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Old 08-15-2007, 08:12 PM   #1
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Default Harrison gets the Lambert seal of approval

Steelers LB Harrison ready to tackle expectations

By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, August 15, 2007

James Harrison got the Lambert seal of approval following a Steelers practice earlier this week. During a visit to training camp, the youngest son of Hall of Famer Jack Lambert said Harrison is his favorite current Steeler.

"He's amazing," 13-year-old Ty Lambert said Tuesday after meeting Harrison and getting an autograph from him.

The Steelers do not need Harrison to be amazing or to be another Jack Lambert. They are counting on his being ready to step in for Joey Porter at right outside linebacker and become a full-time starter in the NFL.

"I see him having 15 sacks," starting inside linebacker Larry Foote said.

That's pretty ambitious considering Harrison has four career sacks and has yet to prove that he can stay healthy.

But following Porter, who is fourth on the Steelers' all-time sack list, and dealing with the accompanying high expectations probably doesn't faze Harrison.

He knows the pressure of just trying to make a living in this game as Harrison signed with the Steelers in 2002 (he was an undrafted free agent) but got released three times before he stuck with the team for good.

When the team breaks camp Friday, it will do so with a guy who could have given up on playing in the NFL starting at one of the Steelers' glamour positions on defense.

"I really don't think it's hit me because I haven't gotten a chance to play yet," Harrison said. "I think it may hit me maybe three, four games into the (regular) season, if everything goes well."

The Steelers are counting on that even though they lost one of their top playmakers as well as their emotional leader on defense in Porter.

"Will you miss a player like that? Sure," defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said. "In terms of replacing Joey, I have every confidence in the world in James."

Harrison, 29, might have more in common with Lambert than he does Porter.

Like Lambert, Harrison played his college ball at Kent State, and intimidation is part of his game as well as his persona.

Harrison has a flinty stare that can make one's knees wobble. The 6-0, 242-pounder also packs quite a wallop and doesn't hold back when he is on the field.

Verron Haynes found that out Tuesday during a linebacker-on-running back blocking drill as Harrison twice flattened the veteran on bull rushes.

"Pound for pound, he's probably one of the strongest linebackers in the league, and everybody knows that," Foote said.

What is not known is how Harrison's body will hold up over the course of the season, especially as a starter.

He missed the first two preseason games because of a rib problem -- Harrison said he had a little cartilage separation -- and is still working through some pain.

But he is expected to play Saturday night when the Steelers visit the Washington Redskins for an 8 p.m. game.

Harrison said he hasn't set any goals as far as numbers.

Even if he is not as vocal as Porter, Harrison wants to show that he can perform at an elite level like the player who had 60 sacks and made the Pro Bowl three times during an eight-year career with the Steelers.

"The only thing that I want that's personal is what everybody wants, a Pro Bowl," Harrison said. "After that it's what everybody wants again: a Super Bowl."
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"We're not going to turn our backs on him," Ward said. "We're going to treat him like our brother. We're going to accept him back and be very supportive of him and help him get through this. In this locker room, he's still our quarterback."
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Old 08-15-2007, 08:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Harrison gets the Lambert seal of approval

15 sacks, that's just too much. I think he'll have pretty much what porter had last season, mainly beacuse Timmons(if healthy)will also get time to play. But is good to see he has the approval of Lambert Jr, but I wanna see what Harrison can do in pre season soon
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Old 08-15-2007, 08:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: Harrison gets the Lambert seal of approval

Yeah, I'll wait to see Harrison play a full season at the position (let alone stay healthy at the position for half the season) before I take Lambert's son's word for it. Interesting story though.
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Old 08-15-2007, 08:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Harrison gets the Lambert seal of approval

Yeah.....he does have a scary looking stare.......he put it on when he walked into the bar on draft day. But then he turned into this big ole teddy bear.....with a gorgeous smile a mile wide. Very nice guy......I'm glad I made the trip that day and will pay a little more attention to his plays now. Good luck, Silverback!
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"We're not going to turn our backs on him," Ward said. "We're going to treat him like our brother. We're going to accept him back and be very supportive of him and help him get through this. In this locker room, he's still our quarterback."
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Old 08-15-2007, 08:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Harrison gets the Lambert seal of approval

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Good luck, Silverback!
I agree. We need him to step up big time. I wish the guy all the best. It would be nice to see our LB corp get a pass rush this year instead of depending on the front line and Keisel in particular.
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Old 08-15-2007, 08:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Harrison gets the Lambert seal of approval

hes had his teammates backs for several years. nice to see they (such as foote) have his. thats what the nfl brootherhood is all about.

theres nothing that says he cant go out and be this years (olb) version of a bart scott.

unless its out of necessity, i'd just as soon see our 1st round pick be brought along slowly, just like all the linebackers before him. woodley seems more nfl ready anyways.

harrison keeping timmons off the field as much as possible is a good thing all around. even polamalu had to bide his time.
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Old 08-15-2007, 09:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: Harrison gets the Lambert seal of approval

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hes had his teammates backs for several years. nice to see they (such as foote) have his. thats what the nfl brootherhood is all about.

theres nothing that says he cant go out and be this years (olb) version of a bart scott.

unless its out of necessity, i'd just as soon see our 1st round pick be brought along slowly, just like all the linebackers before him. woodley seems more nfl ready anyways.

harrison keeping timmons off the field as much as possible is a good thing all around. even polamalu had to bide his time.
Totally agree! Time to step-up and play the whole season with that kick-your-ass mean streak! Let's go Silverback!
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Old 08-15-2007, 09:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Harrison gets the Lambert seal of approval

Gotta love his attitude, hopefully it carries over on to the field.
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Harrison gets the Lambert seal of approval

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Originally Posted by 83-Steelers-43 View Post
Yeah, I'll wait to see Harrison play a full season at the position (let alone stay healthy at the position for half the season) before I take Lambert's son's word for it. Interesting story though.
Tough love.

Gotta wonder though...kids hear things that they don't know is not meant for public consumption. But what does it really tell us? Harrison is worth every dollar that he's been paid? Well hell yes. This is the first season he is playing for more than peanuts.
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Old 08-16-2007, 03:26 AM   #10
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Default Re: Harrison gets the Lambert seal of approval

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Yeah, I'll wait to see Harrison play a full season at the position (let alone stay healthy at the position for half the season) before I take Lambert's son's word for it. Interesting story though.
I understand. But I wonder this... Lambert KNOWS what it means to be a LB, especially in Pittsburgh. So does Lambert follow the Steelers... watch Harrison (I always watched the Defensemen a little closer in hockey...cause that was my position). Did the son hear Lambert talking? Are we actually in for a treat without knowing it?
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