What a world it is when adding weight can be seen as a good thing.
This is the case with many sports athletes around the world, who seek to add size and muscle mass to their frames to improve their performance and withstand the physical rigors that their sports entail. Soccer is no exception as players of all skill levels must maximize their frames to produce exceptional strength and explosiveness while having the body love to absorb the punishment that occurs between those white lines on the gridiron.
Much has been said about RB Najee Harris and his weight this offseason, which reportedly hit 244 pounds. Many saw this as a potential disadvantage for a ball carrier who needs to be quick and dynamic with the ball on his hands. However, speed was never the key to Najee’s game, rather being a sneaky runner with the size and strength to carry the load of a ground attack for an entire NFL season. .
Najee Harris Says He Now Weighs 244 Pounds (Update)
Steelers.com’s Mike Prisuta recently posted an article highlighting Canada’s comments about Harris and the size of his quads that we talked about at Steelers Depot during training camp and OTAs. Yet Canada has gone out of its way to conjure up another name when talking about Harris in terms of height that may surprise some people: rookie WR George Pickens.
“I didn’t notice the quads (on Harris), but if you don’t notice how big George is, I mean he’s a fucking big dude,” Canada said according to Prisuta on Steelers.com .
Frankly, Canada mentioning Pickens in light of his comments about Harris and his size is a pleasant surprise. As we well know, Pickens suffered a torn ACL during spring training last year in Georgia before the start of the 2021 season. Pickens managed to recover from this injury and return to the field for the race team stretch, playing in some forfeits and made a few plays to help the Bulldogs win a national championship.
When Pickens checked into the NFL Combine he weighed 195lbs despite being 6’3 1/4” tall. Considering his height and size, 195lbs is a bit underwhelming for what you want a receiver of Pickens’ stature to be. However, when Pickens arrived in Pittsburgh after the draft, his weight listed on the team’s website increased to 200 pounds.
As is often the case with football players who sustain a serious injury, they cannot train effectively in terms of weightlifting to maintain their body weight, leading to them losing weight during rehabilitation. That seemed to be the case with Pickens who weighed 200 pounds in college before the knee injury. Atrophy naturally associated with a lack of resistance training likely caused his body weight to plummet into the 190s, likely making it even lower than the 195 pounds he listed at the NFL Combine, as most players will consume a lot of water and sodium before weighing. as I have experienced during my work with the Iowa Hawkeye and Florida Gator football strength and conditioning programs.
However, now over a year after the ACL injury, Pickens has been able to hit the weights without any physical limitations, which has likely brought his body weight back up to where he was injured and likely above. Prisuta mentioned in the article that Pickens looked bigger than his listed 200 pounds, and that may be believable considering he’s preparing his body for the rigors of NFL play compared to college as well as the fact that Pickens is still only 21 years old. -old and still growing in his body.
You don’t want your wide receiver to be unable to move, but in the case of Pickens who wins as a combative receiving receiver on pop ball situations as well as a receiver who can stretch defenses vertically, you need to be able to play by contact. Pickens is sure to see that at a higher level in the league than the college game, filling his frame like this should be seen as a good thing.