Sources close to the Pittsburgh Steelers told ProFootballWeekly that Verron Haynes may be significantly more involved in this year's running game. Haynes rushed the ball a career high 74 times last year, a number that may escalate if Duce Staley can't stay healthy.
I don't know wha to think about this. On the one hand, I'm happy beacuse I love the guy and I feel he deserves more credit for all the little things he does to help the Steelers move the football. He blocks well, can absorb contact fairly well on short yardage situations, and makes plenty of important catches on 3rd down. That's his niche, though, and I'm not sure he'd be as effective as a primary threat running on first and second down. Pittsburgh traditionally runs the ball an insane amount on first down, and opposing defenses know it. I'm not sure Haynes has the explosiveness or instincts to be effective in obvious running situations. Ideally Staley will compliment a healthy and productive Willie Parker and will once again prove himself to be in the top half of running backs in the league. If this happens, Haynes can resume his role as one of the more dependable and effective third down backs in football.We'll see though. He certainly has earned the opportunity if he is indeed more involved in this year's running game.