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#pounditThursday, November 30, 2023

Najee Harris has great response to workload concerns

Najee Harris takes off his helmet

Sep 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) warms up before the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Najee Harris had 381 touches as a rookie with the Pittsburgh Steelers last year, which was more than any other player in the NFL. The star running back is expected to see a decreased workload this season, but that is not an adjustment he requested.

Harris was asked on “The Rich Eisen Show” this week if he would be open to touching the ball 400 times this year. He said he would be willing to go to 500 if it helped the Steelers win games.

“I’ll get 500 (expletive),” Harris said, as transcribed by’s Kevin Patra. “Listen, I didn’t have an issue with it. It was the media who had an issue with it. I told them every game, ‘If this is the way we’re winning, I can carry the load.’ I train to carry loads. It’s not something that I haven’t done before. I did it in college, high school, NFL. For me to get that many carries, I was like, man, are we winning games? It was a long streak where someone was saying if I have 25 carries, then we’re undefeated. So OK, this is our identity right here. Let’s keep this going on, let’s keep this going. Listen, if I get 500 carries, as long as we’re winning, it doesn’t really matter.”

That is exactly the type of attitude Steelers fans want to hear from their best offensive player.

Harris had 307 carries for 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns in 17 games last season. He added 74 receptions for 467 yards and another three scores. He hinted last month that the Steelers will use him a bit differently in 2022. If they choose to ride him the way they did last season, Harris clearly will have no problem with it.


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