Steelers' Najee Harris emerging as leader in post-Big Ben era

Published:Mar 9, 202416:47
Steelers' Najee Harris emerging as leader in post-Big Ben era

The Pittsburgh Steelers are heading into their first season with out longtime quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the helm, opening the door for some new faces to emerge as leaders on the staff.

One identify particularly is getting numerous buzz.

"There's going to be some new management right here. A few of them you possibly can anticipate, like [Najee Harris]," head coach Mike Tomlin not too long ago stated. "However make no mistake, we aren't sitting round hoping any of it occurs. We're thoughtfully developing it."

Harris led all NFL operating backs in snaps and offensive touches as a rookie, enjoying 929 snaps within the common season, per Subsequent Gen Stats. He rushed 307 occasions for 1,200 yards and 7 touchdowns throughout his Professional Bowl marketing campaign. Harris added 74 catches for 467 yards and three extra scores, making him an plain double risk on the sphere. Final season, no different Steeler even totaled 100 speeding yards over all the marketing campaign — Benny Snell's 36 carries for 98 yards had been the second-most on the staff.

"That dude is a bell cow. He is gonna should be a bell cow for us," Tomlin added. "If this prepare goes wherever in 2022, he will be a serious part of it, and he is succesful. I ain't even speaking about from a expertise standpoint. We all know that. I am speaking about he is succesful from an intangibles standpoint. Bringing the perfect out in his teammates. Carrying the accountability that comes with main."

One of many ways in which Tomlin, the Steelers' head coach since 2007, helps the staff transition from the Roethlisberger period is thru the already established management of defensive deal with Cam Heyward, an 11-year NFL veteran, and reigning Defensive Participant of the 12 months T.J. Watt.

"I’m bridging the transitional management relationship between Cameron Heyward and Najee," Tomlin stated.

Within the wake of Roethlisberger's retirement – he led the Steelers to 12 playoff appearances and two Tremendous Bowl titles in 18 seasons – Pittsburgh signed free agent Mitch Trubisky to hitch backup Mason Rudolph, who boasts a 5-4-1 all-time beginning report throughout three seasons when stepping in for Large Ben.

The Steelers additionally chosen Pitt product Kenny Pickett with the No. 20 general decide within the 2022 NFL Draft. This offseason marks the franchise's first open QB competitors in almost 20 years.

"I am wanting ahead to the nervousness related to that uncertainty. To have to face and ship, to stay out what we imagine in," Tomlin added. "The usual is the usual. … A No. 1 is a No. 1, and that is what I need Pittsburgh Steelers soccer to be. So it would not matter who places their fingers beneath the middle so far as I am involved. However, all that cool stuff being stated — it is scary, however thrilling."

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