Harris says offense is being crafted like ‘statue’

Steelers RB staying patient as team continues to lack run game, explosive plays
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Najee Harris, four days after seeming to publicly call out some of his teammates’ accountability, and two days after appearing to criticize the play of his offensive line, walked back some of those comments Tuesday.

Harris, on Friday, said that the team needed to “fix some (expletive)” in the locker room. On Tuesday, his tone was a bit different.

“I think we all understand what I meant by that,” Harris said. “Obviously you guys (the media) can spin it however you guys want to spin it, because you’re on the outside (looking) in. You guys do a lot of things to break us apart. You guys took a little bit of what I said and ran off with it. But I think we all knew what I was talking about in this locker room by accountability.”

Following Sunday’s 35-13 loss in Philadelphia, Harris said that he can’t ‘make the hole’ when asked about the lack of success in the running game. He was asked if he felt like that comment was misconstrued.

“Of course, by ya’ll,” he said. “Not by me or anybody else, by ya’ll. I mean, like, everybody has a role to play. It’s a team sport, the ultimate team sport, at that. It takes eleven people to do that job.”

Harris was open in admitting that the offensive struggles are there. But he does feel like the group will eventually head in the right direction.

“We understand that great things take time,” he said. “Looking around the league, any team that was good, they had their rough times. We still got a lot more season to go. Right now, we’re at a rough time. We’re going to do everything we can to get back on track.”

Harris, on Sunday, ran eight times for 32 yards. In the first half, he accounted for no rushing yards on four attempts. It’s a stat that, he acknowledges, is a surprising, even to himself. He tipped his hat to his opponent.

And that what somewhat of a theme when he spoke Tuesday. The media are failing to acknowledge that the Steelers — particularly the offense — is going through a transition, a rebuild, or whatever you want to call it. And the he, by still wanting accountability through it, was not trying to be overly critical of his teammates.

“I think that we all get confused that this is the NFL,” he said. “There's good players on the opposite side of the ball, too. You can take that however you want. I wasn't pointing no fingers, like people thought I was doing. Me being who I am, it is what it is.”

The Steelers are now heading the bye week at 2-6. The back half of the season, on paper, looks a bit friendlier, but will also feature four AFC North games, including two against Baltimore.

“It’s not like something's going to change this week.” He said. “You got to keep improving on stuff that you talked about in the first week. But not just me, everybody on the team. We all need to work on stuff.”

Harris added: “With a baby, you got to take time for it to walk. It doesn’t just come out and start walking on it’s two feet, which is cool. Give it it’s time, (let it) take its time.”

Harris, a former first-round pick, seems to feel that he’s being targeted more by the media based off of his status as a first-round pick. He’s rushed for just 361 yards through eight games, and scored just one rushing touchdown.

It’s just part, he says, of the learning process. Not just for himself as a 24-year-old, but for the entirety of the offense.

“I think everybody thinks that (expletive) is going to get better the next day,” he said. “It’s like a statue. We have to keep crafting, keep working.

“Obviously you guys want answers right now, but that's just not how things work around here. Questions don't get answered the next day. Things don't get fixed the next day. It takes time. We understand that and that's why we try to keep everybody together.”

Featured Image Photo Credit: Josh Rowntree