Updated: Aug 3, 2021
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Mike Tomlin had his press conference for the Hall of Fame Game earlier today, and he revealed that veterans like Ben Roethlisberger, Cameron Heyward, Joe Haden, and others will not play in the game. However, first-round pick running back Najee Harris will be on the field in Canton on Thursday night.
"He's a rookie, he needs the process of game preparation, and then ultimately play," Tomlin said. "We've got four opportunities for him to do that, and we're going to make sure he participates in all four of those processes. We will determine how much he plays (in those games), but the preparation process, the process of readying yourself to play is something I believe all those young guys need, regardless of their potential roles for us."
Harris should probably only play a series or two in the game, but it'll be interesting to see him in live-action for the first time. Tomlin also said that Mason Rudolph will get the start at quarterback and the plan is for Dwayne Haskins to play at the end of the first half. Josh Dobbs will finish the second half.
Haskins has reportedly performed better than Rudolph at training camp so far, but Tomlin says they'll get a better indication on the team in totality after Thursday night's game.
"We're gonna know a heck of a lot more about our team walking out of that stadium (in Canton) than we will walking into that stadium, and that's the excitement of the first time," Tomlin said. "We've seen some things already, and we've seen some evidence of some things. Guys have an opportunity to maybe confirm some things and provide some perspective that we're starting to develop about them individually and collectively. I'm sure there'll be some surprises positively and negatively. It's all a part of the process, but I think that's what creates the excitement about going into a stadium for the first time."