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Old 08-30-2006, 11:03 PM   #1
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Default Final Audition

Final audition

By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, August 31, 2006


It's come down to one final opportunity for wannabe Steelers such as outside linebacker Arnold Harrison, and even that might not be enough.
The final cut to 53 is looming on Saturday, and coach Bill Cowher is wary of putting too much stock in tonight's preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers as it relates to evaluations that began in May.

Roster spots are being determined. Potential roles are being defined, and have been for some time.

"It's more about the whole process than any one incident," Cowher said. "You have to be very careful about gaining too much from a first impression and gaining too much from a last impression."

Still, for those about whom a decision has yet to be made, the last chance to make a final impression arrives at Heinz Field with Carolina.

"Oh, man, big game," Harrison said, "big game."

As a first-year pro from Georgia, Harrison made a spirited bid to land a roster spot as a rookie free agent last August before landing on the Steelers' practice squad in late September.

He was activated onto the 53-man roster on Jan. 24, two days after linebacker Andre Frazier was injured in the AFC Championship Game, but Harrison was designated inactive for Super Bowl XL.

His name is on the Steelers' fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy, right between Casey Hampton and James Harrison.

And yet he has zero career NFL games on his resume.

He has a Super Bowl ring but is sharing a locker in the Steelers' South Side practice facility these days, one with a piece of yellow tape that has "A. Harrison" written across it in black marker identifying one of the occupants -- rather than an actual nameplate.

So close.

And yet, so far away.

"The standard's real high here at the linebacker position," Harrison said. "With people (such as) Joey Porter and Clark Haggans and James Harrison and James Farrior and Larry Foote, the list goes on and on. We have a bunch of great linebackers here.

"Just to be a part of that group is a great honor. I pray every night I'll have an opportunity to be that."

Arnold Harrison might have included Clint Kriewaldt and probably Rian Wallace on the list of linebackers who have their spots secured and their roles defined.

That leaves Frazier, Richard Seigler and Arnold Harrison seemingly fighting for the last spot or two at the position.

Also factoring into the equation is the uncertain status of tight end Jerame Tuman, who will miss his third consecutive preseason game tonight due to a hamstring injury.

With a healthy Tuman, the Steelers might be inclined to keep just two tight ends among their final 53.

If his availability is in question, a third tight end might be needed, which would leave one less spot to be had elsewhere.

At linebacker, perhaps.

"I feel like I could help this team," Arnold Harrison said. "I play hard. I could be a good backup, make my way on special teams and earn my way up.

"The way I see it, my time's going to come. I just have to stay in the race until the time comes."

The time has come tonight for the Arnold Harrisons of the NFL world to leave a lasting impression and hope for the best.

"I expect to go out and play hard and play well," Harrison said. "I've done the same thing all camp, just play hard and try to give great effort and try to give myself the best opportunity to make this team.

"I'm always going to give my greatest effort until I sit down and take my cleats off."


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_468520.html
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Old 08-31-2006, 08:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: Final Audition

GOOD READ and So So true.
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: Final Audition

"The standard's real high here at the linebacker position," Harrison said. "With people (such as) Joey Porter and Clark Haggans and James Harrison and James Farrior and Larry Foote, the list goes on and on. We have a bunch of great linebackers here.





That is one of our areas of strength. We definitely know how to produce solid LB's.
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