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Jaylen Warren Had To Carry A Football Everywhere During Training Camp So He Wouldn’t Get Fined

Pittsburgh Steelers undrafted rookie running back Jaylen Warren was a training camp darling, due to his impressive performance in the time he got during Najee Harris’ injury absence. He used his opportunity to make the 53-man roster and eventually become a common sight on the field.

Today, Warren sat down with Aditi Kinkhabwala on 93.7 The Fan and discussed head coach Mike Tomlin calling him out on his one struggle in training camp and preseason: ball security.

“I remember he was just saying like, I’m a pretty good player, but I just gotta get that outta my game,” Warren told Kinkhabwala.

However, the story does not end there. The Steelers were hell-bent on making sure Warren got his ball security issues down after fumbling once during training camp and in the Steelers’ first preseason against the Seattle Seahawks Warren fumbled. His fumbling issues cause running backs coach Eddie Faulkner to give Warren a football to walk around with all day and night with the words “Jaylen’s Baby” written on it.

“[Faulkner] gave it to me before meetings and said like, he doesn’t care where I’m at, practice when I’m not repping, lunch, Walmart. If he sees me without the ball it’s a fine. At the time we didn’t get paid so $200 was a lot.”

Faulkner and Tomlin’s attention to ball security detail has certainly paid off, as on the season Warren has only fumbled once, against the Cleveland Browns in Week Three. Luckily for Warren, Diontae Johnson was able to hop on a loose ball avoiding a turnover that certainly would have made Tomlin and Faulkner’s eventual chewing out much worse.

Ball security is a serious thing, especially in Pittsburgh. Just a few weeks ago, quarterback Mitch Trubisky almost got passed up on the depth chart by Mason Rudolph for his three-interception outing against the Baltimore Ravens.

In fact, even though Warren was arguably the Steelers best running back in camp with Harris out, the ball security issue made it so he was not a complete lock to make the roster. However, he did make the roster and hasn’t looked back since.

In his rookie season, Warren has accumulated 343 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown, averaging an impressive 4.8 yards per carry. Warren has also proven himself a great pass blocker and because of this in Week Five, he got promoted to the Steelers’ starting third down back. Given the increase in the number of snaps he receives on passing downs, Warren has also racked up a decent amount of receiving yards, 207 to be exact.

Warren has turned into a good pro, but the dog days of summer certainly taught him an important lesson: hold onto the ball for dear life.

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