Rookie Jaylen Samuels stays patient, waits for his chance in Steelers offense
Jaylen Samuels is living the dream after making the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 53-man roster as a rookie. The running back has been part of the 46-player active gameday squad for each of the season’s first two games, too.
But getting on the field? Not quite yet.
That’s not going to bring Samuels down.
“I am just taking it a day at a time, coming to work every day improving every day on what I’ve got to do and focused on what I got to do,” he said. “And when my number gets called just be ready to go.”
Samuels said he’s been a part of the gameplan during the games against Cleveland and Kansas City – and he even was on the field for a snap in the loss to the Chiefs. Officially, though, it didn’t count because the play was nullified because of a penalty.
The No. 3 running back on the depth chart, Samuels was a tight end at North Carolina State and also has a background as a wide receiver. A fifth-round pick in April, he’s an intriguing chess piece for first-year offensive ecoordinator Randy Fichtner to play with.
But circumstances, in part have conspired against Samuels. In the opener, a steady rain fell, James Conner shined and Fichtner admitted to lapses in personnel judgment as a coordinator making his NFL debut as a playcaller. This past week, the Steelers fell behind, 21-0, which all but forced them to rip up their gameplan.
“I am just waiting my time,” Samuels said, “and whenever my number gets called I will perform at the highest so I will wait.”
Samuels had a touchdown among his 28 carries for 86 yards and eight catches for 50 yards during the preseason.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.