The talk of a Steelers running back competition has made the waves nationally, with many believing that Najee Harris is not as good of a running back as Jaylen Warren. While the numbers may say that, the Steelers have little intention of entertaining that, using both in a committee with Harris getting more of the load. But Warren does not view this as a competition, either.
Appearing on The Sick Podcast, Steelers Crazy, on Tuesday, Warren addressed those concerns, intending to dispel all of that talk. Warren sees little reason to care about the ideas from outside the locker room, given there is such little validity in the building.
“No, it’s not at all (a competition),” Warren said. “Originally, I’m here to complement him (Najee Harris); that’s the workhorse. That narrative people have talked to me about it. Honestly, it’s not like that at all. I don’t go in there daily thinking about it like, ‘Oh, I’m going to take his job.’ You know, everybody that’s a fan of the Steelers, the roster, the staff, we all know we need Najee to win. I don’t care about that. When it comes to that narrative, I block it out. There will be critics everywhere, but they will have opinions. But that’s what’s great about this team. We don’t let it get to us.”
Warren is referring to recent talk from some analysts, like Dan Graziano and Greg Cosell. Cosell believes that Warren offers more juice to the Steelers than Harris does, and as a result, he believes that Warren should see more reps than Harris due to that fact.
“Jaylen Warren gives (the Steelers) a lot more juice at the running back position than Najee Harris,” Cosell said. “And I don’t think you’re going to see Harris this year getting 270, 280 carries. I don’t think he’ll be a quote-unquote feature back or foundation back. He’s obviously going to play. He’s going to be a significant part of what they do, but it would not surprise me to see Jaylen Warren get a lot more snaps and a lot more carries in the context of their offense.”
Regardless, as Warren notes, there is no competition and offensive coordinator Matt Canada shut that down when it first started. Harris will get the majority share of the carries, with Warren having a vital, defined role.