(Photo by Collegiate Images via Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger spoke with the media for the first time this offseason after today's OTAs practice and one of the topics that he talked about was the Steelers' new bell-cow running back Najee Harris, who should help the veteran quarterback tremendously and take a lot of the workload off his shoulders.
"He is a really hard worker. He is in here extra-long hours," Roethlisberger said via Teresa Varley of Steelers.com. "I think the other day the running backs coach (Eddie Faulkner) told him I have to go home now. That just shows he is still in there watching film. He is constantly asking questions. That is good. He doesn't seem lost. It's not like it's too big for him. His head isn't spinning. He is asking questions and that is good. He is playing fast. The most exciting part about Najee, that we are all going to be excited to see, once he gets it, it clicks and he goes full speed, man it's going to be something to see."
Roethlisberger attempted 608 passes last season, which was the third-most in the league and the offense was one-dimensional, as they ranked dead last in rushing yards per game (84.4) and yards per carry (3.6). That's why there are such big expectations for Harris in Year 1.
Roethlisberger is also excited to see how the offense looks under new offensive coordinator Matt Canada, who's implementing new creative dimensions to the offense.
"It's new. There is a lot of new," Roethlisberger said. "It's taking some extra studying, but it's a fun new challenge. Guys are getting it and hopefully it translates into winning football.
"When you have had the same offense, or a similar offense for 17 years and all of a sudden something looks the same, but it's called something different, it's very different and a big challenge. That is the game of football, learning new things, new challenges. Coach Canada's offense is one that hopefully will be a good one. We need to execute the plays that he calls. Hopefully we will be better on offense than last year.
"We'll throw a lot of different looks and schemes at people and see what works."