clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Steelers OC Matt Canada shuts down Najee Harris, Jaylen Warren talk

The former UDFA has shined in the preseason, and some fans are calling for a change.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Najee Harris #22 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is introduced prior to a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills at Acrisure Stadium on August 19, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Steelers fans have been sounding off when it comes to former first-round running back Najee Harris and his inefficiency since entering the league back in 2021.

It’s always been an issue, sure, as he’s averaged just 3.9 yards per attempt over his career this far. However, the issue with Harris’ efficiency has only become more glaring amidst the emergence of UDFA Jaylen Warren as a change of pace back, having been noticeably more explosive in limited opportunities.

It’s been a point of contention for fans, with many calling for a potential changing of the guard at the position in favor of Warren — especially following a breakaway 62-yard touchdown against the Bills’ starting defense in Week 2 of the preseason.

Steelers OC Matt Canada has clearly not been immune to the conjecture from fans, coming out Monday to say that “Najee Harris is unequivocally going to be the Steelers RB1 heading into the season,” beat reporter Nick Farabaugh reports.

From 2022 on through Week 2’s preseason game against the Bills, Harris has seen a 65% market share of the Steelers’ RB rush attempts, despite being outranked across the board by Warren in efficiency metrics (all stats courtesy of PFF).

Najee Harris vs. Jaylen Warren

Najee Harris Jaylen Warren
Najee Harris Jaylen Warren
20% 28%
3.8 5.5
2.7 3.3
20 13
16.30% 12.20%

Is Canada making a mistake by reinforcing the team’s dedication to Harris despite Warren’s success? Join our Behind The Steel Curtain community and sound off in the comments!