View Full Version : LeBeau says Harrison not product of system

04-14-2009, 09:14 AM
Steeler report: LeBeau says Harrison not product of system
April 14, 1:23 AM
Pittsburgh Sports Examiner

PITTSBURGH - As first reported in the Examiner Monday morning, the Steelers have come to terms on a contract extension with All-Pro linebacker James Harrison.

An official announcement will come this morning at the South Side facility, but it is reported the deal is worth $51.175 million and it includes $20 million in guarantees. It makes the NFL Defensive Player of the Year the highest ever paid Steeler defensive player.

Troy Polamalu previously held that honor when he agreed to a five-year; $33 million deal in 2007. $15 million was guaranteed in that deal.

Despite his accolades the past two years, there are some skeptics who say Harrison is a product of the Steelers system and point out the recent success of LaMarr Woodley. There is also the question about his age, which will be 31 at the start of the 2009 season.

Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau disagrees with that notion.

“James Harrison would be a tremendous player in anybody’s scheme," LeBeau said. ”He’s just a great competitor. He’s a young man who has been told ‘no’ a couple of times and I think that fueled him to be successful. There’s no question in my mind that he would be good in anybody’s system. He never stops on any play, never gives up in any game.”

Harrison though is a true success story. An undrafted player from Kent State, he was cut and released four times early on in his career. But since taking over the starting job for Joey Porter in 2006 he has blossomed into elite status.

“The difference is maturity. I handled situations a lot differently now than I would have when I got here my rookie year," Harrison said. “The way I took coaching, the way I talked to coaches and just getting an opportunity to go out there and show what I could do…that was all different. I had to change all of that because it was basically the last hurrah.

“I just wanted to come in here, give it a shot and do everything that I can. I wanted to know that I gave everything that I could. I wanted to know that I tried to learn the defense to the best of my abilities, that I handled situations with coaches differently, that I treated them the way they treated me, and then, if I didn’t make it, I would have done everything that I could.”

Last year he recorded 16 sacks in 15 regular-season games and had 8.5 sacks in 2007. He also has 199 career tackles. He is a two time Pro Bowler, and has the longest play in Super Bowl history with his 100 yard interception return for a touchdown.

“It came down to getting the opportunity. Once I got the opportunity, it came down to getting better at my craft," Harrison said. "If you get a guy who is a first or a second round pick, he’s going to get a year, two or maybe three years to develop. If you get a guy who’s undrafted, if he doesn’t come into camp and do something spectacular, he may have the opportunity to play on special teams or be on the practice squad. It’s a long road to go and I just thank God."


04-14-2009, 10:37 AM
thanks for posting that.

04-14-2009, 12:17 PM
A coach said that?

Pah! What does he know? He's just an NFL coach!

04-14-2009, 02:31 PM
Who is this idiot who said that?? LaMarr Woodley is also a very talented LB. Obvioulsy this coach has not been watching Steeler football all these years, otherwise he would know that the Steelers have had tremendous Linebackers's. Their defintately not a product of any system.

04-14-2009, 02:49 PM
i think harrison is a great player and all.. but i do think the system he is in.. helps him be so great as well...

04-14-2009, 03:35 PM
It's all figured out folks. LeBeau thinks he's a "young man". :laughing:

All kidding aside, Harrison is a man with a chip on his shoulder.