The Pittsburgh Steelers are heading into their post-Ben Roethlisberger future beginning in 2022. Head coach Mike Tomlin believes the team already has its next locker room leader.
Tomlin told ESPN that running back Najee Harris is someone he believes can step up and lead the locker room. And that time could eventually come sooner rather than later.
“I think he'd be prepared to take a significant step in terms of embracing leadership and responsibility, regardless of who else is in the huddle with him,” Tomlin told ESPN. “That's just where he is, and what he's done and where he desires to go.”
Harris told ESPN he hopes to lead by example. Let his actions speak for him, and maybe that will spread to the rest of the team.
“If I'm the last one on the field,” Harris explained, “I know something deep down, maybe it's subliminal, I'm working harder than everybody.”
The 24-year-old Steelers running back still has work to do. He needs to get better. He must prepare, especially if the Steelers need him to be a leader.
“I need to feel confident in myself,” Harris said. “I need to feel like I'm ready to endure a load if it's placed upon me for the Steelers, like I did last year.
“People might say I might do too much. But I want to feel comfortable when I step on the field. And if I feel like I didn't do as much or if I feel like I cheated the game or something, then I'll get mentally defeated in a way,” Harris said.
With Roethlisberger retired, the Steelers have room for someone to step up. The time may be now for the young running back.