Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris isn’t worried about the AFC North suddenly becoming one of the toughest divisions in the NFL.

In fact, he loves it.

Harris wants to compete against the best of the best — specifically when it comes to players on the defensive side of the ball.

The former Alabama standout had a terrific rookie season in 2021, rushing for 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns. He also caught 74 passes and 467 yards and three receiving touchdowns.

Harris is hoping to be even better in 2022 while playing against even tougher competition.

“We embrace all the smoke,” said Harris recently to Pro Football Talk. “No, no, no. We want everybody to come. That’s the thing. We want everybody to come here. This is the most gridiron division in the league. Not only all these good players are coming here, but they’re all good defenses and I gotta go against the defenses. So the [better] I do against them, the better I look.”

This is a championship-winning attitude, which isn’t a surprise to see from Harris considering he played college football at Alabama.

To be the best, you have to beat the best, right?

Harris doesn’t want to put up big numbers against weak competition. He wants to go against the best the NFL has to offer and dominate.

That’s an approach that I think everyone can respect — even non Steelers fans.

Harris, however, will have his work cut out for himself in 2022 — every team in the AFC North feels like they can make a Super Bowl run this season.

Pittsburgh’s offense runs through Harris, so you can be certain opposing teams will be focused on stopping him, which will make it even tougher for the young running back to put up big numbers.

Harris doesn’t care though, he’s fully embracing the challenge.

Featured image via USA TODAY Sports