Mike Tomlin on Najee Harris: We don’t subscribe to theory of no RBs in first round

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Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said last week that the team’s path to a better running game went beyond adding personnel, but the team showed that personnel is part of the puzzle on Thursday night.

As many predicted in the weeks leading up to the draft, the Steelers used the 24th overall pick on former Alabama running back Najee Harris. After the pick Tomlin said the intention behind the selection is “to improve our running game” and shrugged off those who think it’s a bad idea to use a first-round pick on a running back.

“You know, we don’t subscribe to the theory that you mentioned,” Tomlin said, via Mark Kaboly of TheAthletic.com. “He was a player that we really valued. We were ecstatic that he was there, and we took him and we took him pretty quickly with little to no dialogue. We’re extremely happy with where we are this evening.”

With three starting offensive linemen gone from last season, the Steelers likely aren’t done adding personnel with an eye on making progress on the ground. They have the No. 55 and No. 87 picks heading into Friday night.

18 responses to “Mike Tomlin on Najee Harris: We don’t subscribe to theory of no RBs in first round

  1. “We feel that the concept of an Offensive Line is offensive. A good running back needs nothing more than the ball and a bowl of Chunky Soup.”

    —Mike Tomlin

  2. And that’s why you are a terrible postseason coach along with your overrated GM.

    You don’t get how to build full rosters.

  3. You also don’t subscribe to disciplined football either, or playing something other than zone on defense which is why Tom Brady carved your team up every single year when he was the Patriots QB. Still have those hotel reservations booked for that Superbowl trip that was guaranteed? Still letting your players fly into training camp on a helicopter? How are those post game team speeches going?

  4. Drafting a RB in round 1 makes sense if you are in “win now” mode, because they are one of the positions where a rookie can make an instant impact. The Steelers are clearly in win-now mode, because Big Ben won’t be around more than 1-2 more years.

  5. touchback6 says:
    April 30, 2021 at 8:57 am

    And that’s why you are a terrible postseason coach along with your overrated GM.

    You don’t get how to build full rosters.
    =========================================
    The fact the Steelers are almost always in the playoffs should say Tomlin’s doing something right. He’s right about what he is saying here. We shouldn’t pigeon hole players to rules about what round they should or shouldn’t be drafted in. If they have a 1st round grade on a running back, they should pick that player. There is no guarantee that the player will be available when they pick again. Alvin Kamara & Kareem Hunt are the outliers not the rules, despite what the experts say.

  6. I think what Tomlin meant to say is that Art Rooney doesn’t “.,, subscribe to theory of no RBs in first round” Isn’t he calling all the shots?

    Gonna be a long year there in Pittsburgh.

  7. You don’t pass on a top RB of Harris’s caliber when RB is your biggest need. Tomlin is correct, and since the draft is deep at O’line, you can get decent linemen in the 2nd round and beyond. So grabbing Harris in the first was a smart move by Tomlin and Colbert, especially since the Jags would’ve grabbed him with the next pick.

  8. Najee Harris is a great player who is going to get beaten to death because the Steelers don’t have much of an OLine.

  9. Umm…there are still six more rounds for OL to be drafted. No first-round pick is a sure thing. Titans picked Isaiah Wilson last year. How did that turn out? Steelers are not going to leave the OL as is.

  10. How many OL were taken in Round 1 after the Steelers picked Najee?

    ZERO

    Why?

    Because NONE of them were Round 1 worthy.

    Steelers get their stud RB in Round 1 and either their C, LT or TE in Round 2.

    Pretty simple and effective strategy.

  11. Steelers are going to be unstoppable this year. Harris will easily become the top RB in the league. Can’t wait for him to run all over the Browns. They won’t know what hit them. LOL.

  12. so, they’re going back to a 70s offence;

    too bad they don’t have a Steel Curtain defence to go with it;

  13. Absolutely GREAT Day One. An OT cant’ do anything for your run game if you have no starting quality RBs. There will be OT’s available tonight and Centers if they they want one in the 3rd and 4th.

    Harris can run, CATCH and block. Something they haven’t had from an RB since Le’Veon Bell committed career suicide.

  14. touchback6 says:
    April 30, 2021 at 8:57 am
    And that’s why you are a terrible postseason coach along with your overrated GM.

    You don’t get how to build full rosters.

    ————

    How was your jimmy g returning to New England call? Or Stidham being the starter? How did that work out ?

  15. This a tremendous pick obvious to everyone but the clueless. You can’t get great backs late, the Steelers have been trying it for years. Unknown to many, the Steelers have already been addressing their o-line situation with acquisitions like freakishly athletic tackle Aviante Collins. In round 2 they drafted a better pass-blocking TE than Enron and got a guard in round 3. Taking a stud RB like Harris first made perfect sense.

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