PITTSBURGH — Steelers running back Jaylen Warren did not put flashy numbers in the stat sheet. But his block on Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt will be on highlight reels for years. On a jet sweep, Warren was the lead blocker for Calvin Austin III and de-cleated Pratt, leading to Austin having a clear lane for a touchdown.
HOLY SHIT THIS BLOCK BY JAYLEN WARREN pic.twitter.com/WDtoEWkFeJ
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) December 23, 2023
This is nothing new for Warren, who has built a reputation for ferocious blocks over his career. Warren’s blocking is one of his best traits. Not just as a lead blocker but a pass protector, Warren has become one of the NFL’s best all-around running backs, including as a pass protector. So, it’s no surprise that the team would give him looks in these moments. Warren has earned that and then some as the type of player they can depend upon. And all he wants to do during the play is complete his part in the wheel.
“If anything I will remember that play more than a run,” Warren said. “I love plays like that when I can help the team, Calvin scored and that means a lot. Seeing him score like that, I am glad I did my job, my 1-of-11 job that helped him succeed.”
The team has drilled a similar play in practice all year. Jaylen Warren always ends up creating space for Austin to make moves, and so Austin was not surprised one bit when he saw Warren throw a guy into the turf. It’s just what he does, and Austin was prepared to accelerate right through the alley.
“Every time we practiced that and stuff and Jaylen is my lead blocker, I got full confidence in him,” Austin said. “He just says, ‘follow me’ and I’ll go with that 100 percent. If he cut it inside, I’ll cut it inside right behind him. Jaylen is my dog. He gives me his all and I’ll give him my all when he’s running.”
That’s just another play to store into the bank for Warren, who is having a fantastic season. He passed 1000 scrimmage yards on Saturday, and the team expects him to continue making plays like this one. It makes him the all-around threat that everyone has to contend with throughout the game.
It seems that the team is giving even more to Warren as the season continues to go on. And besides highlight reel blocks, Warren is starting to establish himself as one of the more explosive backs in the league. Since the bye week, few have been better at his position. He’s been a key cog in helping the Steelers get any bit of offense they can get down this tough stretch.