Wednesday marked only the first day of padded practices at Pittsburgh Steelers training camp, but head coach Mike Tomlin is already in midseason form. One of the most anticipated athletes on the field was first-round running back Najee Harris, who got his first chance in pads and in drills like backs-on-backers for the Steelers. Tomlin was quickly asked about Harris’ performance, and refused to take too much away from that first day on-field.
“You know it was a good sample, but a very small sample size. I’m not rushing to judge or draw conclusions or seek comfort,” Tomlin said. “We’re all kind of in that mindset, right? We drafted the guy in the first round, you can trick yourself into believing anything, ‘Boy, he’s ready to go.’ No, it was just one practice. It was a good practice, and we’ll see what the subsequent practices have for us in that regard.”
Harris has a lot more days coming up to show why he was a first round pick, and prove he is ready to be the Steelers’ bell cow running back from Week 1.
Early reports from media members present highlighted some bigger moments from Harris, including from Steelers’ Depot’s own Alex Kozora.
Najee Harris with a 15 yard run first play of run session. Good power dragging several defenders. #Steelers
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) July 28, 2021
Taken two picks after Harris, rookie Kendrick Green was another player getting a lot of attention in his first look in that type of practice. That comes from Green’s status on Wednesday as the starting center for a new-look offensive line, and Tomlin addressed his day, as well.
“I just want to see him digest the verbiage, to do a good job of communicating and being that kind of hub or focal point of the offensive line. He’s embracing that element of it,” Tomlin said. “You could see he’s one of the guys that took a step that month or so away from us, man, he really spent that time in the right areas, and it should be continually beneficial for him as we continue through the process.”
As Tomlin said, it’s only one day of practice, and it is an overall process. Pittsburgh will get its second day tomorrow.