Division Of Labor For Steelers Running Backs Yet To Be Determined

In an entertaining interview Friday on the NFL Network, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked to share his thoughts on how he believes the division of labor will shake out this season at the running back position.

“We’ve got some really good options, ones that we’re exited about,” said Tomlin. “Obviously I’ll let the play determine that. I know we’ve got some guys that are highly competitive.”

Tomlin then went on to highlight each of his running backs.

“Le’Veon Bell has had a great offseason and has really shown that he’s excited about taking the next step in terms of the work that he’s done thus far. Particularly from a conditioning standpoint,” said Tomlin. “LeGarrette Blount has a definite football playing personality. One that is not only evident on the field, but in the locker room. I think that he’s going to be a positive contributor to our efforts.

“And we’ve got some young guys that are change of pace-like guys. Dri Archer is of course a speed guy that’s not only going to play running back, but wide receiver and we’re going to work to get the ball in his hands in space. I’m excited about letting these guys sort themselves out from a division of labor standpoint. I know that they’re all committed to being significant components to what we do.”

While it was a pretty vague responses, it appears as though Tomlin is happy with Bell’s conditioning and the way that Blount is fitting in with the rest of the team more than anything else. The division of labor, as usual, will be worked out during the remainder of the offseason, but it’s hard to imaging Bell not getting the bulk of the work in 2014.

  • stellarsfan

    With a well balanced offense, I think we see more snaps, therefore more opportunities. But i see it dividing out something like this: Bell gets 15-20 carries/4-6 receptions per game, Blount 5-10 carries, and Archer 4-6 overall touches.

  • Doug

    Bell has done nothing to prove that he should be the starter over Blount, who’s a proven NFL RB. Blount should be the starter until Bell proves otherwise.

  • joed32

    Blount started 7 games last year and none in 2012. Bell started 13 games last year.

  • dgh57

    Bell was drafted in the 2nd round to be our feature back. He had 860 yards rushing and another 400 yards receiving his rookie year. Had he been healthy all 16 games they probably would of handed the Offensive Rookie of the Year to Bell instead of Eddy Lacy.

  • Doug

    And Blount averaged 5.0 yards per carry last year. Bell averaed 3.5

  • dgh57

    Bell’s 3.5 avg. has more to say about the OL blocking for him.

    Blount had 3 fumbles in 153 attempts and Bell 1 in 244 attempts.

  • Weiss Chad

    Blount hasn’t proved anything yet in the black and gold.Leveon Bell has shown his potential to be a star for this team .Im sorry but with all due respect I tottally disagree.Bell also brings diffirent aspects to our backfield that Blount doesn’t and that’s catching the ball out of the backfield.

  • Weiss Chad

    Diffirent teams diffirent circumstances.The steelers didn’t open up many holes for bell while defenses were caught more by suprise to see blount get the ball in a pass happy offense.bell is the better back for sure Imo.Stats are sometime skewed or misleading .lets see what they do on the same team.You don’t make someone your starter over your future because what he did in a diffirent uniform.It was a very nice acquisition though..

  • joed32

    And the year before Blount averaged 3.7. I like Blount, he’s a great addition and insurance if Bell should get hurt, but he’s not going to start ahead of Bell.

  • charles

    If we had gotten into the playoffs you would be right.

  • dgh57

    Possibly, then again Lacy and the Packers were one and done in the playoffs.

  • SteveM2

    What a great quandary –determining ways to use two quality running backs– for the Black & Gold to have! Last year at this time, everyone wondered if we had one good RB; now there’s Bell AND Blount.

    I see their use as a game-to-game, situation-to-situation scenario, much as it was with the 2005 Willie Parker/Jerome Bettis tandem.