Football is officially back! The Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys kicked off the preseason and, according to the latest NFL rumors, Najee Harris impressed head coach Mike Tomlin. In other news, Peyton Manning spoke to reporters prior to his upcoming enshrinement while Mecole Hardman is reportedly tearing up training camp.
NFL Rumors: Najee Harris, Peyton Manning, Mecole Hardman
Mike Tomlin: Najee Harris Did What Steelers Wanted
The Hall of Fame might be the unofficial start of the football season, but you rarely see the big stars out on the stage. The latest iteration of the game was no exception, as most of the starters for both teams never suited up. Pittsburgh Steelers first-round rookie Najee Harris, however, took the field, and head coach Mike Tomlin liked what he saw.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Tomlin said that Harris “did all the things [the Steelers] wanted him to do.” The head coach added that the team “[wasn’t] looking for spectacular” but merely “wanted him to make plays routinely.”
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Harris with the intention of using him early and often. The Alabama product finished his NFL debut with seven carries for 22 yards, for an uninspiring 3.1 yards-per-carry. Harris will likely see a big role moving forward, as backup running back Kalen Ballage suffered an injury midway through the contest.
Peyton Manning Talks Simulcast, Tom Brady
Peyton Manning is one of the greatest players in the history of the NFL and the clear headliner of the 2021 Hall of Fame class. Now back in Canton, the five-time NFL MVP took some time during the Hall of Fame game to discuss his upcoming simulcast with his brother.
For those who missed the news, Peyton and Eli Manning will handle an ESPN2 simulcast of Monday Night Football in 2021. However, Manning says that their version will not be a formal experience.
“It is kind of like you are watching the game at a bar and me and Eli show up and watch the game with you,” Manning said. The legendary quarterback also said that he and Eli will not be in a booth and will instead broadcast from his couch. Basically, the Manning brothers’ ultimate goal appears to be a casual, laid-back experience featuring two of the NFL’s most famous quarterbacks.
Manning also talked about his upcoming enshrinement, specifically noting how honored he is that Tom Brady will be in Canton when he receives his golden jacket. Brady and Manning had arguably the greatest rivalry in the history of the NFL, as both players faced off just about every year and both have a solid claim for being the greatest quarterback in the history of the game. Brady, of course, is still playing, but the enshrinement happens to fall on an off day for Tampa Bay.
"Tom Brady is coming in, sitting in my section – I’m not sure how my Colts teammates will handle that."
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) August 6, 2021
Mecole Hardman Impressing in Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman has not lived up to expectations early in his career. Selected in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the wideout has largely been an afterthought in the offense. However, with Sammy Watkins gone, the third-year receiver finally has a chance to win the starting job. According to reports from camp, Hardman has made the most of this opportunity.
Hardman has been one of the biggest bright spots on offense, and quarterback Patrick Mahomes says he notices a big difference in the 23-year old. Saying that Hardman’s maturity and work ethic are “completely different” from years past, Mahomes said that Hardman is finally comfortable in the offense and that it could take his game “to a new level”.
While it’s obviously a good thing to hear Hardman making waves, one must be careful about training camp optimism. These types of reports are very common every offseason, and usually don’t lead to much of anything in terms of on-field results. Across the league, you can find similar reports about N’Keal Harry and Bryan Edwards. If Hardman shows improvement in the preseason, then it’s time to take this story seriously.
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