Cleveland Browns: 4 players to watch on the Steelers
2. RB Najee Harris
When the Steelers drafted Najee Harris with the 24th overall pick in this year’s draft, they felt they hit the jackpot.
The team desperately needed a spark out of the backfield, and not the kind Le’Veon Bell used to provide (off the field), after being dead last in the NFL in rushing in 2020.
That’s not Pittsburgh Steelers football we have all grown accustomed to over the years. The mantra of this team is tough defense and power running. The latter has not been much of a factor over the last couple of seasons.
The lone thing that many around didn’t like about the Harris pick was the lack of a productive offensive line. Pittsburgh had one of the work units in the league last year and it only got worse due to retirement and free agency.
With that being said, Harris has started to find his footing over the last two games. He rushed for a career-high 122 yards and a touchdown against the Broncos. A week later against Seattle, Harris rushed for 81 yards and caught a touchdown pass.
Harris broke Bell’s rookie record for most rushing yards through six games.
Before the season got underway, Harris was one of the favorites to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Despite a slow start, he is climbing back into contention.
For the season, Harris has rushed 102 times for 388 yards and two scores, while also hauling in 34 passes for 244 yards, and two more scores. The 34 receptions are tied with Johnson for the team lead.
After rushing for just 45 yards in his debut game Week 1 against the Bills, he went to head coach Mike Tomlin asking if he could watch film with him and get some pointers on how and where to improve.
The rookie out of Alabama will have his work cut out this Sunday as the Browns are fairly stout against the run, giving up 80 yards per game and 3.5 yards per carry. Cleveland doesn’t want to give the rookie his second 100-yard game of the season.