It Does Not Look Good for Dri Archer

By Ed Bouchette
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 8 years ago

Good morning,

Someone must go as Le’Veon Bell returns to the team. That does not have to happen today because they will not practice and Bell has been allowed to attend meetings and anything else that does not involve him being on the field with his teammates.

So, the Steelers could actually wait until Wednesday to release someone. However, why wait? They probably know who it will be anyway and it looks dire for Dri Archer. He did not play a snap on offense Sunday against San Francisco after playing just three in the opener against New England without a stat.

Even halfback Jordan Todman, picked up just before the season began, got into the game and had one carry for 11 yards. The fact they put Todman in and not Archer is meaningful. Archer was the deep man on kickoff returns but all four of the 49ers kickoffs went through the end zone. Archer has returned one kick in two games.

Todman can return kicks. Markus Wheaton can return kicks. It does not look good for Archer, a failed third-round draft choice last season and the second small back (5-8, 175) who has not been able to cut it in the past several years. The other was Chris Rainey, a fifth-round choice in 2012.

Maybe it’s time they stop trying to find that little guy to use on offense and go with the studs who actually produce. Archer had 10 carries for 40 yards as a rookie and one in the playoff against Baltimore for minus-one. He caught seven passes for 23 yards and three more in the playoff for 15. He returned nine kickoffs for an average of 17.9 yards and lost that job by midseason. They also were not confident enough in him to have him return punts, although he did return one for two yards as a rookie.

There are other places where they could cut someone to make room for Bell, including a defensive lineman, but they have shown they have little use for Archer, so why keep him?

Onto some Stuff:

--- One of the more surprising things from the Steelers’ 43-18 victory over San Francisco was that DeAngelo Williams’ three rushing touchdowns tied a franchise record. You would think that someone along the way like Franco Harris, Jerome Bettis or even Frank Pollard would have had four. Williams had four rushing touchdowns in a game twice with Carolina during his epic 2008 season when he scored 20 touchdowns, 18 of them rushing. He rushed for four at Green Bay and four at the New York Giants.

--- Williams is the second-leading rusher in the NFL after two weeks with 204 yards (5.0 average), behind San Francisco’s Carlos Hyde, who has 211 but managed just 43 of those against the Steelers. His reward will be a trip to the bench as Bell returns. However, he will spell Bell and keep him fresher as the season goes along.

--- If I am St. Louis, I am devising a plan right now to have my local broadcast of next Sunday’s game piped into the Steelers’ offensive coaches’ headsets. Anything to try to disrupt that offense. But then, who needs coaches when Ben Roethlisberger is calling the shots in the no-huddle?

--- Anyone suggesting the Steelers move Ryan Shazier to safety today?

--- He plays a different position, but cornerback Antwon Blake reminds me of safety Lee Flowers and not just because they both wore No. 41. Blake hits and is aggressive the way Flowers always played.

--- Ends Stephon Tuitt and Cam Heyward had monster games against the 49ers Sunday. Tuitt graded higher than anyone on their defense by Pro Football Focus and Heyward was No. 2.

--- Rookie Bud Dupree is on pace for 16 sacks.

--- San Francisco had 409 yards in total offense, but they also ran 82 plays – 30 more than the Steelers offense, which produced 453 yards.

--- While it still looks for its first interception (they produced their first turnover, a fumble), the Steelers defense has seven sacks in two games, a pace for 56 after getting a quarter-century low of 33 last season.

--- I am 2-0 in my predictions after calling a 34-27 victory for the Steelers Sunday.