4 Steelers entering a make-or-break season in 2023

Steelers, Diontae Johnson
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2. RB Najee Harris

Don't get too worked up over this. I know that many Steelers fans would defend Najee Harris to the death, and we know that he hasn't had the greatest offensive line to run behind during his first two seasons. But what happens if he doesn't show significant improvement in year three?

Don't be fooled. Earning back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons isn't impressive when you consider that he has yet to average more than 3.9 yards per carry early in his career. Being able to appear in every possible game is great, but the efficiency numbers for Najee are near the bottom of the league when compared to other starting running backs.

In 2022, Harris averaged 3.8 yards per carry and just 5.6 yards per reception in the passing game. This was in addition to advanced metrics from Football Outsiders that showed he was 24th in running success rate, 26th in yards above replacement, and 36th ineffective yards.

Clearly, the efficiency numbers must go up for Najee Harris in 2022. If this doesn't happen in his third year after the changes Omar Khan made to the offensive line, there will be reasons to question his starting role on the team. I would expect a noticeable leap in efficiency from Najee this year, but the loveable Steelers running back could be on the hot seat if he doesn't show improvement.