Coming off of a strong rookie season that saw him rush for 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns on 307 carries, along with 467 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 74 receptions, Pittsburgh Steelers’ second-year running back Najee Harris appears poised for a big sophomore season, especially with the changes that have occurred on the Steelers’ offense this offseason.
Harris may have added to that hype for his second season on Tuesday at the Steelers’ first day of Phase 3 of OTAs, showing up with a new-look physique, in which he appears to have added some serious muscle overall. His new look, along with a dark, tinted “Beastmode” visor, had him turning heads among coaches, teammates and media members in attendance.
Steelers running back Najee Harris carries during OTAs Wednesday at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. pic.twitter.com/MauVj7rDxx
— Matt Freed (@mattfreedpghpg) May 25, 2022
One teammate who was caught off guard by Harris’s appearance Tuesday was fourth-year tight end Zach Gentry, who called Harris and “action figure” and said he “looks more explosive” this season during his appearance on Steelers Nation Radio Wednesday morning from the Steelers’ South Side facility.
“No doubt. No, he’s absolutely….he was an action figure already,” Gentry said of Harris, according to audio via iHeart.com. “And you know, I went up to him cuz, I mean, think about how explosive he was last year and everything. And I mean, he looks even more explosive this year.
“He’s making some moves, and spinning and twisting with his tripod on the ground and everything,” Gentry added. “He really looks fantastic. It’s amazing to see even a guy that looks so good his rookie year, even be more comfortable his second year being as productive as he was last year.”
Najee Harris is a tank pic.twitter.com/nkiPeQ9epL
— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) May 24, 2022
Harris was certainly productive as a rookie, though a lot of that had to do with volume of touches, rather than overall quality of play. It certainly wasn’t his fault last season, for the most part, playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in football that also dealt with some significant injuries issues across the board, forcing different players into action throughout the year.
Knowing that he’s going to be the bell cow once again, it appears as though Harris has added some serious bulk to his frame to help him withstand the wear and tear in Year 2. That should really benefit him in his second season now that he knows what’s expected of him, and how the grind of an NFL season will affect his body.
Based on the way he looks in a helmet and shorts, Harris could be poised for a big second season ahead in the black and gold.