Mike Tomlin on Najee Harris' first padded practice: 'I think we all saw Najee likes competition'
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Steelers fans got their first glimpse of first-round pick Najee Harris in action yesterday and according to reports, the bell-cow running back out of Alabama didn't disappoint.
"I think we all saw Najee likes competition," Mike Tomlin said after practice. "He doesn't run away from it, he runs to it."
Harris stood out in the "Backs-on-'Backers"drill and even dominated inside linebacker Robert Spillane on one rep. According to Brooke Pryor of ESPN, Ben Roethlisberger ran over and jumped in the air to celebrate with Harris and yelled "Put em down!"
"That was something about the drill that was exciting from my perspective," Tomlin said. "His demeanor was telling. It was exciting that he had an appetite for that action."
Tomlin even disagreed with a reporter who thought Harris struggled early on against Marcus Allen in "Backs-on-'Backers" but improved as the drill went on.
"Your words, not mine," Tomlin said.
Harris also ripped off a nice 12-yard run during the first team period and it took a number of defenders to take him down.
Overall, it was an impressive first padded practice for Harris, but it's just the first one.
"We drafted a guy in the first round, you can trick yourself into believing everything, 'Boy, he's ready to go,'" Tomlin said. "No, it was just one practice. It was a good practice. We'll see what the subsequent practices have for us in that regard."