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CONGRATULATIONS: Steelers RB Najee Harris Welcomes first baby

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Steelers ‘planning on Najee being Najee’ when the NFL season starts

 

 

Since entering the NFL as a first-round selection in the 2021 draft, Najee Harris has touched the football a higher percentage of his team’s offensive plays than any other running back in the league.

So Pittsburgh figures the former Alabama All-American doesn’t need to prep to carry a load before the Steelers open their 2023 season on Sept. 10 against the San Francisco 49ers. He already knows how.

 

 

Harris has played in both the Steelers’ preseason games – for a total of nine snaps. But he also has gotten light work in training camp.

“A lot of it is keeping him fresh for the season,” Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Matt Canada told reporters on Monday. “You look at what we asked Naj to do the last couple of years. I mean, you guys talked about it after his Year 1, right? How many touches he had, how many times he was on the field, the amount of plays and all of those things. And last year, after the bye, we ran the football quite a bit. And Naj was a big, big part of it. …

“Your body can take so much. We feel like he’s done a lot. We’re going to continue — we want to get him to the show and get him ready to go play for us, so it’s been a systematic plan to keep him upright and at the same time get him ready to play, and that’s a fine balance for everybody.”

Harris has not run the football in the preseason, and he has one reception that lost 1 yard.

Harris’ backup, Jaylen Warren, has been used sparingly in the preseason, too. But of Warren’s two snaps in the Steelers’ 27-15 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Saturday, one of them ended in the end zone after a 62-yard run.

Warren’s outburst and Harris’ light work led to a question about the pecking order in the Steelers’ backfield.

“Najee is our one,” Canada said. “There’s no doubt about that. I think we’re protecting to get him to that point. … We’re planning on Najee being Najee when we start the regular season.”

 

 

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