Najee Harris drawing comparisons to Steelers legend this offseason

Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

If Najee Harris is like Hines Ward, then that is only a good thing for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Vince Williams expects running back Najee Harris to take on a bigger leadership role in his second year with the team to become somewhat of a Hines Ward.

Williams appeared on The Arthur Moats Experience with Deke, touching on Harris being an ideal fit for the Steelers to build their team around “not only athletically, but also culturally”. Harris was a former first-round pick by the Steelers for a reason, as he took home the Doak Walker in his final season at Alabama. Harris has long been a team-first type of player, so this is not really a surprise.

This is Williams’ quote of comparing Harris to Ward, a Steelers legend who belongs in Canton.

"“He gives me a lot of that Hines Ward-type vibe,” said Williams. “He’s smiling, he’s kissing the babies, but then he keeps it real in the interviews. He speaks true, he works hard, he’s dedicated to his craft, he’s no-nonsense. I think that’s gonna be big. I think that’s what the Steelers from that offensive side of the ball.”"

Here is the episode of The Arthur Moats Experience with Deke in which Williams appeared.

Vince Williams compares Najee Harris to Pittsburgh Steelers legendary WR

From his days at the University of Georgia, Ward built a reputation on being able to do whatever it took to help his team win games. His versatility and willingness to put the team ahead of his own accolades is why Ward is beloved in Pittsburgh and at his alma mater. As far as Harris becoming the next Ward, he can emerge as the leader on the offensive side of the football the Steelers need.

Williams did mention the Steelers no longer have stars on offense the caliber of Maurkice Pouncey at center and Ben Roethlisberger at the quarterback position. Surely, rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett will fill the leadership void in due time, but 2022 is a perfect opportunity for Harris to take what is his and then some. One would expect Harris to be a focal point of the offense this season.

Regardless of when Pickett overtakes Mitch Trubisky as the Steelers’ starting quarterback, the offense will only be as good as Harris allows it to be. If he has a breakout season like many people expect for him to, Pittsburgh might be able to hang in the AFC North to stay in the playoff mix. More importantly, how Harris grows as a leader could pay out in future dividends for this team.

If Harris plays up to his potential, he could be as celebrated in Pittsburgh as Ward is to this day.

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