Maryland HC Gives Steelers Ideas of Use for Anthony McFarland

Anthony McFarland's former head coach adds some insight as to where the Pittsburgh Steelers can utilize their newest running back.
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PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers aren't finished handing James Conner the ball, yet. After passing up on an early-round running back in the 2020 NFL Draft, Pittsburgh sent a message that they are adding depth, but they aren't adding a starter. 

Conner seems to have heard the questions surrounding his future with the team, and the "make-or-break" year he enters with the Steelers. Posting on instagram to share his thoughts, it showed that he isn't looking at 2020 as his final stop with the Steelers. 

Then, Maryland head coach Mike Locksley joined 93.7 The Fan to discuss the player the Steelers did draft - Anthony McFarland - and his fit in the NFL. 

"This kid has shown that when he gets the ball enough and he gets his touches, whether it's him in the slot, popping out of the backfield to the slot," Locksley said. "Handing him outside zones. This year he showed me he was capable of running inside the tackles. I really don't think he's limited.

He's an explosive playmaker that as an offensive coordinator, he's a guy that I would want to get the ball to 10-15 times a game at least early on. Usually, you get him enough touches, one of those things is going to the house." 

McFarland can certainly fill a more versatile role with the Steelers. If Conner is set on having another breakout year, and McFarland can be the guy to step in next to Benny Snell Jr., the backfield could see a boost in efficiency.

Locksley isn't denying McFarland can't be a three-down runner, either. If called upon, a worry many Steelers fans have following Conner's 10-game season in 2019, the former Maryland running back has what it takes to low his pads on the field. 

"That's the signature game for him that I think showed against high-level competition what he's capable of," Locksley said. "But he consistently, when he was healthy, made plays like that. Not a real big guy, but when you take the pads off, he's not a small guy either. Maybe he doesn't have the length that some other backs have. But I'm going to just tell you, he's a guy that in space is tough to get down."