Pittsburgh, Pa. (93.7 The Fan) – The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for, what likely will be, a crazy crowd in Orchard Park, New York this Sunday at Highmark Stadium. Rookie running back Najee Harris says he’s never really experienced anything like that, even dating back to his college days.
Though he played at tough stadiums while playing at the University of Alabama, Harris points out that crowd advantage won’t be a big factor.
“Not to brag or nothing, but it wouldn’t last that long,” Harris said with a smile about the crowd impact.
It’s not bragging if it’s true. Harris lost only two road games in his career with the Crimson Tide, both happened to be against the Auburn Tigers. Most of the games weren’t close, though.
Harris is not, in any way, saying he expects it to be like that when the Steelers face the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, but he is looking forward to the opportunity.
“I love competition,” Harris said on Friday. “I love going to other people’s stadiums [with our] backs against the wall. It’s always fun to see their faces and their eyes in the stands.
“You can silence that crowd. It’s the best feeling. I always want to play away. It’s the most fun.”
The 23-year-old had a couple handfuls of snaps in the preseason, rushing for 42 yards on 13 attempts in three games. What does he believe a NFL regular season game will be like?
“Out here in the NFL, talent can only do so much, because everybody is talented,” Harris said. “I talk to my coach every day about it. It’s the small things in the game that people don’t see on television, that matter so much in the game.
“It’s a game within the game, because there are a lot of stuff that plays a big factor to the opposing team giving them identifications of what is going on.”
Harris is learning not to tip off other teams with any little detail. He talked to his coaches and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger about it. He believes you can only really learn about it through playing in games.
He admitted at Alabama, even with a task master like head coach Nick Saban, you could get away with things because of the talent advantage the Crimson Tide had.
“A lot of guys ask ‘what is the difference between Alabama and the NFL?’” Harris explained. “At Alabama you got a lot of guys, I’m not trying to say it’s a disadvantage, but it’s a disadvantage. To go to the NFL where it’s more, like, fair.
“You got to be even more specific and detailed in your work [in the NFL]. It’s not going to be a Heisman winner, a Biletnikoff winner [next to you]. I’m not saying we don’t have guys here, it’s more fair. There is more detail in your work. Knowing you have to give 200% every time and every rep matters.
“We are very new and young. We are building a lot of chemistry. We are working together. We are improving every single day.”
Harris says he doesn’t feel the burden of improving the running attack. He feels they are going to find a way to get it done. It’s an opportunity for him and his teammates to improve off some abysmal rushing stats in the 2020 campaign.
“We improved from Day 1 until now,” Harris said. “That’s all that matters. We keep going uphill. That’s all that matters. There’s a lot of young guys, I’m saying it like I’m not one. We are always improving. As long as you are improving, that’s all that matters.”
Sooner rather than later, improvement aside, results will be the only thing that matters.