Courtesy of Point Park University

Friday Insider: Steelers to double down on tight ends


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Jesse James attempts to haul in a TD on a red-zone possession Sunday. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

I walked over to the locker stall of fantasy football’s second-ranked tight end Thursday and asked how it feels to be putting up lofty numbers, and have more points two weeks into the season than Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce or Zach Ertz.

Jesse James was unimpressed.

"It doesn't really matter to me," he told me. "I'm just trying to win football games. It's good to do well, but at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is a win or a loss."

The wins haven't come yet, but neither has the Steelers' offseason plan to utilize their tight ends more.

They weren't able to play with two tight ends -- 12 or 22 personnel in their terminology -- on the field together quite as much as they'd like through the first two games, but that could be a package that we see more now that Vance McDonald has returned. He missed the opener in Cleveland, forcing the Steelers to use rookie tackle Chukes Okorafor 17 times as an extra blocker -- essentially a tight end -- in that game. But with McDonald back in last Sunday's 42-37 loss to Kansas City, the Steelers used James for 45 snaps, McDonald for 37. James ran 26 pass patterns, McDonald 25.

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