Steelers’ Cam Heyward Tries to Bring Christmas Cheer to Najee Harris

Najee Harris vs Titans

Joe Sargent/Getty Images Najee Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers stiff arms Buster Skrine of the Tennessee Titans on December 19, 2021.

Earlier this week Pittsburgh Steelers captain Cam Heyward approached rookie running back Najee Harris and asked him if he had a Christmas tree or any Christmas lights at his house.

“Nah, I got nothing,” recalled Harris during his media scrum on Friday.

In response, Heyward indicated he would buy Harris a Christmas tree, but that he had to promise to put it up and post a picture on social media, while also sending the photo to Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

Harris has apparently done just that, as you can see from the video clip the Steelers tweeted out on Friday afternoon.

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Najee ‘The Grinch’ Harris

But the sad, surprisingly small tree doesn’t seem to have done much to get Harris excited about Christmas.

“Did that put you in the spirit at all?” asked a reporter on Friday.

“I guess,” said Harris, before admitting that his teammates have been referring to him as ‘The Grinch.’

What would really make him happy, though, is to break off a long-gainer against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

“I actually just texted (running backs coach Eddie Faulkner) yesterday. ‘I need a big run,’” Harris said. “But it comes in time. Just can’t be too, I guess, (impatient) to do it.”

Per Pro Football Reference, Harris has carried the ball 249 times this season, yet his longest run is just 23 yards, which came two games ago against the Minnesota Vikings. A long gain or two would sure help his average, which stands at a decidedly modest 3.6 yards per carry. By way of comparison, the five NFL running backs who have rushed for more yards than Harris have long gainers of 83, 32, 66, 70 and 76 yards. Moreover, the league’s leading rusher—Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts, who has 1,518 yards—already has 11 rushes of 20 yards or longer and four carries of 40 yards or longer.

Those kind of splash plays probably seem like a distant dream for Harris, who is laboring behind an offensive line that features two rookies—at center and left tackle—and is very much in rebuilding mode.

“We are just not there, I guess, but we are going to get there. It just takes take,” concluded Harris.

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Former Steelers Kicker Has Tryout with Eagles

In other news from Christmas Eve, ex-Steelers placekicker Matthew McCrane had a tryout with the Philadelphia Eagles, this according to NFL reporter Aaron Wilson.

The Steelers signed McCrane late in the 2018 season to fill in for an injured Chris Boswell. He converted three of three field goal attempts and his only extra-point attempt in a 16-13 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. He has also appeared in three games for the Raiders and played one game for the Arizona Cardinals.

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