The Steelers were going to be careful not to put too much on quarterback Mason Rudolph.
They made up for it by asking Jaylen Samuels to do a little bit of everything.
The Steelers running back filled up a stat sheet last night — running, receiving, and passing — as the Steelers switched things up to beat the Bengals.
The plan was to let Rudolph throw a bunch of short, safe passes, so they added some Wildcat wrinkles and tried to get Samuels out in space.
”We knew coming into this game that we was a big part of the game plan,” Samuels said, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com. “So me and [James Conner] knew that we had to come out here and do our thing in the Wildcat and in the running back stuff. Downhill runs and stuff like that, we knew we had to make guys miss in open space.
“James had a couple good runs that bursted out and I had a couple good catches, so we was just feeding off each other and that’s kind of how we play and that’s how it was.”
Samuels ran 10 times for 26 yards and a touchdown. He caught eight passes for 57 yards. And he completed all three of his pass attempts for another 31 yards, a do-it-all night. They put him in the Wildcat seven times, leading to 43 yards and a score.
He became the first player in the league with multiple catches, runs, and passes since Terrelle Pryor in 2016.
“I think we saw it last year with how special and how versatile he is in space with the football, catching the football out of the backfield,” Rudolph said. “He’s a great piece of our offense. And he complements James Conner well.”
And as long as the training wheels are on Rudolph, that’s what they need.