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Steelers’ Harris looking to help Roethlisberger reach the Playoffs – CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (AP) – All those games before, it was young Ben Roethlisberger who helped a popular Pittsburgh Steelers star rise to the top.

Coming Sunday, a Steelers newcomer hopes to give Roethlisberger another chance in the knockout stages.

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A first-round draft pick in 2004, Roethlisberger took the helm the following season as re-run veteran Jerome Bettis limited his career as a Super Bowl champion with a win over Seattle. .

Last Monday night, first-round picker Najee Harris played a key role as the Steelers beat Cleveland in the 39-year-old Roethlisberger’s final game at Heinz Field.

Harris will likely have a chance to push Roethlisberger into the knockout stages for the 12th time in his 18 seasons on Sunday in the regular season finale in Baltimore.

“It’s an honor,” said the rookie running back. “Just from someone like that and the fame he has. As long as he is a player… he will be a Hall of Famer in the future. ”

To start in the knockout stages, the Steelers (8-7-1) need to beat Baltimore (8-8) and also hope Jacksonville beat Indianapolis.

Harris, the 24th overall pick in the 2021 draft from Alabama, was selected as Pittsburgh’s top rookie earlier in the week. He started all 16 games, ran 1,172 yards and scored a total of 10 touches.

Harris leads the NFL running back on points with 366 and he’s still not worried.

“It’s great because it’s so difficult for rookies,” said Roethlisberger. “He didn’t slow down, he got better. It just says a lot about the preparation, the work he puts in and he’s a footballer. He will be happy to watch here for a long time. ”

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Harris has been strong in the game for Pittsburgh with at least 90 yards in three of the last four games. He ran a career-high 188 yards on 28 attempts, including a 37-yard touchdown that helped the Steelers win last Monday against Cleveland.

His 188-yard dash is the most for a rookie this season and the most for a Steelers rookie in franchise history. A third-round 30-yard run against Cleveland – the longest game of his career – propelled Harris past Hall of Famer Franco Harris for the franchise’s record for rookie yards in a single season. The first was established in 1972.

When Najee Harris arrived in Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger gave the rookie rerun a quick history lesson about the lineage at his location.

“When he came here, I told him that this town loves its defenses and its setbacks,” says Roethlisberger. “He has the opportunity to really embrace this town and this town will embrace him.”

Harris watched the Steelworkers grow up, so he knew well about those who came before him. He quickly made the list of Celebrities like Bettis and Franco Harris, in addition to recent famous defenders like Le’Veon Bell and James Conner.

“There is a long list of people who support this organization,” says Harris. “I know how important running backwards is. It has no pressure. If I come here and continue to play, win or lose, I will give my best every time I touch the ball. ”

Harris is well aware that the Steelers will need an attacking identity after Roethlisberger is likely to retire after this season – just as Roethlisberger took over after Bettis left. It’s a young group, but Harris is ready to be center forward if needed.

“The future of this organization, I’m really excited to see where we’re headed because we have so many young pieces,” Harris said. “We can do something great. I’m ready to be that person, but I need some guys to go with me. If anyone had to step in there, it could be me. ”

NOTE: The Steelers activated wide-ranging top receiver Diontae Johnson from the reserve/COVID-19 roster on Friday, a day after he was shortlisted. … LB Buddy Johnson and DE Isaiah Buggs will miss Sunday’s game in Baltimore. Johnson, who was placed on the injured reserve, has not trained this week because of a leg injury, while Buggs missed Friday due to illness. OT Dan Moore Jr is suspected with an ankle injury.

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https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/01/08/steelers-harris-roethlisberger-playoffs/ Steelers’ Harris looking to help Roethlisberger reach the Playoffs – CBS Pittsburgh

Aila Slisco

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