One thing Steeler Nation learned quickly about Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie running back Najee Harris throughout the 2021 regular season was his ability to make defenders miss at a high rate.
Throughout the season, Harris was able to create something out of nothing more often than not, largely due to his freakish strength.
That strength and ability to make defenders miss ultimately led to Harris winning the Angry Runner of the Year Award Tuesday morning on Good Morning Football, as host Kyle Brandt brought in legendary announcer Bruce Buffer to help with the segment.
Harris found himself up against the likes of Arizona Cardinals’ running back Eno Benjamin, Denver Broncos’ rookie running back Javonte Williams, and Detroit Lions’ running back D’Andre Swift for the right to be crowned the Angry Runner of the Year.
Harris, who won the Angry Runs scepter twice in his rookie season, had his catch and run against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 2 — in which he tossed aside physical safety Johnathan Abrams along the right sideline with a mean stiff arm — submitted for the season-ending award.
After a spirited presentation by Brandt, who simply does an incredible job brining the energy to the segment making it what it is today, Harris garnered two votes from GMFB co-host Kay Adams and former NFL cornerback and analyst DeAngelo Hall before Brandt gave Harris the deciding vote, crowing the two-time season champ with the season-ending award.
Harris, of course, made waves right away in his NFL career, tossing Abrams aside like he was made of paper in just his second career NFL game. Though the Steelers lost the Week 2 matchup late as Derek Carr found Henry Ruggs III for a long touchdown, Harris’s catch and run against Abrams still stands out all these weeks later, serving as one of the top highlights for a promising rookie who made the Pro Bowl in his first season in the league.
Not only did he take the league by storm due to his powerful runs and highlight reels weekly, he also grabbed a new pocket of fans after calling Brandt’s scepter a “little Harry Potter stick” when accepting his award in Week 2.
Hopefully with an improved offensive line and a more successful offense around him in Year 2, Harris wins more Angry Runs awards in the weeks and years to come.