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How Najee Harris and the Steelers Running Game Have Improved

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PITTSBURGH — The Steelers’ running game continues to improve down the stretch. With three decent games against the Vikings, Browns, and Chiefs, the Steelers have the makings of something going. In fact, the Steelers have five explosive runs over the final three games of the season. That is an improvement no matter how it is sliced  With Harris at the helm, there is some expected improvement.

However, for Harris, his offensive line, and others, there is an understanding of leverage and chemistry that has allowed them to hit their stride. Even with a dud against Baltimore, Harris feels that the rushing attack’s familiarity with each other has fostered their improvement throughout the day.

“I think there’s an establishment of everybody executing their jobs,” Harris said. “There’s a better understanding of everything and believing in their assignments of knowing they are going to do their part. You feel like the left guard’s going to do this thing, the center is going to do this, the running back is going to press the hole and make the cut, and the running back is going to be more decisive.”

Those are traits that Harris has improved upon over the past few games. His vision and decision-making seemingly are improving with each passing game. Pressing the hole, as Harris refers to it, is something that he has really improved upon as he continues to grow. There are more flashes of maturity on the field from him. Perhaps, that comes with the better feel he has for those around him.

“We have a better feel,” Harris said. “We’re meeting a lot more. We’re creating a bond. We see all the assignments and what we can do if we execute them. I’m always confident in what the line can do. As a running back, do what you can. You can press the hole, you can be more decisive, run with your pads lower, and you can be more explosive. If we play our part and execute, stuff like explosive runs can happen.”

However, those runs can not happen with just anyone blocking. Harris will not forget the receivers blocking for him either to spring him on those runs. Chase Claypool’s block down the sideline in overtime was an especially key block in setting up Chris Boswell’s game-winning field goal.

“The receivers are doing a good job of blocking, too,” Harris said. “Tip your hat off to them. They’re doing a great job. I don’t think they get enough credit or support with what they’re doing.”

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