Talk is talk. Plans aren't even important until successful or failed execution is observed. It's all hindsight until the subject of those plans and that talk either performs as discussed or fails as feared.
One of the big talkers this offseason will continue to be the role of Steelers rookie Dri Archer. Whether he's a running back, a wide receiver, a Darren Sproles clone or a impersonator of the team's next fast quarterback opponent, whatever plans the Steelers may have for Archer mean nothing until he either succeeds or fails.
It's sort of counterproductive in that way. I've done a few radio spots over the past few weeks and the one question I've responded to more than any other is what the team plans to do with Dri Archer.
The easy answer is a mix of receiver, runner, playmaker and kick returner. The easier and more realistic answer is "it depends on what Archer will be able to do."
Size is an issue but you can't hit what you can't touch. Speed isn't an issue but it's irrelevant if you have no space in which to accelerate to the higher gears. Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley can come up with schemes until his face is as red as it is when he yells at Chiefs players, but ultimately, Archer is and anti-plan. He's spontaneity applied in an effort to ruin planning.
If he has multiple roles, fine, when the ball is snapped, he's the one who must introduce the chaos into the defensive game plan. There's not going to be a "best" role for him - except the one in which he gets the ball and the defense begins panicking because they see him get three steps toward a growing hole.
Such an advantageous situation isn't exactly something that can be planned and executed frequently. Even the master of defensive chaos, Barry Sanders, had to create far more of his explosive plays than ones handed to him on a Silverdome platter.
I'd be more than happy to be wrong, but Dri Archer is no Barry Sanders. Still, a significant amount of plays run for one particular offensive player is probably around 11 or 12 - or, roughly 20 percent of all the plays a team will run per game. With players like Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, Archer isn't going to see the ball that much. To say he'll get 5-7 touches a game, not including special teams, says he's going to be a fairly significant contributor to the offense.
How many golden bullet plays can be drawn up that do anything more than simply get the ball to a player, requiring him to read what's happening in real time, hoping what's being required of the other 10 players is being done?
There are technical details and assignments and other things Archer must master in order to get on the field. That's more of a behind-closed-doors test to get him on the field.
When he's there, he must run the play called to the closest degree he can. But if and when he breaks free and scores from 40-plus yards out, we'll be marveling at what he did when he had the ball in his hands, probably not thinking a huge amount about what position he was playing when he got it.