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Ike Taylor Details Why He Believe Steelers Can Get Through Schedule Gauntlet

Ike Taylor believes that Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren are a critical reason the Steelers can get through their tough schedule.



Steelers RB Najee Harris Jaylen Warren
Pittsburgh Steelers running backs Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris on Dec. 3, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ gauntlet of a schedule, especially down the back half of the season, is one of the most challenging stretches in the NFL. Many have even called it ‘unfair’ or said the Steelers got ‘screwed’ by how it played out. But Steelers scout and former Super Bowl champion cornerback Ike Taylor is not buying it. The reason he does not buy it? Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren.

In fact, Taylor pushed back a bit on the lack of respect that Harris has received throughout the city after the Steelers declined his fifth-year option at the beginning of May.

“I guess you ain’t respecting Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren behind a revamped offensive line, but hey,” Taylor said.

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Najee Harris

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris in a game against the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 15, 2024. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Pittsburgh’s identity in 2024 is no secret. Najee Harris and Warren will be at the center of a rushing attack that hopes to be efficient and explosive under Arthur Smith. They hope to pair the efficient run game with explosive deep shots off-play action, with Russell Wilson as the point man for doing that. Hence, Wilson will need to let those shots develop, and the team’s offensive line will be instrumental in keeping the team ahead of the chains.

It’s not what many teams do right now and might be somewhat antiquated in its thinking, but the Steelers are largely doing it so they can win games with less-than-ideal quarterback play. That is why they have focused on the run game so often, but missing on some picks has not helped out that situation or allowed the organization to take that leap forward. But with so much change now in the air on the offensive side of the ball, this is the year for the Steelers to show that the team is heading in the right direction under the guidance of Mike Tomlin and new general manager Omar Khan.