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Old 12-09-2008, 08:36 PM   #1
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Default NFL Awards Watch, Week 15: James Harrison for MVP

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...x.html?eref=T1

Alan Page and Lawrence Taylor may need to make room in their exclusive club. In a season in which no offensive player is running away with the MVP, Steelers linebacker James Harrison could join the duo as the only defensive players to win the league's coveted award.

"James Harrison continues to make splash play after splash play," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said.

That succinct quote sums up what opponents are finding out about the Steelers' most disruptive player. Harrison, who earned a Pro Bowl berth in his first season as a starter, has ravaged opponents on the way to 89 tackles, 15 sacks, seven forced fumbles, one interception, one safety and a fumble recovery. His versatility has made him an invaluable part of the Steelers' top-ranked defense, and his proclivity for making game-changing plays has earned him high praise from teammates and opponents alike.

"It's unbelievable what he does," Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I don't know how to describe it. Every time we need something, it seems like he comes up with it for us. ... I know there are some great players in this league, but find me someone else who does it with his consistency. Find me someone else who does it week in and week out the way that he does it."

The league's MVP award typically goes to an offensive player because of their ability to generate ridiculous numbers weekly, but Harrison's eye-popping stat line has thrust him squarely into contention. Playing in defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau's aggressive 3-4, Harrison has become a force off the edge. Possessing an explosive first step and surprising power, he dominates offensive tackles on the way to punishing the quarterback. Harrison has 23 sacks in the past two seasons, and only three other rushers have exceeded that total in the same span (DeMarcus Ware, Jared Allen and Mario Williams).

More impressive, he has a league-high 14 forced fumbles the past two seasons, having mastered the art of the "strip" that was made famous by the last defensive player to win the MVP award (Lawrence Taylor in 1986).

"It's just something you get used to doing," Harrison told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "When you get to the quarterback, you want to try to sack and strip the ball."

With a host of title contenders seeking to prove that defense wins championships, this may be the year that defense also wins the league MVP award.
MVP

1. Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings (Ranking last week -- 3): The Pro Bowler has almost single-handedly resurrected the Vikings' title hopes. Peterson has led the team to seven wins in the past nine games by topping the century mark six times and rushing for six touchdowns.

2. Kurt Warner, QB, Cardinals (4): The former two-time league MVP has the numbers and team success to merit strong consideration for the award. Warner ranks second in the league in passing yards, passer rating and touchdowns while guiding the Cards to their first-ever NFC West division title.

3. Peyton Manning, QB, Colts (NR): It is not a coincidence that the Colts are on a six-game winning streak now that Manning has rediscovered his rhythm. Since the team's last loss, the eight-time Pro Bowl QB has connected on over 68 percent of his throws with 12 touchdowns and only three interceptions.

4. Eli Manning, QB, Giants (1): For only the second time this season, Manning failed to deliver with timely playmaking in the clutch. With Brandon Jacobs nursing a knee injury and their top receiving threat done for the season, the time is right for Manning to reveal his greatness.

5. James Harrison, LB, Steelers (NR)


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Old 12-09-2008, 08:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: NFL Awards Watch, Week 15: James Harrison for MVP

i don't know about you...but i LOVE the sound of that.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:13 PM   #3
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Smile Re: NFL Awards Watch, Week 15: James Harrison for MVP

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i don't know about you...but i LOVE the sound of that.
me too
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Old 12-10-2008, 06:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: NFL Awards Watch, Week 15: James Harrison for MVP

They talk about offensive players for MVP and having fantasy stats. Sorry but Harrison is having fantasy stats on the defensive side of the ball. At the very least he should be winning the defensive player of the year.
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:08 AM   #5
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Default Re: NFL Awards Watch, Week 15: James Harrison for MVP

I may be hung for saying this, but I heard a couple people mention this guy for MVP

Joey Porter

He has really helped to turn a 1-15 team into a playoff contender. And I think he still leads the league in sacks.

Just putting it out there.

Besides, I believe Troy P is more important to our defense this season.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: NFL Awards Watch, Week 15: James Harrison for MVP

Is it me, or does Silverback look genuinely PISSED OFF in every picture???

LOL...you gotta love that in a linebacker.
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: NFL Awards Watch, Week 15: James Harrison for MVP

harrison is a greg llyod clone.how sick would it be to have lloyd in his prime teamed up with harrison. it just amazes me that it took this long for his talent to be discovered.
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:13 AM   #8
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Default Re: NFL Awards Watch, Week 15: James Harrison for MVP

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i don't know about you...but i LOVE the sound of that.
What, the sound of Harrison playing out his contract next year, maybe getting franchised for one year after that, then leaving for the Redskins or some other team that offers him an $8 billion contract? Yeah, it'd be nice to see him win an award, but it would basically just guarantee that he priced himself out of our range thanks to the salary cap.

Actually, who am I kidding -- he's probably done that anyway. Guess the only thing to do is enjoy having him in our uniform for the next year and a half or so.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: NFL Awards Watch, Week 15: James Harrison for MVP

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What, the sound of Harrison playing out his contract next year, maybe getting franchised for one year after that, then leaving for the Redskins or some other team that offers him an $8 billion contract? Yeah, it'd be nice to see him win an award, but it would basically just guarantee that he priced himself out of our range thanks to the salary cap.

Actually, who am I kidding -- he's probably done that anyway. Guess the only thing to do is enjoy having him in our uniform for the next year and a half or so.
He'll be 32 by then. If the Redskins or some other FA-happy team want to offer a long-term, gazillion-dollar contract at that point for him, let 'em. If he wants to be paid very well and remain on a team that will actually almost guarantee to be competitive year-in and year-out, he'll stay with us. That being said, he'll probably take the monster bucks to go play for a loser.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:33 PM   #10
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Default Re: NFL Awards Watch, Week 15: James Harrison for MVP

Unfortunately, we always seem to lose a monster linebacker, but lucky for us we have a front office and system in place that breeds these guys, if he leaves, another LB will be right behind him ready to step up to the plate
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