At Alabama, RB Najee Harris played with two first-round quarterbacks: Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones. In Pittsburgh, he’ll get to play with a third: Ben Roethlisberger. And he’s excited for the chance.
Speaking to local media after being picked by the team, Harris can’t wait to play with #7.
“Oh man, it’s dope,” he said in a Zoom call provided by the team. “People didn’t realize it, but I only followed two teams and that was the Steelers and the Niners. Because I actually like those teams. Seeing Big Ben, all the Super Bowls he came into. Seeing him perform at a high level and stuff like that. And actually being able to line up with him, on the side of him and learn from him. I mean that’s an honor right there. I’m excited to do it.”
Harris will get at least one year with Roethlisberger. And Roethlisberger will hopefully have an improved rushing attack for his final season. The Steelers ranked dead last in almost all rushing categories in 2020, and had their worst single-season output in over 50 years. Harris alone doesn’t transform the team’s run game. But he’s a serious step in the right direction. So it’s fair to say Roethlisberger is just as excited as Harris.
Harris went on to say he’s excited to meet the whole team. Because of the pandemic, his interaction with the team, and vice versa, was more limited than most other years.
“I’m excited to meet everybody. The staff, I mean, everybody.”
The Steelers sent six members to his two Pro Days. At the first were head coach Mike Tomlin, Kevin Colbert, and Matt Canada. That keeps the streak of Tomlin/Colbert at the Pro Day of a first-round pick going at 11 straight years. At the second were QBs coach Mike Sullivan, College Scouting Director Phil Kreidler, and RBs coach Eddie Faulkner, the latter who put Harris through drills.
Harris’ first chance to get in the building will be during the team’s three-day rookie minicamp. That is expected to take place two weeks from now. After that, there will be voluntary OTAs, followed by a mandatory minicamp.