It seems to happen pretty often that I write about a certain topic related to the Pittsburgh Steelers that either mentions there has been a lack of information on the topic or that some sort of action is likely to be taken, and then to see the team’s website quickly pass that news along.
I’m certainly not suggesting that they pay attention to me, of course; it’s merely a coincidence. At best, one might say that I have had success in picking up upon holes in available data that were scheduled to be filled.
Yesterday was an example of these coincidental encounters when I published an article expressing my disappointment in the lack of coverage of rookie running back Jaylen Samuels and whether or not he got the opportunity to work in a variety of roles. The team’s website posted a previously-recorded interview with him later in the day answering that question.
As Dave Bryan covered, they have had him in a number of different roles already in rookie minicamp, which should at least give an indication that they are indeed looking at him as a potential versatile option.
But Samuels is also excited about working out of the backfield based on how he has seen the Steelers use their running backs in the past. They have a couple of Hall of Famers at the position already, and Le’Veon Bell is currently among the best and most prolific players at the position in the NFL.
“They’ve got a lot of great guys, a lot of great guys that have been through this organization”, he told Teresa Varley. “Le’Veon Bell right now. I’m just going to try to follow behind him and learn the way he learned and just try to do what I can do”.
Bell came in as a second-round pick in 2013 and was handed the starting job from the get-go after the Steelers moved on from former first-round pick Rashard Mendenhall. Even though he had missed much of the preseason and training camp, and the first three games of the season, he was the starter in Week Four and for every game since for which he has been healthy and on the roster.
That won’t be Samuels’ place, of course, but he is certainly anticipating having a role of some kind and is willing to do whatever is required to demonstrate that he is capable of being an asset to the offense, whether it is coming out of the backfield, working out of the slot, or even throwing some blocks.
“I’m ready to get out here and meet the veterans, to be able to compete with the veterans and just show them what I can bring to the table and help this team win”, he told the team’s website at the close of the weekend’s rookie minicamp. He knows this is just the first baby step along the way during his first NFL season.