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When you’re fanatical about football but no longer have a dog in the fight, you pick another one.
And with the Pittsburgh Steelers knocked out of the playoffs in the first round, the next best thing is to cheer on your hometown team.
Which is precisely what Najee Harris is doing.
The Steelers rookie running back is throwing his support behind the San Fransisco 49ers.
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Hailing from Martinez, Calif., Harris is from the San Fransisco Bay area and has been a 49ers fan for as long as he can remember. Although Harris now plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers, his heart goes where it wants when Pittsburgh is no longer possible.
“I’m a Niner fan,” Harris shared on CBS HQ. “Niners is a really good team. Their defense is really good. They got a lot of playmakers on offense.”
There’s one 49ers player that Harris finds particularly impressive.
“I really like Deebo [Samuel],” Harris said. “He’s a Swiss army knife, man. You could put him anywhere, mix-match him when you put him in the backfield, and he’s one-on-one with a linebacker, an option route, slots, have him in open space. Even just being out wide getting that one-on-one coverage. I mean this guy right here, you know, he’s really good.”
Since Harris’ game relies on the offensive line, he has a soft spot for the Niners’ unit and tackle Trent Williams.
Steelers Rival for the Win
As for the AFC matchup this Championship Sunday, picking that winner is a little more challenging. It hits home more than the Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t in it.
“The Bengals is pretty good. I’m gonna let you know that,” Harris said. “So is the Chiefs. They’re both really high-powered offenses. They both got a lot of playmakers; both got good quarterbacks.”
Even though he just finished his first season, Harris knows plenty about both teams and their leaders, Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow.
After enjoying one of the most one-sided rivalries in NFL history for decades, the Steelers were swept by Cincinnati this season in Weeks 3 and 12. It was the first time the Bengals had swept the Steelers since 2009.
“The Bengals is a really good, young team,” said Harris. “The Chiefs are experienced and really good, too. This is, like, their prime in a way.”
Harris thinks both sides will light up the scoreboard, and it’ll come down to which makes the best plays in critical moments. “It’s who makes the plays when it matters most… the defenses gotta step up really big.”
Harris’s final answer for the AFC side is Cincinnati. “If I were to pick one man, for some reason, I go with the Bengals, man,” he said. “I think that they’re gonna be in the Super Bowl and the Niners gonna win.
“I’m gonna root them on for sure at my house while I’m kicking my feet up chilling. I ain’t going to the game for sure, but I’ll be there for moral support, and I’m wearing my [Colin] Kaepernick jersey, man, and start chillin’.”
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