We already knew that Dri Archer was crazy fast. On Saturday, we got a sneak peak of what that speed can do against an NFL defense.
The Pittsburgh Steelers rookie took a screen pass from Ben Roethlisberger, then slashed through the heart of the New York Giants' defense and down the far sideline. By the time he was angled out of bounds, Archer had gained 46 yards. It was just one play in the preseason opener, but Archer views it as his arrival moment.
Archer, a third-round pick in May's draft, is the type of weapon Roethlisberger hasn't had at his disposal during his career. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has previously stated that Archer will be used in different spots on the field.
"You get real excited," the quarterback told NFL Media's Kimberly Jones after Saturday's 20-16 loss to the Giants. "You take a little pass like that and turn it into a big gain, I just told him, 'It would have been nice if you would have scored.'"
It will be interesting to see how offensive coordinator Todd Haley carves out a role for Archer as a rookie. Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount will handle much of the backfield load, but the Steelers are going to scheme ways to get the ball in the rookie's hands.
On Saturday, Archer showed why that has to be the case.
*The latest Around The League Podcast answers every question about preseason action that you were too afraid to ask. *