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Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren Could Snap Nearly 40-Year Franchise Streak

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Pittsburgh Steelers RB Najee Harris

On paper, Pittsburgh Steelers running backs Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren will have a much-improved offensive line blocking upfront for them this season. It’s set up to be the best offensive line that the duo has ever ran behind in their NFL careers.

Coupled with Arthur Smith’s run-heavy offense that features dynamic schemes, Harris and Warren could reach new heights this season. It’s also a contract year for Harris.

During a recent appearance on 93.7 The Fan, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette made a bold statement that Harris and Warren could both rush for over 1,000 yards in 2024. That feat hasn’t been reached in the NFL since DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart did it with Carolina in 2009.

A Steelers running back tandem hasn’t rushed over 1.000 yards since Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier in 1976.

“Could we see two 1,000-yard rushers on the Steelers?” Fittipaldo pondered. “It hasn’t happened with a running back tandem since 2009. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. But they weren’t that far off last year. And if they can just run the ball a little bit better early in the season, I think that’s within reach. And that’ll be something to watch here as we gear up toward the season.”

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Jaylen Warren

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Jaylen Warren at the team’s OTAs sessions, May 21, 2024 – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Last season, Najee Harris rushed for 1,035 yards and Warren ran for 784 yards. Both played all 17 games. Harris received 255 carries, while Warren had 149 attempts. Williams and Stewart both had over 200 carries with Carolina in 2009 when they each went over 1,000 yards.

It’s certainly plausible that Harris and Warren could both get to 1,000 yards rushing this season. Harris’ 4.1 yard average probably needs to be improved in order to get there. The pieces are definitely in place, however. The offensive line should be a lot better this season with the additions of rookie offensive tackle Troy Fautanu and center Zach Frazier. Second-year offensive tackle Broderick Jones will also start from the beginning.

The Steelers went over 2.000 yards rushing as a team in 2022 and 2023. Quarterback Kenny Pickett was the starter for the majority of those games, however. How the Steelers’ passing game develops under Russell Wilson or Justin Fields will also play a big part in whether Harris and Warren could snap a 15-year NFL streak and a nearly 40-year franchise record.

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Edward Carmichael
Edward Carmichael
June 3, 2024 6:24 pm

as a true Steelers fan, both Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren will have a very young Steelers offensive line blocking for them and I haven’t seen two Steelers running backs both rush for a 1,000 yards since both Franco Harris and rocky Bleier did it more than 2 times in the 70’s