Get to know Najee Harris

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NAJEE HARRIS, managing again, Pittsburgh Steelers

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Q: Has this been what you expected of an NFL camp?

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NH: Yeah. Of class. You can find a whole lot of stuff I have to have to master. It really is fun, nevertheless, remaining out right here competing with the fellas. It can be every little thing I anticipated.

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Q: What did you find out from the backs-on-backers drill?

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NH: What I try to do is go up against all people. They appear in all styles and dimensions some larger, some smaller. What I check out to do is I go up towards a ton of men so I can try to use much more strategy and not so considerably just utilizing what you are gifted with. So me finding out guys, me wanting to go up against D-finishes, is teaching me mentally to use improved system. That is why you see me out there pointing out, yelling out, for even bigger guys just so I can make the most of that rep.

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Q: Do coaches worry that another person may well be far too huge for you?

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NH: I discuss to Tomlin every single working day before practice and say, ‘Listen, I want to go up from bigger men.’ And he understands due to the fact he likes to contend, so each now and then he could say no, but for the most aspect he claims, yeah, for confident.

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Q: Marcus Allen explained it feels like you might be 240.

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NH: I am 240.

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Q: Did you try to display him that the initial day in pads?

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NH: He claimed that? Seriously?

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Q: Yeah.

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NH: I am 6 % body body fat at 240. He didn’t get all of it. He’s finding a lot of it.

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Q: What have the supporters demonstrated you?

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NH: The fan base below is unmatched. I arrived from Alabama. We have a massive admirer foundation, but listed here in Pittsburgh they’re sort of a very little little bit extra nuts than ‘Bama was. They really like their sports activities – hockey, baseball and football. Looking at the admirer adore is usually some thing superior, to see they assist their teams.

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Q: (Inaudible problem about catching passes)

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NH: Capture the ball. That’s all it is. I know you reporters like to say like, ‘He’s 240 and he catches the ball.’ I have been carrying out it for good. I applied to participate in receiver. I just so occur to play working back again now. Hey, I’m like a receiver, aren’t I?

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Q: Did you have a drop these days?

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NH: I experienced a pair of drops, but that’s component of the sport. I wager you dropped a couple balls, too.

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Q: Ton of drops listed here very last yr.

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NH: There are a whole lot of drops just about every year in football. It’s portion of the activity. It really is not about how many you fall it is about coming again the following enjoy and performing something to make up for it.

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Q: You lined up broad in the 2-moment drill. Have been you a decoy?

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NH: I am not a decoy. I am out there. I am out there operating routes. I requested the identical problem, ‘Am I a decoy?’ ‘No. You happen to be alive.’ Ben explained that. Our mentor said that. Head mentor mentioned that. The offensive coordinator explained that. I am alive, for positive.

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Q: What did you imagine on the operate you ended up hemmed in and you broke out of it? It was like Walter Payton in the ’70s.

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NH: (Silence)

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Q: That was so just before his time.

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NH: I know Walter Payton, c’mon now. I know Gale Sayers, c’mon now. Herschel Walker. I know. Barry Sanders. Yeah, very well, so, when you’re actively playing excellent on great – this is the NFL so not each operate is heading to be blocked completely. My task is to make the most out of each individual operate. I advised Pat, the restricted conclusion, he kind of failed to get his block, and I explained, ‘Listen, Pat, it is Alright if you will not get your block. All you have to do is keep enjoying by the whistle because it can be my position to split the 1st tackle. So if I break the 1st tackle, just know that if you miss your men, imagine Najee’s likely to crack the very first deal with, so continue to keep doing work.’ I consider what separates the jogging backs – the superior kinds from the amateurs – if a play’s not blocked, what can you develop? So I attempt to make as much as I can when the play is not blocked.

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Q: Did you notice that was Cam Heyward you bounced off of?

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NH: No.

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Q: He explained he was pissed.

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NH: That is portion of the activity. You fall balls, you skip tackles. All that issues is the next perform.

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Q: What is actually stunning or unanticipated about Ben Roethlisberger?

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NH: About Ben? Nothing at all at all.

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Q: He’s precisely who you thought he would be?

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NH: He’s precisely who I assumed he would be.

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Q: He took you to supper in the spring. How did that go?

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NH: It was astounding, male. He has a wonderful household, also. Awesome dwelling. I won’t be able to even call it a dwelling. I went to his setting up, his compound. I mean, it was substantial.

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Q: Did you roughhouse with his children?

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NH: What? Me? No. I went swimming with his little ones.

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Q: What have you realized about Ben?

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NH: Actually, it’s how he wishes anyone to be accountable. He’s a leader. When he goes in, you really feel you have obtained to perform for Ben. I imply, this is the real issue with Ben. Genuinely, that is the most important factor I’ve taken from Ben. Every time Seven’s in there, it is for actual. No missed practically nothing. No nothing at all or you are likely to hear him.

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Q: That 25-property operate you experienced-

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NH: I scored.

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Q: That 1 seemed like it was blocked fairly properly.

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NH: Yeah.

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Q: Was that just 1 slash and go?

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NH: Yeah. Some runs are going to be blocked some operates not. This is the NFL. It can be my task to make the most of it. When it is blocked, it’s my task to get the most out of it.

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Q: What is actually your stage of exhilaration for Thursday?

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NH: The excitement’s there for sure. It is really the distinction involving becoming fired up and figuring out that it truly is not the true thing. It is really a gateway to get your feet wet and permit the recreation sluggish down for me. I’m trying to engage in as substantially as I can in that video game. I want to choose as quite a few video game reps as attainable – very good, poor, whatever – and do regardless of what I can and go into the film home, break down movie, and keep doing work.

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Q: Does the chemistry of the line make any difference to you?

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NH: The line is what it is, person. It is what it is. Like I claimed, my occupation is to do what I can every single operate to assistance out the team. My job is to do every little thing I can to make far better scenarios so we can create better down and length for the workforce. I believe in whoever’s in front of me. Ideal now we are just breaking bread, having utilized to everyone, but it truly is my career to develop some thing when nothing’s there. My work is to strike the holes when there is something there. You will find heading to be something there. It can be just my task.

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Q: On not having yellow wristband indicating you’ve got been vaccinated:

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NH: I am not in position to response people queries. I’m right here to respond to issues about football.

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Q: Kevin Colbert mentioned you’ve been every little thing they expected on the discipline and even a lot more off the subject. Why does that issue to you?

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NH: Kevin reported that? Notify him to hear to far more Sam Cooke. Talk to him if he is aware who Sam Cooke is.

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Q: He does. Kevin appreciates Sam Cooke.

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NH: No. No.

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Q: No?

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NH: No. Hey, I was actively playing Sam Cooke and I was like, ‘Hey, who’s this?’ He is like, ‘I will not know.’

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Q: Kevin’s a Motown aficionado.

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NH: Hey, he’s been sending me things and he don’t know who Sam Cooke is. Give it a opportunity. He won’t.

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Q: Why is it essential for you to be a part of the group?

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NH: To be a aspect of the neighborhood is these a huge offer – I spoke about this so several periods – for the reason that for me, I want to sense like I am any person folks can chat to in cases I was after in. Getting a section of the group to enable people see that I am not far too huge for some thing, that it will perform a position in somebody’s existence, some little kid, any person who’s struggled. I want to be somebody that any person can lean on. I want absolutely everyone to know that I are unable to indication all the things for persons hollering my title. It is really portion of the protocol. I’m sorry. There’ll be a time when I can discuss to the local community more, but right now this is my rookie yr. I’m hoping to get my ft damp. I am striving to do what tends to make Pittsburgh satisfied, the GM delighted, Ben pleased, the group joyful. That is what’s most vital correct now. You will find heading to be a time for all that other stuff, but right now I am just hoping to carry out the mission.

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Najee Harris off to a traveling commence at Steelers camp (Photograph: Charles LeClaire, United states of america Currently Sports)

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