 10 snaps a game over the course of the 2014 season.

Archer, like fellow rookie draft pick, wide receiver Martavis Bryant, isn’t likely to be used much on offense during the first quarter of the season. As the season progresses, however, and assuming both are progressing like they should, that’s when their usage will slowly increase.

Baring any injuries, I will be shocked if either Archer or Bryant sees 150 snaps worth of playing time in 2014 as both players will be limited to certain offensive packages and plays.

  • Weiss Chad

    play maker


    If Haley does get Archer 10 touches a game…imo that’s enough to make things happen and I think they’ve finally gotten the change of pace guy they’ve coveted the last 2 years…the key is getting him in space…hopefully he can stay healthy…I think he will have possibly the biggest impact of any rookie not named Shazier.

    Bryant…just needs to stay the course, work hard in practice and he going to get some shots…and if he produces he’s going to get some more…imo if he wants it, he’s the #2 WR in ’15.

  • shawn

    Both Archer & Bryant will get well over 150 snaps … !!!

  • Johnny Loose

    If they can somehow manage getting Archer 10 snaps a game in the right situation, I also think that’s enough to make a difference. However, barring an injury with Wheaton, I think 2016 is the earliest that Bryant could lock down the #2 spot. Don’t get me wrong though, I’d be more than happy to see him EARN it over Wheaton. I believe that would make for a VERY tough WR corps.

  • Johnny Loose

    Barring any injury to the starters, I’ll take the under..

  • shawn

    u will lose … Archer will get well over 200 ( you cant get him 4-5 touches a game on offense if he is only on the field for 10 plays a game) thats a no brainer … and Bryant will likely start slow …. but down the stretch should be getting plenty of playing time … BB has a handful of years left .. and they arent going to waste a complete year of having a Big WR by having him sit out the season !

  • shawn

    As has been posted prior Bryant doesnt need to get the #2 spot to get plenty of playing time …. as well over 50% of our plays are in 3 WR sets !


    Agreed…when I say #2…I mean the wide player, but the top 3 guys are going to get plenty of targets.

  • Paddy

    Tomlin doesn’t trust rookies….

  • SteelersDepot

    Baring any injuries, I really think you are going to be VERY disappointed.

  • shawn

    i dont think i will be !

  • steeltown

    Preseason is going to be fun to watch, win or lose

  • shawn

    I’ve said that many times in the past and have been disappointed because the young guys didnt get a chance to see the field enough … I agree it very well should be and i hope they actually let the rookies and new/young guys play plenty in preseason to get a better idea what we got !

  • srdan

    This kid is going to be fun to watch.

  • Scot Hickerson

    Archer is a character he talks faster that he runs. He has the chance to be really good.

  • John C

    So looking at the numbers from last season and projecting to this season:

    Steelers O had 1051 snaps last season.
    The WR snaps were 2597 total: Brown @ 954 (91%), Sanders @ 796 (76%), Cotchery @ 635 (60%), Wheaton @ 159 (15%) and Moye @ 53 (5%).

    Assuming Brown stays the same, I see Wheaton coming in below Sanders 796 and Moore coming in below Cotchery’s 635 – say Wheaton at 683 (65%) and Moore at 525 (50%). That leaves 483 snaps to be divided between Bryant, Archer and the 5th WR. All 3 could easily get 150+ snaps.

    Bryant should easily get 150+ if Wheaton did last year.
    Archer could possibly get close to 150 just as a WR (not counting his RB snaps).

  • Lil Smitty

    If our D improves and the O continues with its short passing game the number of possible snaps will increase. That might only be a 100 but it might be more. Wouldn’t be nice to see the Steelers punter only 3 -4 times a game.

  • RMSteeler

    I think it’s interesting that Ben considers Archer, the smallest man on the field, as a Red Zone threat. Must be developing some interesting and fun plays.

  • shawn

    Im not sure of how they plan on splitting Archer’s time between RB & WR … but i just cant see Archer coming anywhere close to under 150 snaps … to be honest its just a naive statement …

    now with Bryant a lot of it is going to depend on how he does in preseason .. if he scores a TD or 2 (this goes for Archer as well) you better believe they will be seeing more playing time than a lot of people might suspect …. i could easily see Bryant getting a third of the snaps in the latter half of the season if the team is competitive and in the running for the division title !

  • 2443scott

    if he gets 10 snaps a game plus the other team has to count for him with in those snaps that makes 20 snaps they got to cover him which leaves some one some where open ..going to be interesting


    No, but with Heath back, and the other weapons(AB, Moore, Wheaton, Bell, Archer and maybe even JB, Blanchflower and Bey as well), I would expect to only see Bryant in the red zone this season with a regular play thrown in here and there, as he is still raw even with all of his talents. Go Steelers!

  • shawn

    Wheaton injuries and all still had over 150 snaps … heck even Moye had over 50 …. and people really think that Bryant wont get 150 snaps …. all i gotta say is put up ur money … ill take that all day long !


    It’s a bet and you’d might as well pay me now. Here’s why: name me Wheaton’s competition for the ball to start the season last year? No Miller, no Spaeth, no Bell, no Archer. Now name me Bryant’s competition for the ball this season? How much can you lose is the only question…unless of course there are more injuries to Wheaton, we didn’t draft a WR this year to be our #2, or even our #3 wide out, or even to be our kick returner, we drafted him to hopefully be able to run some red zone plays and compete next season for better positioning imho. Go Steelers!

  • shawn

    Your memory evades u … forgetting Sanders & Cotch ??? Bryant is in pretty much the same position as Wheaton was last year … vying for the 4th WR position

    …. the big difference is with Bryant’s size & speed Mismatch ability he should be getting even more opportunities than wheaton did especially in the RZ!


    Sanders was nothing, and Cotch is this years Moore, that’s why I left them off

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I was wondering about that too. Why would you use Archer in limited space? He’s short and you’re asking for him to get hurt.

  • charles

    No special play, just swing him out of the backfield, get the ball to him quickly before the coverage can converge and watch him head for the corner. He would keep the opposition from stuffing the endzone in the red zone.

  • Steve

    Very good breakdown. Thanks for the excellent explanation.

  • Steve

    With Archers speed and playmaking ability, get him the ball and watch him run for the end zone.

  • Steve

    That’s a myth, Shazier is starting. Tomlin don’t like player out there not knowing what their doing. Jones started most of the year at OLB but was benched after being out of place a few times.