Fantasy Alert: Najee Harris Will 'Have to Be a Bell Cow for' Steelers, Says HC Tomlin

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJune 26, 2022

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 25: Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) takes part in a drill during the team's OTA practice on May 25, 2022, at the Steelers Practice Facility in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers will enter the 2022 season without Ben Roethlisberger under center for the first time in 18 years, with either veteran Mitch Trubisky or rookie Kenny Pickett taking on the role.

So don't be surprised if the team leans heavily on running back Najee Harris this year.

"That dude is a bell cow. He's gonna have to be a bell cow for us," head coach Mike Tomlin said on The Pivot podcast (h/t Bobby Kownack of NFL.com). "If this train is going anywhere in 2022, he's going to be a major component of it, and he's capable. I ain't even talking about from a talent standpoint. We know that. I'm talking about he's capable from an intangibles standpoint. Bringing the best out in his teammates. Wearing the responsibility that comes with leading."

Harris took on a major role for the team in his rookie season, rushing 307 times for 1,200 yards and seven scores while adding 74 catches for 467 yards and another three touchdowns. His 381 touches led the NFL in 2021.

It was a major workload, and Harris even told reporters earlier in June he expected to see less snaps and touches this upcoming year.

"We are doing that a lot this year [that] I will not be on the field, I guess, [as much]," he said. "I will be on the field a lot, but on certain downs, I will not be on the field. Just [pick my spots], I guess. Extra rest."

Extra rest, perhaps, but Tomlin made it clear—Harris will still be the focal point of Pittsburgh's offense this season.


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