PITTSBURGH -- It would be impossible for any team to replace a running back the caliber of Le'Veon Bell, who Coach Mike Tomlin ruled out for Saturday's playoff game, but more importantly how do the Pittsburgh make up for the loss of 40 percent of their offense.
The answer is simple, according to center Maurkice Pouncey, who joined Bell and wideout Antonio Brown on the AP All-Pro team announced Friday.
"One guy can't do it, so we're going to use three,'' Pouncey said. "We've got Josh Harris, who is a good back. You all don't get to see all of the practices during a season, so you don't know everything he can do. But Josh is a good back. He's just inexperienced, but he can run and catch. And he's real fast.''
Pouncey also mentioned veteran Ben Tate, who joined the Steelers this week after stints in Cleveland and Minnesota during the regular season, and rookie third-round draft pick Dri Archer. Bell led the AFC in rushing with 1,361 yards and eight touchdowns. He also was second on the Steelers with 83 catches for 854 yards and three more scores. So, the trio has a lot of work ahead.
Tate talked to the media Wednesday, after his first team practice, but he declined comment Friday and apparently was his regular rude self. That attitude reportedly is why he fell out of favor with every team he's been with in a brief NFL career. Archer, after a solid preseason, was injured early and really had no impact. He finished with 10 carries for 40 yards and seven catches for 23 yards with at least as many dropped passes and no touchdowns.
"I really don't think I've shown what I can do,'' Archer said. "I'm looking forward to whatever opportunity I get to help this team. I just have to be myself and take advantage of it.''
Harris was activated from the practice squad when the Steelers cut LeGarrette Blount after the club's Nov. 17 win at Tennessee, and he had just nine carries for 16 yards. He ripped off about an 80-yard run against the Bengals in the final regular-season game, but it was called back due to a questionable holding call on Ramon Foster. That play, at least, gave him some confidence.
"I want make sure that I know all the things that I need to know, so I don't have that moment of not knowing where I should line up or what I should do,'' Harris said Friday after practice. "(And) I just want to be that guy (that) when he had his shot, he did all he could do to help out this team.''
Brown did not believe that other Steelers had to step up their games to make up for Bell's absence.
"We all have to be ourselves and go out there and be ready to make plays, but it's going to take a team to win,'' Brown said. Brown led the NFL with 129 catches for 1,698 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Notes: Bell was the only Steelers player out this week. All the other injured players -- OT Mike Adams (illness), OLB James Harrison (illness), QB Landry Jones (illness), NT Steve McLendon (right shoulder), TE Michael Palmer (groin), CB Ike Taylor (right forearm, shoulder) and SS Troy Polamalu (knee) -- all practiced and are probable.