If we know anything about this year's Pittsburgh Steelers, it's this: Speed will set them apart from last year's incarnation.
First-round pick Ryan Shazier hits the scene as the fastest linebacker to enter the NFL since Brian Urlacher, while third-rounder Dri Archer gives the Black and Gold an offensive X-factor who rattled off the combine's top 40 time (4.26) and is expected to be used creatively in offensive coordinator Todd Haley's scheme.
"It's going to be a big role, Archer said, per the Akron Beacon Journal, "but I'm just going to do whatever I'm asked to do. Play receiver, play running back, helping special teams. Whatever they want me to do, I'm going to do it."
Unpacking Archer's role on the Around the League Podcast, we struggle to see him eating up significant snaps at running back or receiver out of the gate. He's an immediate threat, though, to flame teams as a kick-returning freak of nature:
"Unique is an understatement, man," Shazier told the newspaper. "He's just tremendously fast. What he does, you can't get out of just anybody. It's amazing what he does. Whenever you get the ball in his hands, it's like lightning in a bottle. We've just got to try and get that lightning as much as possible."
The young linebacker's words suggest that Archer did much more than return kicks this offseason. There is, after all, some connective DNA with how Haley attempted to use Dexter McCluster in Kansas City. But Archer figures to be meshed slowly into the attack for a Steelers team that should be fun to watch come September.