PDA

View Full Version : OLB Harrison emerges as NFL's best


lamberts-lost-tooth
11-17-2008, 03:34 AM
OLB Harrison emerges as NFL's best
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, November 17, 2008

Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison is the best defensive player in the NFL.

Now that I have your attention, let's ask Harrison what he thinks.

That's right, the same James Harrison who wasn't drafted out of Kent State in 2002. The same James Harrison who was released by the Steelers three times. The same James Harrison who watched and learned behind Joey Porter before finally receiving his opportunity at stardom.

"I feel like I am," Harrison said following Sunday's 11-10 win over the San Diego Chargers when asked if he's playing better than any defensive player in the league.

"I think my play should speak for itself."

Loudly and clearly.

Harrison may be second in the NFL in sacks, trailing Porter, now with the Miami Dolphins, but Harrison is the best player on the league's top-ranked defense who has nearly twice as many tackles as Porter.

Yesterday, Harrison finished with four tackles, one sack that resulted in a safety and an interception deep in Steelers territory that ended a San Diego threat late in the first half.

Without Harrison's safety and interception, the Steelers lose -- pure and simple.

"James Harrison continues to make splash play after splash play; he is one of the main reasons we were successful today," coach Mike Tomlin said.

The Steelers don't normally talk contract with their players during the season, but they should make an exception with Harrison, who is in the third year of a four-year, $5.5 million contract that is well below market value.

Considering that Harrison likely will be named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first two seasons as a starter, the Steelers should tear up his old deal and sign him to a new one ASAP.

"Oh, man. I really can't say enough about the guy," defensive captain James Farrior said of Harrison. "I got a lot of respect for the guy, not for what he's doing now but where he came from. He started out at the bottom. He was a rookie free agent when he first got here. He got cut three times, went to a couple of different teams, came back and stuck with it.

"You can just see in his eyes the determination he plays with. I think he holds that in the back of his head, all the stuff he went through to get to this point."

Harrison came up big twice in the second quarter. On third-and-9 from the San Diego 3, Harrison beat the blocks of two players to drop quarterback Philip Rivers for his 12th sack of the season.

Not only did Harrison's sack cause a fumble, he also tackled offensive lineman Marcus McNeill, who recovered the fumble in the end zone, for a safety.

"They had the tight end, and the back tried to give me a little bump. He tried to chip, and I ended up going around him. (Rivers) held the ball too long," Harrison said.

"When you single block him, he's going to cause something to happen," Farrior said. "You can't block him with nothing but linemen, and there'd better be two of them."

On his interception, Harrison said he was surprised Rivers threw the ball with Harrison standing so close by.

"I didn't think he was going to throw it, considering I was already out there. I thought he would throw it a little wider, but he threw it straight to me," Harrison said.

Harrison galloped 33 yards to the Steelers' 43 with 1:23 left before halftime. His interception set up a 21-yard Jeff Reed field goal that sliced San Diego's lead to 7-5.

Harrison was directly responsible for five points. It's difficult to imagine the Steelers pulling out their one-point win without his two big plays.



http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_598799.html

Steeldude
11-17-2008, 03:57 AM
i have said all along that harrison should have been starting long ago.

The same James Harrison who watched and learned behind Joey Porter before finally receiving his opportunity at stardom

lmao...it doesn't look like he learned anything from the one-move LB.

the steelers will have to up his pay. they could find it by letting smith and starks walk. that gives the steelers $13,552,020.

Blonde Bomber
11-17-2008, 05:55 AM
This is definitely the second time that Kent State has blessed us with a great Linebacker!!!!

RoethlisBURGHer
11-17-2008, 07:50 AM
I think he will get a big bump in pay from the Steelers. They broke from tradition when they gave Farrior his new contract, and Harrison deserves a new contract himself, and I think the Steelers will give it to him.

steelpride12
11-17-2008, 07:55 AM
12 Sacks, 1 INT, and 1 safety through ten games= Team MVP!

SCSTILLER
11-17-2008, 08:24 AM
[B]Harrison may be second in the NFL in sacks, trailing Porter, now with the Miami Dolphins, but Harrison is the best player on the league's top-ranked defense who has nearly twice as many tackles as Porter.
]

He would have alot more sacks if he wasn't getting held by the O-line all the time also! I always see him being held, but not called too often. I know that you could call holding on every play, but some of the holds on him are pretty blantant.

Leftoverhard
11-17-2008, 08:27 AM
Sweet

SteelersMongol
11-17-2008, 08:40 AM
Is it going 2 make him a Porter's student?

TerribleSteelyMcBeam
11-17-2008, 08:47 AM
yeah mr harrison was the direct reason the steelers wound up with another tick in the win column.

I just really hope the steelers and harrison can reach a new deal agreement and that harrison doesnt come out asking for an absurd amount of money.

we need to keep this guy around!

Rhee Rhee
11-17-2008, 01:13 PM
12 Sacks, 1 INT, and 1 safety through ten games= Team MVP!

not just team MVP... NFL MVP!

tony hipchest
11-17-2008, 01:23 PM
lets not forget his 4 passes defended, 4 forced fumbles and a whopping 45 solo tackles + 22 assists.

The Duke
11-17-2008, 01:42 PM
OLBs are rarely on pace to have more than 100 tackles, yet silverback is, for the 2nd year in a row

The man is a monster

He has to get signed to a good contract

Steeldude
11-17-2008, 01:49 PM
12 Sacks, 1 INT, and 1 safety through ten games= Team MVP!

and don't forget 67 tackles, 4 forced fumbles and 3 stuffs :smile:

his 2008 stats are on pace for..

107 tackles
19 sacks
6 FF
1 INT
5 stuffs
5 PD

T.Richardson
11-17-2008, 02:24 PM
and don't forget 67 tackles, 4 forced fumbles and 3 stuffs :smile:

his 2008 stats are on pace for..

107 tackles
19 sacks
6 FF
1 INT
5 stuffs
5 PD

Very very very good stats!

kmsteelerwr15
11-17-2008, 03:05 PM
MVP MVP MVP MVP!!!! :tt03:

gotta give him a new deal the man is just plain nasty

Rek
11-17-2008, 03:10 PM
He is a warrior, that's for sure. Joey who?

BlueSteel
11-17-2008, 03:46 PM
He's the best LB right now...hands down.

CanadianSteel
11-17-2008, 03:49 PM
Trying to remember off the top of my head but what is the Steeler record for sacks in a season.... I wanna say 15 by either Lloyd Greene or Merriweather .... and just too lazy to look it up..
Silverback has played consistent in each and everygame and dominates 90% of his individual match-ups .... he gets held more than anyone and he is the NFL Defensive MVP thus far....

BlackAndGold4Ever
11-17-2008, 07:52 PM
1984--Mike Merriweather had 15

1983--Keith Willis (14)

1994--Kevin Greene (14)

2000-Jason Gildon (13.5)

1996--Chad Brown (13)

BlackAndGold4Ever
11-17-2008, 07:54 PM
Trying to remember off the top of my head but what is the Steeler record for sacks in a season.... I wanna say 15 by either Lloyd Greene or Merriweather .... and just too lazy to look it up..
Silverback has played consistent in each and everygame and dominates 90% of his individual match-ups .... he gets held more than anyone and he is the NFL Defensive MVP thus far....

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1984--Mike Merriweather had 15

1983--Keith Willis (14)

1994--Kevin Greene (14)

2000-Jason Gildon (13.5)

1996--Chad Brown (13)

revefsreleets
11-17-2008, 08:09 PM
I'm not joking when I say this: He could have 30 sacks if they called holding by the rule book. He was BLATANTLY and fragrantly held at least 3 times yesterday, I mean just completely raped, and no call. It's disconcerting to say the least...

tony hipchest
11-17-2008, 08:48 PM
I'm not joking when I say this: He could have 30 sacks if they called holding by the rule book. He was BLATANTLY and fragrantly held at least 3 times yesterday, I mean just completely raped, and no call. It's disconcerting to say the least... not to mention (and i dont think im exaggerating) there have been atleast 10 plays this season where harrison has completely pushed the LT into the QB's lap and disrupted the play.

the way he single handedly takes over games is a rare occurrance and a true testament to the greatness of d. lebeau.

stillers4me
11-17-2008, 09:56 PM
I said in another post that Troy was my favorite Steeler. If Harrison signs a new contract, he's my next jersey.

I have a signed picture of James and a picture of me and my hubby with him. James was holding me real tight at my waist........and yeah baby, I liked it! Nice guy, nice smile and one helluva linebacker! He's not near as mean as he looks!

I think the Rooney's will open up their wallet to keep him. They're nuts if they don't.

chucoblack&gold
11-17-2008, 11:32 PM
I recall one of the commentators stating that Harrison can fit in well in any defense in the league right now .........I do not want to imagine silverback making those sacks on big ben:sweating::deal:

Boomerang
11-17-2008, 11:47 PM
Harrison is gold and we need to keep hold of this talent.

I-Want-Troy's-Hair
11-17-2008, 11:50 PM
AP article on Harrison.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AqEiIpIwsUgw_pX8ahJ5gD8dsLYF?slug=ap-steelers-harrison&prov=ap&type=lgns

Mean James Harrison known for sacks

By ALAN ROBINSON, AP Sports Writer 7 hours, 15 minutes ago

PITTSBURGH (AP)—When Hall of Famer Mean Joe Greene attends Steelers training camp as a special assistant, some defensive players jokingly tell him he wouldn’t be the meanest player on the team today.

Meaner than James Harrison, who plays with such an edge and so much surliness his teammates wonder if he likes himself? C’mon now.

With six games remaining, Harrison is having one of the best seasons by any defensive player in Steelers history—an accomplishment indeed given this is the franchise of Greene, Jack Lambert, Jack Ham and Mel Blount.

He wasn’t drafted out of Kent State, Lambert’s alma mater. Yet, in less than two seasons as a starter, Harrison has 20 1/2 sacks, 11 forced fumbles, three recoveries, two interceptions and two safeties—one for the Steelers, one against them.

“James Harrison continues to make splash play after splash play,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.

The 6-foot, 242-pound Harrison is as private as he is peevish, someone who enjoys talking to reporters about as much as he does paying fines like his $20,000 assessment last month for criticizing the officiating.

Occasionally, though, the outside linebacker offers a glimpse or two into the inner workings of a player who wasn’t drafted, yet made the Pro Bowl and was the Steelers’ MVP in his first season as a regular at age 29 last year.

After creating five points with a safety and an interception during the 11-10 victory over San Diego on Sunday, Harrison was asked if he is playing as well as any NFL defensive player.

Harrison rarely assesses his own play, yet he couldn’t help but concur.

“I feel like I am, yeah,” he said.

Hard to argue with that.

It was much like the answer he gave a few years ago when asked if there was anyone meaner in the league and he said, “No. I don’t think anybody is tougher than me.”

With 12 sacks, Harrison trails only Joey Porter, who has 13 1/2 for the Dolphins—fittingly enough because Porter’s departure from Pittsburgh after the 2006 season created a lineup opening for Harrison.

Harrison also has four forced fumbles and an interception and, with LaMarr Woodley (9 1/2 sacks), is part of the NFL’s most proficient sack duo.

“You’ve got to pick your poison with those two,” defensive end Aaron Smith said. “The pressure they bring can be unbelievable.”

When Harrison felt Texans quarterback Matt Schaub was tippy-toeing too much in the pocket during the Sept. 7 season opener, Harrison yelled at him—he won’t reveal what he said—to basically play like a man.

“When he’s getting after the quarterback, it’s very fun,” defensive end Brett Keisel said.

And that Browns fan who disrupted a game by running onto the field in 2005? There may still be a divot in the Browns Stadium turf where Harrison spiked him.

No wonder that, after Sports Illustrated labeled Porter as the NFL’s meanest player in 2006, teammates laughed he wasn’t the meanest player in his own locker room.

Even before Harrison became a starter, the Steelers had the foresight to sign him to a multiyear deal that extends through 2009, As a result, the $1.8 million Harrison is making this season is only about one-third that of Porter’s $5.2 million in Miami.

Not surprisingly for a player who arrived in 2002 with a more-than-visible attitude, the Steelers had to calm down Harrison and, in the game’s parlance, coach him up before they could channel that surliness and aggressiveness into production.

The Steelers cut him twice, partly because he was initially difficult to coach, and he was picked up by Baltimore, only to be cut again from—imagine this—NFL Europe. (Also imagine this: Harrison playing alongside the equally intense Ray Lewis in Baltimore.)

Harrison returned to the Steelers only when linebacker Clark Haggans was injured days before the start of camp in 2004, but impressed them with his toughness by playing an exhibition game with a broken thumb. The first time he got on the field in a game that counted, he had a sack.

His versatility helped him stay around. He played special teams, remaining there after becoming a starter. Harrison volunteered to be the emergency long snapper, something he might have regretted after his errant snap resulted in a safety and set up the decisive points during the Giants’ 21-14 win on Oct. 26.

After finally becoming comfortable with the nuances and attention to detail needed to play in the NFL, Harrison has developed into one of the shrewdest pickups in team history. He is comparable to teammate Willie Parker and former safety Donnie Shell, two other non-drafted players who made the Pro Bowl.

Harrison’s explanation of why the Steelers’ defense is first against the run, first against the pass, and first overall is simplistic but telling.

“We play solid defense here. We try to stop the run and make them one-dimensional so they have to pass,” he said.

Sort of like how Harrison forced the Steelers to play him: He made it impossible for them to pass him up.

Rhee Rhee
11-18-2008, 01:34 AM
This year's NFL defensive MVP can go to anyone right now... haynesworth is just sensational... jenkins has been playing out of his mind... porter doesn't seem to be doing that bad as his team's record and his stats speak for themselves...

but silverback gets the nod... simply because of consistency and because he's the best player on the NFL's best defense.

SteelersMongol
11-21-2008, 12:47 AM
He is a warrior, that's for sure. Joey who?

U didn't just say that, did ya?