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Year 1 to Year 2 with the Steelers is night-and-day for Jaylen Warren

If you think back to cut-down day in the NFL last year, when teams have to trim their roster to the league limit 53 players, you remember there were certain players who had played well enough to make the Pittsburgh Steelers 53-man roster, but weren’t sure of their fate.

Jaylen Warren, an undrafted rookie free agent (UDFA) was one of those players.

Despite showing tremendous potential with the team throughout training camp and the preseason, Warren wasn’t sure what the future would hold for him with the organization. On the day when players will typically get “the call” telling them they didn’t make the roster, Warren was just glad he didn’t received said phone call.

In case you forget the jubilation Warren felt at the time, you can hear it in his voice in the video below:

Fast forward now to current day, and Warren doesn’t have to worry about making the team. He doesn’t have the stress of impressing coaches. He simply has to worry about working on his craft and being the best back he can be for the Steelers offense.

“I know what to expect this time,” Warren told reporters during training camp. “I am more comfortable in the system, and that allows me to play faster this year. I am stronger too. It was the longest offseason I had. I just worked.

“From my first game to my last game, I noticed how comfortable I got playing in the games, reading the defenses, being able to pick out who is blitzing, who is not. I think that was the biggest things for me.”

Warren doesn’t have to prove his worth this year, just continually grow and develop to complement Najee Harris and the Steelers offense. This year, all he is focused on is helping the team win. No expectations, just win.

“I don’t really expect anything,” said Warren. “As the season plays out, it plays out. I am just here to help the team win.”

Warren finished the 2022 season with 77 carries for 379 yards, a 4.9-yard average, and one touchdown in 16 games working as Najee Harris’ backup. He added 28 receptions for 214 yards, a 7.6-yard average. He had one of his best games of the season in Week 17 against the Baltimore Ravens, with career highs of 12 carries for 76 yards.

Warren has already flashed his breakaway speed in training camp, and looks to be the lightning to Najee Harris’ thunder in the Steelers running game. Will Warren carve out a bigger role for himself in 2023? Anything is possible for the UDFA out of Oklahoma State.


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