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Atlanta Dan
07-24-2013, 09:47 AM
Good read in the new SI MMQB section on how the Bengals will try to fit James Harrison into their defense.

The new MMQB section has a lot of good reads this week and appears to reflect SI beefing up the quality of its online NFL coverage (link to MMQB here - link to Harrison article below)
http://mmqb.si.com/

Force Fit
Mike Zimmer’s creativity will be put to the test figuring out how to make James Harrison effective again

A free agent with few suitors this offseason, the once feared and virtually unstoppable James Harrison flew from his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., to Cincinnati in mid-April looking for a lifeline...

After spending his entire career in the Steelers’ 3-4 defense, the 35-year-old Harrison couldn’t be anything but circumspect at the prospect of being plugged into the Bengals’ 4-3 scheme. But Zimmer, entering his sixth season in Cincy, spent a good chunk of the winter making sure Harrison was worth the two-year, $4.45 million deal he signed on April 23.

The coordinator ignored statistics, knowing 2012 was Harrison’s least productive season as a starter (just six sacks in 13 games) following left knee surgery last August. Zimmer concentrated on game film from the final third of the season, hoping to see Harrison at his healthiest. What he saw was a linebacker who showed flashes of the brutality and smarts that made him one of the NFL’s most respected pass rushers and a Pro Bowler for five straight seasons, from 2007 to ’11. But Harrison’s coverage skills remained a mystery. The Steelers rarely asked him to drop back, even less so in man coverage against players other than running backs....

Harrison won’t be asked to cover slot receivers and tight ends, which is a problem for the Bengals

Harrison was rarely required to shadow tight ends or wideouts downfield in Pittsburgh last season. Instead, he typically dropped back into the flats, followed a running back out of the backfield, or made sure the tight end didn’t release as a safety valve.

His play recognition in passing situations can be spotty. In the first quarter of that Bengals game on Dec. 23, Harrison lined up equidistant to a three-man receiver bunch and the left tackle. Dalton spun a bubble screen to A.J. Green, and Harrison, slow to recognize the play and slow to arrive, was on the wrong end of a successful stiff arm.

No matter how inventive Zimmer might be, these kind of plays make Harrison’s signing a bit peculiar. ...

By the looks of things, Harrison at 35 is a short-yardage run-stopper and a situational blitz specialist ...

Zimmer insists he will find the right way—or ways—to use Harrison, whom he terms an upgrade over Lawson. Harrison could, for instance, be used as a defensive lineman in nickel situations. But that might create other problems. Who would get bumped from one of the AFC’s best fronts? How much would that disrupt their chemistry? And would Harrison even be effective in the trenches? From 2007 to ’11 he led the NFL with 26 forced fumbles and ranked fifth with 54 sacks. Over the past two seasons he has averaged just two forced fumbles and 8.5 sacks.

http://mmqb.si.com/2013/07/23/james-harrison-cincinnati-bengals/

Deebo could come back strong but, assuming Jarvis Jones is the real deal, it may be in the Steelers best interests that Harrison rejected the Steelers offer for more $$ than he got with the Bengals

Lady Steel
07-24-2013, 10:40 PM
Hmmm. Things don't really sound very hopeful for Harrison in Cincy. They don't know what to do with him. :laughing:

GBMelBlount
07-24-2013, 10:46 PM
I was really upset when we lost Harrison.

Not so much anymore.

GodfatherofSoul
07-25-2013, 03:51 PM
Very sad. This is like a nature documentary when the old lion gets run off his pride and ends a sad, lonely life surrounded by hyenas.

Buddha Bus
07-25-2013, 03:57 PM
I figured he would probably struggle in Cincy as he's not the fastest learning student of the game and he had to learn an entirely new defense and scheme. Not to mention his injury problems and decline in his play. He's going to have a hard time making much of an impact there. He definitely would have been much better off accepting the pay cut and remaining here on so many different levels.

The only thing I fear is that when he plays the Steelers, he'll be like a bull seeing red. If he gets an opportunity as a pass rusher several times against us, he might try to destroy Ben. His motivation to hurt the Steelers for "disrespecting him" could have catastrophic consequences for the Steelers if he gets a clear shot at Ben.

JonM229
07-25-2013, 05:02 PM
His motivation to hurt the Steelers for "disrespecting him" could have catastrophic consequences for the Steelers if he gets a clear shot at Ben.

Sweet, sweet revenge

Fire Arians
07-25-2013, 05:17 PM
I don't know whether to laugh or cry seeing him in that stupid uniform.

with that said, he's the last guy on the planet i want to see taking a clean shot at ben. james doesnt hit people, he executes them

JonM229
07-25-2013, 05:23 PM
james doesnt hit people, he executes them

You're confusing Harrison with Hernandez

Fire Arians
07-25-2013, 05:25 PM
You're confusing Harrison with Hernandez

no i'm not. not this time :chuckle:

Buddha Bus
07-25-2013, 05:48 PM
You're confusing Harrison with Hernandez

No he isn't. He's clearly confused him with Ray "The Butcher" Lewis. :wink02:

Atlanta Dan
07-25-2013, 07:46 PM
The only thing I fear is that when he plays the Steelers, he'll be like a bull seeing red. If he gets an opportunity as a pass rusher several times against us, he might try to destroy Ben. His motivation to hurt the Steelers for "disrespecting him" could have catastrophic consequences for the Steelers if he gets a clear shot at Ben.

Like this scene from "Fast Times At Ridgement High" when the star player is conned into believing the other team trashed his car:chuckle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=YYV5f0Aqo4w

IowaSteeler927
07-26-2013, 07:08 AM
Harrison's one of my favorite Steelers but I can't say I'm wishing him well with the Bungles. He had his chance to take a pay cut and stay with the Steelers. Instead he wanted to make $$$ and his gamble didn't really pay off. Now he's with the Bungles in a defensive scheme he hasn't played in that's going to take him out of his comfort zone when he could've taken a pay cut and likely still been out starting OLB. Honesty though, I'm pretty happy with the Jarvis Jones pick and I really think we needed some youth injected into our defense.

GMU Steeler
07-27-2013, 06:25 PM
I thank him for everything he did for us on the field but his whole attitude abut this stank. He's up there in age and has had a harder time staying healthy. Honestly he should have gone to another team with a 3-4. Now he has to learn a whole new system at the twilight of his career. Zimmer's a good DC but this signing I think won't end well for both parties.