PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jaylen Samuels spent the months leading up to the 2018 NFL draft answering one question over and over again.“People were like Ben Powers Jersey , ‘What position (are you) going to play?'” the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie said. “And I just kept saying ‘I’m going to play running back.'”Not everyone believed him. The NFL included.The NFL was so skeptical of the former North Carolina State star’s potential out of the backfield he was told shortly before the scouting combine that he wouldn’t be working out with the running backs but the tight ends. Samuels shrugged his shoulders, figuring it was better to be at the combine — even if it wasn’t your preferred position — than stuck at home watching it on TV.Fast forward 10 months. They don’t ask Samuels where he fits anymore. Not after the 22-year-old lit up the New England Patriots for 142 yards rushing and 172 total yards in a victory over the New England Patriots last Sunday.Samuels carried the ball 19 times — more than he can remember at any level of football — and caught a pair of passes, including a leaping 20-yard, fourth-quarter grab that helped the Steelers run some clock before adding a late field goal that pushed the margin to seven points.There were the usual aches and pains on Monday, but nothing out of the ordinary after the heavy workload. Good thing, because Samuels figures to be just as busy when the Steelers (8-5-1) travel to New Orleans to face the NFC South champion Saints (12-2) on Sunday.Newly minted Pro Bowler James Conner is still dealing with a sprained left ankle that’s forced him to miss the past two weeks, meaning Pittsburgh’s running game will be in the hands of a fifth-round pick who has quickly morphed from project to capable starter.Samuels earned a spot out of training camp thanks to the way he embraced special teams and had found a small niche as a receiving threat — he’s N.C. State’s career leader in receptions (202), just ahead of former NFL wide receivers Jerricho Cotchery and Torry Holt — before Conner went down in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers. Samuels came in and caught a 10-yard touchdown pass on the next play.His first NFL start didn’t go quite as planned. He managed just 28 yards on 11 carries in a stunning loss to the Oakland Raiders. The problem wasn’t so much Oakland’s defense or the iffy turf so much as Samuels’ own jitters.“I felt like I wasn’t being patient enough, just being in a rush, hurry up and get to the hole and try to get there,” Samuels said. “(Against the Patriots) I could definitely feel it all sorting out. The holes are just opening. I just felt smoother and it felt like it was more my game.”A game that not every college coach that recruited Samuels out of high school understood. UNC brought the Charlotte native in for a camp and had him practice with the linebackers.“I was like, ‘What am I doing? Why am I going backward'” Samuels said. “I need to be going forward with the ball.”N.C. State assistant coach Eddie Faulkner saw the potential and during the recruiting process pointed out all the varied ways the Wolfpack could use him. Samuels spent four record-breaking years doing a little bit of everything.Running back. Fullback. H-back. Tight end. Slot receiver. His polished route running was immediately apparent to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger when Pittsburgh used its second pick of the fifth round on Samuels.“He has really good hands http://www.ravensfootballauthentics.com/iman-marshall-jersey-authentic , soft hands you can really throw it all over the place and he can make plays,” Roethlisberger said.“I think he showed that this week that we can put him out there and we can do some things with him and hopefully we are just scratching the surface.”While Steelers coach Mike Tomlin jokingly replied “who said I had confidence?” when asked what gave him faith Samuels could produce, he’s not particularly surprised by what he saw against the Patriots. The shakiness in Oakland was understandable. The bounce back versus New England was promising.“There are oftentimes when you walk into stadiums, particularly as a young guy, it is a first time for a lot of things,” Tomlin said. “And I am sure as he continues to step into stadiums with a significant role for us he’ll check some boxes and do some things he hasn’t done before, but that’s just a very natural thing in terms of a young player.”One who no longer has to deal with questions about where he fits.NOTES: Conner and LB Bud Dupree (knee) did not practice Wednesday. … S Terrell Edmunds (concussion) was limited. … DE Cam Heyward (knee) was a full participant. … Roethlisberger and C Maurkice Pouncey were given the day off. On Sunday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick didn’t have much to say about the 34-10 loss to the Titans. On Monday, Belichick had a little more to say.Strangely, he had nothing to say about the comments from former Patriots running back Dion Lewis, who had the line of the day — and who also said that physicality will cause the Patriots to fold. (Based on the transcript circulated by the team, Belichick even more strangely wasn’t asked.)As to how the blowout in Nashville happened Trace McSorley Jersey , it boiled down to the Titans getting a lead (and thus being able to rush the passer) and the Patriots falling behind (and thus not being able to rush the passer).“Quite obviously, the game situation has a lot to do with that,” Belichick said regarding the inability to place consistent pressure on Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota. “When you’re behind and you’re throwing a lot, like we were yesterday, they were going to get more rush opportunities and get more pressure. When they’re ahead, they can play an offense that is more balanced or maybe even a little more favorable to the run and there were less opportunities, and certainly less predictable opportunities, because of the scoring situation and vice versa. When you’re playing from behind, you don’t have a lot of opportunities to rush the passer. You know, we sacked Mariota on a third down play at the end of the third quarter, somewhere in there, but we didn’t create enough of those situations and didn’t do well enough in what we did. That’s a big part of it is opportunities Kyler Murray Jersey , and we’ve got to do better with the opportunities we have, obviously, however many there are.”The pressure on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady resulted in Brady completing 21 of 41 passes for 254 yards, with a passer rating of 70.6. The lack of pressure on Mariota allowed him to complete 16 of 24 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns, which translates to a passer rating of 125.0.It was Brady’s worst statistical performance since last December, when his passer rating dipped to 59.5 in a 27-20 loss to the Dolphins.Yes, it would be unwise to write the Patriots off after Sunday’s loss. But the defeat puts a major crimp in their effort to continue a string of first-round byes that dates back to 2010 and AFC title game appearances that dates back to 2011. The Chiefs now have a two-game lead for the No. 1 seed in the conference, the Chargers (if they can jump the Chiefs) are also in position for the top seed, and the Steelers are suddenly in play for the No. 2 seed.We’ve nevertheless seen this movie before. Repeatedly. The Patriots tend to find a way off the mat quickly, on those rare occasions when a lucky punch puts them on the canvas.