Jaylen Warren is more explosive, so he’s going to supplant Najee Harris as the lead running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers when it’s all said and done. That’s been the narrative, even dating back to the 2022 season.
They’re two different backs, and they complement each other. That’s all there is to it. We know how stubborn Mike Tomlin is. The Steelers spent a first-round pick on Harris and signed Warren as a college free agent. Even if it does appear Warren would benefit Pittsburgh more as the lead back, he’ll never make the change.
It’s been said that Matt Canada will call a run-heavy offense this year, helping to take some pressure off Kenny Pickett. Having a change-of-pace run game with two different style runners should accomplish that.
This narrative that Jaylen Warren is going to “surpass” Najee Harris as the Steelers’ lead back is simply not true. Both will have their roles. Harris is the No. 1. Warren is the third-down back. Both will be valuable. But Warren isn’t pushing past Harris.
— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) September 1, 2023
Harris racked up 1,263 scrimmage yards (1,034 rushing, 229 receiving) and 10 total touchdowns in 2022. As a rookie, Warren rushed for 379 yards and an additional 214 yards as a receiver.
Do the math, and Warren averaged a yard per carry more than Harris. Good for him, but that doesn’t mean Harris’ starting job is in jeopardy. It simply means Pittsburgh has two efficient runners with different styles who can help accomplish what Canada is going for.