Steelers' Najee Harris reportedly weighs more than prime Jerome Bettis ahead of second NFL season

Najee Harris looked for Jerome Bettis soon after being prepared by the Steelers last spring. Along with viewing movie with Bettis, Harris has actually taken something else from the Hall of Fame running back’s playbook. Harris is presently 244 pounds (h/t Mark Kaboly of The Athletic), up approximately 4 pounds from what Harris stated he weighed as a novice.

That’s one pound much heavier than Bettis was when he showed up in Pittsburgh in 1996. 

Bettis utilized his size to hurry for 1,431 backyards and 11 goals throughout his very first season in Pittsburgh. Harris is undoubtedly wanting to have comparable success this season after re-writing the Steelers’ novice record books in 2021. Despite playing behind a rebuilt offending line, Harris still handled to run for a Steelers novice record 1,200 backyards. He likewise set the Steelers’ novice record with 1,647 all-purpose backyards. For his efforts, Harris made Pro Bowl honors while assisting the Steelers record a playoff berth throughout Ben Roethlisberger’s last season.

The embodiment of a physical running back, Bettis made a profession out of bowling over smaller sized protectors. Bettis sees comparable qualities in Harris, the very first running back chosen in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

“He’s the modern NFL power back,” Bettis stated of Harris prior to the start of his novice season. “He has the speed, he’s got the power, but he also has the hands to get out of the backfield and make plays outside of that offensive line.”

He might be a modern-day power back, however Harris plays in an old-fashioned system as far as the running back position is worried. While numerous groups have actually gone to two-back systems, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin stays a fan of the included back. That’s among the reasons that the Steelers utilized a preliminary choice to get Harris, who assisted lead Alabama to a nationwide title his last season in Tuscaloosa. 

Durability is important for Harris, provided how frequently the Steelers call his number. But in spite of in 2015’s heavy work (Harris had 381 touches last season, 10 more than in 2015’s hurrying champ, Jonathan Taylor), Harris continuously rejected concerns about his physical well being late in the 2021 season. He reacted to those concerns by having 2 of his finest efficiencies late in the season; a 93-yard hurrying efficiency versus the Chiefs in Week 16 and a 188-yard proving in a Week 17 win over Cleveland. 

Harris will once again be an important part of Pittsburgh’s offense in 2022, however his work might be lighter this season with the offseason additions of novice receivers George Pickens and Calvin Austin III. Harris will likewise be helped by what must be an enhanced offending line after the Steelers got interior linemen James Daniels and Mason Cole in totally free company. 

Regardless of just how much he is utilized, Harris is preparing himself for another heavy work in 2022. In the procedure, Harris will likely continue his attack on the Steelers’ hurrying records while stimulating memories of among the group’s renowned backs of the past. 

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