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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

‘… Good luck, I guess:’ Najee Harris offers T.J. Watt advice on facing former Bama teammate

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  • pryor brooke

    Brooke PryorESPN Staff Writer

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    • Previously covered the Kansas City Chiefs for the Kansas City Star and Oklahoma University for the Oklahoman.

PITTSBURGH — With nearly 3 1/2 seasons of experience playing with offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood at Alabama, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris has an inside track on the scouting report of the Las Vegas Raiders‘ first-round pick.

But asked if he has any tips for Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt, slated to go against Leatherwood on Sunday, Harris demurred.

“S—,” he said Friday. “Good luck, I guess.”

Watt, who recently signed an extension that makes him the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player, has a little more than luck on his side as he goes against the rookie right tackle. Harris might not be volunteering much advice, but Watt isn’t asking for it, either.

“No, I haven’t even asked him,” Watt said with a laugh. “That’s the thing, this time of year, there’s only one or two games, a handful of snaps that you can look at opposing offensive linemen, so it’s about focusing on yourself, trying to get yourself in the best situations to throw your best pitches on game day.”

Harris, who’s looking to build on a rookie debut of 16 carries for 45 yards, and Leatherwood are far from the only Alabama products who will be at Heinz Field on Sunday when the Steelers host the Raiders.

Raiders running backs Kenyan Drake and Josh Jacobs, who will not play Sunday due to a toe/ankle injury, and receiver Henry Ruggs are all Alabama alums, as are Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, center J.C. Hassenauer and DL Isaiah Buggs, among others.

“There’s something about Bama backs,” Watt said when asked about Jacobs. “Wisconsin backs are pretty good, too, so I can’t give them all the credit. The SEC is a phenomenal conference to go against and I think they see a lot of reps. … Very excited to go up against a talented guy this week.”

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