Keith Srakocic/Associated Press
It didn’t take very long for running back Dri Archer to make an impression. The velocious rookie came into the league as one of its fastest players, and nothing that has happened since has changed that.
Early on, the Steelers are using multiple approaches to putting the football into Archer’s hands. According to Mark Kaboly at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Archer has been lining up as an inside slot receiver in their four-wide sets.
Archer also took first-team reps as a punter returner and was able to put on a show with his blazing speed and ability to make people miss in the open field. As exciting as that proposition is, having him on offense is big.
Imagine Archer lined up as a single running back, with Pittsburgh in 11 personnel (one running back, one tight end). Archer goes into motion and drops in as an inside slot wide receiver. This means the formation would likely dictate Archer is going to draw coverage from either a linebacker or a safety.
Creating these kinds of mismatches will be a huge key to the team’s success this season. Pittsburgh has a player who can give it the splash plays it was missing in 2013.