One might already say that Najee Harris has had his “welcome to the NFL” second. That got here when Harris, the previous Alabama standout operating again and Steelers‘ first-round decide, addressed the media following one in all Pittsburgh’s practices throughout this weekend’s rookie minicamp.
Harris, who carried out the interview nearly, was shocked when a reporter recapped a few of his highlights from follow.
“Oh you noticed that?” Harris requested the reporter. “You guys have been right here? … I assumed ya’ll have been boosters.”
Whereas Harris is clearly studying a number of the variations between faculty and the professionals, he made a rapid impression on Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who’s hoping that Harris might help revive a speeding assault that completed thirty second within the league in 2020.
“He’s a pointy man,” Tomlin stated, through ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. “He’s a soccer man. You’ll be able to inform he’s enthusiastic about soccer. He can articulate the sport very effectively, so it is quite a bit to be enthusiastic about. It’s extra noticeable just because there’s not lots of people to work with. He is getting a chance to work one on one with coach [Eddie] Faulkner on the operating again place that gives loads of alternative for him to verbalize his data and issues of that nature.”
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Harris, whose stage of conditioning was additionally lauded by Tomlin, expects to play a handful of roles throughout the Steelers offense. And whereas his capacity as a receiver was usually ignored in faculty, Harris confirmed off that facet of his sport by making a formidable one-handed catch throughout rookie minicamp.
“There are numerous issues which are truly comparable,” Harris stated when requested to match the Steelers offense to Alabama’s, through Jim Wexell of Metal Metropolis Insider. “It is simply completely different, completely different terminology, however the identical that means on the finish of the day. They will use completely different names than what we’ll do, however the identical stuff. One factor that is comparable might be how they are going to, I suppose, line me up out extensive, how I did in faculty, simply make the most of the operating again within the passing sport out extensive, slot, out extensive on the X place, and like simply the schemes of the runs — the within zone, the skin zone, the facility performs, the one-back energy, the duo performs.
“Lots of what they’re doing of their offense actually resembles numerous what we did, identical to placing the gamers in one of the best place to make a play and actually not doing an excessive amount of considering, simply quick taking part in. The extra you suppose, the slower you play, so it looks as if they’re attempting to make all the pieces as straightforward as potential so the gamers can play quick and be used to one of the best of their capacity.”
Harris’ efforts over the weekend did not simply depart an impression on Tomlin and the teaching employees.
“He is a hell of a operating again,” stated rookie tight finish Pat Freiermuth. “Going by means of walk-through at present, he makes excellent cuts and he is very sensible with the soccer.”
Whereas it is solely Might, it is clear that Harris’ time in Pittsburgh is off to a very good begin. And whereas Tomlin praised Harris’ conditioning and general readiness, Harris additionally had nothing however good issues to say about his new coach.
“One factor I’ve taken away so removed from him is he is actually a folks particular person,” Harris stated of Tomlin, who’s making ready for his fifteenth season as Steelers coach. “He actually takes outing of his day to get to know the gamers. He appears to be like for one of the best, appears to be like out and actually cares for the gamers. You’ll be able to inform by the best way he comes into the locker room and chops it up with folks, and he at all times has a ball of vitality. Lots of people simply feed off of that. He is any individual that it is easy to need to play for as a result of he is such a likeable particular person.”