Little stats of the weird for you on this random Sunday morning. Jaylen Samuels by no means had a great year, or really even a good one, but he for sure had a weird one.
Samuels finished 2019 with a rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown, and an interception. That INT, as you have probably tried to forget, came on a failed Wildcat pass against the Baltimore Ravens. Truly one of Randy Fichtner’s worst playcalls of his tenure as Steelers’ OC. Samuels’ rushing score, the only one of his season and career, came in a 27-3 win over Cincinnati while he caught the only Pittsburgh TD in their 21-7 Thursday night loss to Cleveland.
He’s the first non-QB to have such a season, rushing and receiving score plus a pick, since Maurice Jones-Drew in 2010, whose HB pass was intercepted in a game against the Browns.
Samuels is the first Steeler to have that season stat line since Kordell Stewart in 1999 (Slash also did it in 1996) and the first non-Steelers QB since Louis Lipps in 1988. That pick came in a loss to the San Diego Chargers and because I have that sort of free time on Valentine’s Day weekend, here’s a look at it.
To more relevant matters, Samuel’s roster spot isn’t locked in for 2020. Fair to say he’s on the inside of the bubble but James Conner and Benny Snell are locks. With Roosevelt Nix returning at FB, it’s more likely than not the team keeps its standard three running backs, leaving only one spot left. Samuels will fight with Kerrith Whyte Jr, Trey Edmunds, and any other offseason addition the team makes, though earlier in the week, Kevin Colbert downplayed the idea of needing to add a back.
As a runner in 2019, Samuels struggled mightily. He finished the year averaging a paltry 2.7 yards per carry, one of the league’s worst, and he’s had trouble finding a niche role to occupy on the squad.