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Cam Heyward Commends Najee Harris’ Work Ethic: ‘Najee Was A Cyborg’

DL Cam Heyward sat down with Missi Matthews of Steelers.com in a 1-on-1 segment where the two talked about Cam’s experience going back to Atlanta and the emotions he felt playing the Falcons as well as the team’s upcoming game this Sunday at home against the Baltimore Ravens.

Matthews mentioned Heyward’s relationship with RB Najee Harris and how he took Najee under his wing last year, she asked if there is someone new under Heyward’s wing this season, Heyward responded commending Najee and his football character and mentioned a strong correlation between him and another promising rookie on offense for the Steelers.

“Najee was a cyborg,” Heyward said to Matthews on Steelers.com. “He was a guy who was so locked in on football that I don’t even think he left a facility sometimes. I don’t know who that guy is. I might have to keep looking around seeing if Kenny Pickett’s still here. He’s a guy that’s always here. So, I’ll keep my eyes open. There’s definitely a chance to spread some Christmas cheer.”

Najee Harris has been praised for his work ethic ever since he got drafted by Pittsburgh, being told to go home by RB Coach Eddie Faulkner in the past for staying at the facility too long watch tape. Harris is a player that holds himself to a high standard of excellence on the field, putting pressure on himself to deliver for his teammates and help the Steelers win football games. HC Mike Tomlin mentioned during an interview on The Pivot podcast this summer that he wanted to “bridge a transitional leadership relationship between Heyward and Harris,” calling Harris a born leader, but needs to be nurtured on how to do it the right way by Heyward in the NFL.

While Heyward didn’t put QB Kenny Pickett in the same bucket as Harris when it comes to Harris’ relentless work ethic, he did throw in subtly that Pickett indeed be that next guy who can take a step forward in becoming a leader in the locker room and be Heyward’s next mentee. Given that the two have lockers right next to one another, this process has likely already started as Pickett looks to become Pittsburgh’s franchise QB.

This statement by Heyward could be looked at as subtle praise for Pickett, but also a challenge for him to take that next step in terms of leadership and being recognized by his teammates and coaches for his preparation. We have already heard plenty of instances of Pickett going to the team to watch more film to fix self-imposed errors, but for Pickett to become the QB Pittsburgh envisioned when they selected him in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, his dedication to film study and being a student of the game needs to be on-point for Pittsburgh to have a passer that can lead them back to the playoffs and make a run.

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