The Pittsburgh Steelers faltered down the stretch of the 2020 season, but there is optimism that the team will bounce back this year.
The Steelers were 12-4 in 2020, and while WynnBET has them projected to regress this season, wideout Chase Claypool thinks the team's offense will be better this coming season.
Claypool saw some double teams as his rookie season went on, but he thinks the addition of rookie running back Najee Harris will help the team keep defenses off balance.
"They started doing that towards the second half of the year," Claypool said. "I think it's good because guys like Diontae [Johnson], JuJu [Smith-Schuster], James [Washington], Ray-Ray [McCloud] can really go off. Now that we have Najee (Harris) in the mix, it will be fine. If they put two on me, I'm fine with that as long as the other guys are eating."
Harris, the Steelers first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, has +1600 odds to win the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award on WynnBET. Kyle Pitts (+850) and Ja’Marr Chase (+1100) are the only two non-quarterbacks with better odds than Harris.
Pittsburgh was dead last in the NFL in rushing yards last season, so any addition to the running game will likely make it easier on Ben Roethlisberger and the rest of the offense.
Harris is a dual-threat out of the backfield as well. He caught 43 passes for 425 yards his senior year at the University of Alabama.
The Steelers have the weapons, and if Harris can have as big of an impact as a rookie as Claypool did, Pittsburgh may be able to go over its win projection of 8.5 in 2021.