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Josh Harris could become Steelers' short-yardage back in 2015

After being used sparingly in 2014, second year running back Josh Harris might be used in a specific role in 2015.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe, Josh Harris can be the thunder to Le'Veon Bell's lightning.

The Steelers could use a power, short range back in their otherwise dynamic offense. There's a chance Harris could be that guy.

Newly acquired backup running back DeAngelo Williams has proven throughout his years in Carolina that he can run between the tackles, but he's a much better back in space, with his running style emulating that of Bell. Due to his small size and blazing speed, Dri Archer is also much more effective in space. This opens the door for Harris, who may have found his niche heading into his second pro season.

At 5'10 and 210 pounds, Harris is built for the part, as his draft bio on sated that Harris is "ripped with muscle and looks the part." While at Wake Forrest, Harris ran for a very healthy 4.6 yards per carry average while scoring 19 touchdowns. After just 18 total carries last season, Harris said he's prepared for a more active role in the Steelers' offense this season.

"I'm trying to make myself better," he said in a recent story on "Trying to help out in any way I can. "I just have to show in practice, show the coaches that when they have me on the field that they know I am able to do all the thing I need to do."

Bell, who tallied over 2,000 total yards in 2014, said he has seen growth in Harris' game thus far this off season. The Steelers will need Harris, Archer and Williams to elevate their games with Bell sidelined for the first three games of the season.

"I saw it at the end of last year," Bell said. "He's really understanding, getting the offense, getting out there and playing and not thinking as much, obviously. He's making more plays."

Harris made many big plays during his time at Wake Forrest, as evidenced in this highlight video. Having played primarily out of the shotgun in college, the Steelers could throw defenses off-guard with runs with Harris out of the gun, especially on third down. In many of these plays, Harris also shows a strong cutback ability, the ability to break tackles and a knack at stretching out big runs. If Harris' vision and overall ability have improved over the past season in Pittsburgh, it's not a stretch to think that some of these plays Harris made in college could be something that Steelers fans enjoy seeing from his this fall and beyond.

Once known for their power running, the Steelers could use a short yardage specialist, especially in red zone and goal line situations. A power back that the team can count on to get the tough yards on third and short can do wonders for a team. That was one of the feathers in Jerome Bettis' cap, and that's one reason why he will soon be immortalized in the Hall of Fame. Maybe, that short yardage back could be Josh Harris, which would make the already dangerous Steelers offense that much more lethal.