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Thread: Najee Harris' Run Game

  1. #1
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    Najee Harris' Run Game

    A look at Najee's rushing game season to date;


    • Where's does Harris fall relative to the league in rush success rate?
      • Harris avg= 46.3% success; NFL= 49.4%

    • Maybe he is running into heavy boxes?
      • Harris faces 8+ in the box 13.3% of the time, 9th fewest in the NFL

    • Does Najee get stronger as the game moves along?
      • Rush success by quarter:
      • Quarter NH_SuccRate NFLAvg
        1st 49.1% 51.1%
        2nd 48.1% 47.6%
        3rd 45.2% 51.9%
        4th 39.5% 46.9%

    • What down does he do his best work on?
      • Rush success by down:
      • Down NH_SuccRate NFLAvg
        1st 44% 48.8%
        2nd 46.9% 49.5%
        3rd 50% 50.9%
        4th 100%* 58.7%

    *3 atts/4 total yds

    • What about his beast mode?
      • Yds after contact; 439 yds, 5th in the NFL; 2.3 yds/att, 18th in the NFL (some of yinz liked JWilliams in the draft; JWill =#1, 3.7 yds/att)
      • ​Broken/missed tackles= 10.1% (JWill #1 = 19.4%; JConner, 2nd in the NFL, 11.6%)



    It looks to me a lot like Najee's stats in rushing are based on sheer volume of touches. It also looks like he doesn't get better as the game goes along.
    Last edited by NorthCoast; 11-25-2021 at 10:35 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoast View Post
    A look at Najee's rushing game season to date;


    • Where's does Harris fall relative to the league in rush success rate?
      • Harris avg= 46.3% success; NFL= 49.4%

    • Maybe he is running into heavy boxes?
      • Harris faces 8+ in the box 13.3% of the time, 9th fewest in the NFL

    • Does Najee get stronger as the game moves along?
      • Rush success by quarter:
      • Quarter NH_SuccRate NFLAvg
        1st 49.1% 51.1%
        2nd 48.1% 47.6%
        3rd 45.2% 51.9%
        4th 39.5% 46.9%

    • What down does he do his best work on?
      • Rush success by down:
      • Down NH_SuccRate NFLAvg
        1st 44% 48.8%
        2nd 46.9% 49.5%
        3rd 50% 50.9%
        4th 100%* 58.7%


    *3 atts/4 total yds

    • What about his beast mode?
      • Yds after contact; 439 yds, 5th in the NFL; 2.3 yds/att, 18th in the NFL (some of yinz liked JWilliams in the draft; JWill =#1, 3.7 yds/att)
      • ​Broken/missed tackles= 10.1% (JWill #1 = 19.4%; JConner, 2nd in the NFL, 11.6%)




    It looks to me a lot like Najee's stats in rushing are based on sheer volume of touches. It also looks like he doesn't get better as the game goes along.
    I get the numbers, but how to evaluate them is an entirely different question. IMO, the biggest factor in the success or failure of NH is the line in front of him. Broken tackle and yards after contact can be apples and oranges when comparing two backs. How many guys were on you when you attempted to break that tackle? Were you able to get up a head of steam before breaking it? Much harder to break a tackle when you are hit as soon as you get the ball vs. already having a head of steam and would be tackler diving at your waist.

    I'm not trying to defend NH when I say this, I just think that he is in a bad situation running behind this line and nobody to spell him to keep him fresh.

  3. #3
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    I think part of the problem is defenses simply aren’t afraid of our deep game so even thought they aren’t “in the box” they are damn close.

    I will say Najee has been a bit disappointing once he gets to the second level, maybe because he is expecting contact but there are times he needs to make a man miss and he is trying to run through guys.
    Tomlinís coming back so what can you do?


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by steeler_fan_in_t.o. View Post
    I get the numbers, but how to evaluate them is an entirely different question. IMO, the biggest factor in the success or failure of NH is the line in front of him. Broken tackle and yards after contact can be apples and oranges when comparing two backs. How many guys were on you when you attempted to break that tackle? Were you able to get up a head of steam before breaking it? Much harder to break a tackle when you are hit as soon as you get the ball vs. already having a head of steam and would be tackler diving at your waist.

    I'm not trying to defend NH when I say this, I just think that he is in a bad situation running behind this line and nobody to spell him to keep him fresh.
    They track yds before contact; JWill = 2.4 yds, Conner= 1.6 yds, NHarris =1.9 yds

    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz View Post
    I think part of the problem is defenses simply arenít afraid of our deep game so even thought they arenít ďin the boxĒ they are damn close.

    I will say Najee has been a bit disappointing once he gets to the second level, maybe because he is expecting contact but there are times he needs to make a man miss and he is trying to run through guys.
    noticed this as well. He doesn't have the moves to make guys miss. Doesn't really have the speed to outrun guys either. TBH, he's a lot like Conner, but with better vision for holes and so far hasn't had the injuries.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoast View Post
    They track yds before contact; JWill = 2.4 yds, Conner= 1.6 yds, NHarris =1.9 yds

    noticed this as well. He doesn't have the moves to make guys miss. Doesn't really have the speed to outrun guys either. TBH, he's a lot like Conner, but with better vision for holes and so far hasn't had the injuries.
    I think he's kind of the way I remember Priest Holmes.

    A guy that gets his average on most carries. Not many big runs. Not many losses. Just really consistent.

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    My biggest concern with Harris is "Overuse". Would love to see what he could do behind an average run blocking line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northern_Blitz View Post
    I think he's kind of the way I remember Priest Holmes.

    A guy that gets his average on most carries. Not many big runs. Not many losses. Just really consistent.
    Good comparison. Holmes when healthy was a 1200+ yd back. Was a good one for KC for a few years.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoast View Post
    Good comparison. Holmes when healthy was a 1200+ yd back. Was a good one for KC for a few years.
    Hopefully we have a good OL next year. Because I think we'll run even more.

    Maybe we'll even learn how to distribute carries.

    I agree with you that Harris' starts are driven by touches. He'll read like that too, especially in his last 2 years with us.

  9. #9
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    It's funny how people on the message board spin different situations. When James Conner played on the Steelers, he averaged 4.5 a carry one year, 4.0 the next and 4.3 the next. 4.3 in total. This doesn't take into account the good work he did as a receiver, and the "dizzy" Conner hating twins on the message board, characterized that as not only "bad" it was "terrible"

    Now Najee has averaged 3.6 a carry, which is a little disappointing, and he is still regarded very highly. There is basically no criticism, and all the blame is placed on poor O-line play.

    In reality, I don't think Harris is a better back than Conner. At least he hasn't show that to date. I know that is going to make the Conner hating twins blow the lids off their domes.
    Harris is a more durable back than Conner. In that way, he is better, but he hasn't been more productive.

    But this is not hate toward Harris, like there was hate toward Conner. I like Harris a lot. I root for him. He is a cool, understated kind of guy. But he's got to work on his explosiveness. The long runs are lacking. I think he has one 20 yard run. Until he gets a few of those, I think his statistics are going to be less than desirable. I think he has the potential.

    I think overuse may be a factor. Sometimes his legs look a little weary. They need another back to step up.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelerphile View Post
    It's funny how people on the message board spin different situations. When James Conner played on the Steelers, he averaged 4.5 a carry one year, 4.0 the next and 4.3 the next. 4.3 in total. This doesn't take into account the good work he did as a receiver, and the "dizzy" Conner hating twins on the message board, characterized that as not only "bad" it was "terrible"

    Now Najee has averaged 3.6 a carry, which is a little disappointing, and he is still regarded very highly. There is basically no criticism, and all the blame is placed on poor O-line play.

    In reality, I don't think Harris is a better back than Conner. At least he hasn't show that to date. I know that is going to make the Conner hating twins blow the lids off their domes.
    Harris is a more durable back than Conner. In that way, he is better, but he hasn't been more productive.

    But this is not hate toward Harris, like there was hate toward Conner. I like Harris a lot. I root for him. He is a cool, understated kind of guy. But he's got to work on his explosiveness. The long runs are lacking. I think he has one 20 yard run. Until he gets a few of those, I think his statistics are going to be less than desirable. I think he has the potential.

    I think overuse may be a factor. Sometimes his legs look a little weary. They need another back to step up.
    I liked Conner. I think he showed that he could run hard behind good blocking. But he got hurt too much. And had some pretty inopportune fumbles. He wasn't worth a second contract unless we could get him on the cheap like the $1.75M deal he signed with the Cards...and I don't think guys will usually come back to their own team after testing UFA (and I don't think he'd sign that deal before seeing if he could get something more somewhere else). I would love to have a Conner level back on this team at that price because we could split carries...although we never do that, so maybe it would be more like we could have someone to play that doesn't suck if / when Harris misses time.

    I don't think Harris will end up being worth a "real" second contract either. Because very few RBs are. And we're clearly going to run the wheels off him in years 1 - 4, so he'll probably get pretty beat up.

    If he ends up playing well, I think we should probably do the 5th year option (based on the tag value which I think keeps dropping for RBs), then a tag (again seems to be fairly inexpensive relative to some other positions). My guess is that most RBs don't do all that well after 6 years. Especially if we keep using him this much and he gets 402 touches per year (and there's probably no way he can do that for 4 years without major injury).

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