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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Harrison won't be a savior

The excitement among Steelers fans regarding the re-signing of James Harrison has been similar to that of a month ago surrounding the return of defensive end Brett Keisel.

Keisel has played well in a reserve role for the Steelers, who needed his help on the defensive line.

Can Harrison serve a similar role with the linebackers?

I'm not so sure.

There's a difference in the situations regarding Keisel and Harrison.

Keisel always wanted to come back. He never cleared out his locker at the Steelers' facility. He repeatedly said he felt he had another year of football in him.

In other words, he wasn't ready to call it quits on his career.

Harrison? Not so much.

Not only did Harrison announce his retirement a few weeks ago, he was at peace with his football career being over.

"I really didn't miss it," Harrison said of football."The only thing I really missed was the teammates, the camaraderie, being with the guys. The game itself, I really didn't miss.

"I really can't say I missed the actual game itself."

For Harrison, the decision to return to football was a difficult one, made only after speaking with Keisel, Ike Taylor, Troy Polamalu, head coach Mike Tomlin and his family.

That's a lot of convincing.

"To be honest with you, it was a real difficult decision," Harrison said. "If my kids had said no and stuck with it, it wouldn't have mattered how much I talked to Keisel, Ike and Troy."

As former Steelers head coach Chuck Noll used to say, if you're thinking about retirement, you probably should. Harrison was more than thinking about it, he had actually gone through with it and was OK with that decision.

Harrison was a great player for a long time for the Steelers. But he's not that player any longer. And it seems like he was OK with that.

@ Ramon Foster and Dri Archer were both back at practice today for the Steelers.

Darrius Heyward-Bey sat our with an illness.


Anonymous said...

At this point, I don’t have great expectations about Harrison. He was a great player and he was probably the best option at LB given his experience and knowledge of the system, but 20 snaps max per game as a situational rotating player. He tends to have a lot of pride in his game so I think he believes that he can still bring it versus just collecting a paycheck. What I am hoping for is that he brings some intensity and leadership which rubs off on the rest of the defense.

Theosa said...

Dale, I think most fans understand this. He might not be as effective as Keisel but just like Keisel he does bring leadership. I was hoping they would activate Howard Jones but I’m fine with Harrison as the backup since Jarvis Jones might be returning in November. The issue I see is his history with hits that brought him fines and he might be one such hit away from being suspended. He also taunted Goodell so will he be scrutinized and targeted by officials? We’ll have to wait and see.

Unknown said...

Dale no one that has knowledge of this team expects Harrison to be a Savior. The Steelers do not need him to be. If Harrison provides solid depth and makes some plays he's going to be enough of a Savior while Jones is on the mend.

Dale Lolley said...

Harrison hasn't been fined for an "illegal" hit in some time, so I don't expect it to be a problem, Theosa.

Anonymous said...

we are not idiots and thus we do not expect him to be a savior. moats was brought in and is the new starter what we got is a steal. a former Allpro who knows the Def and can be quality back up for the league minimum (around $550K) lets think about this, he may not get a sack but he can stuff the run as good as worilds who we are paying $9mil. and what will worilds do 1 sack every other game. i call that a valu addition and maybe help bring some swagger back to Def. given the situation this was clearly the best overall solution and no brainer. i dont care if he never sees the field. that means moats is doing his job. amd what did it cost us almost nothing. who else could we have brought in? and what would that cost? and how long to learn the def? ... probably about the time Jones gets back.
so let us enjoy seeing Harrison take the field a few last times as a Steeler

Anonymous said...

"we are not idiots"

Daaaa speak for your self mkk

Tim said...

This post is laughable. I don't expect to receive a morsel of support from the Lolleygaggle, but someone has to say it.

Yeah, if there's one concern about James Harrison's return, it's that he won't play hard enough or with the fire it takes. He'll probably listlessly wander the field once or twice and then change his mind and retire again.

Who cares what he told himself when he couldn't get a job? Don't you have over 10 years of tape to watch? Isn't he a professional? And not just a professional, but a perfect example of how to play on the field? If every one of our players played with the heart and intensity of James Harrison on his worst day, we'd never lose a game.

And Jesus, can you go one day without condescending? We lowly fans without the inside knowledge are expecting James Harrison The Savior to return to his 2008 form and deliver another Super Bowl. But YOU know better. So now, when, instead of leading the league in sacks, he merely solidifies the position's depth by holding down run support and providing a good rotational pass rush (like fans are actually expecting), you'll look like a genius. Bravo!

Actually, now that I've re-read it, I see I've given you too much credit. You don't even think Harrison can provide as much help as Keisel has? Then you are expecting him to flop. And with expectations like that, maybe you should be asking the fans for some pointers instead of looking down your nose.

Theosa said...

Holly hell Tim, chill out man, sip some coffee!! As far as substance of your comments goes, most fans here said it already but scolding the author and fans (lolleygaggle) was uncalled for.
To add to work ethics of Harrison, he is a workout freak more so than anyone else on Steelers team so his physical conditioning shouldn’t be an issue but it might take him a couple of weeks before he is back in football shape.

TarheelFlyer said...

1. Harrison is not and should not be a savior for this team. He will now be a role player.

2. Yep, he is different than Keisel in that he did actually retire. That being said, the difference IMO is that he didn't want to retire until that reality set in.

3. This leads to point #3. He had come to grips with not playing and did not miss it, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't have come back and played had he gotten a contract earlier.

4. Not regretting it implies he won't play with fire. IMO, once he gets back out there, the fire will come right back to him. Why? Because he hates to lose.

5. Expectations should be....10-15 plays a game. Look at Moats snap counts from the first 2 games and that should be the number we see.

Anonymous said...

I'm excited that James Harrison's attitude will be on this sideline. His demeanor and approach to the game had a huge impact on his teammates. With him and joey Porter on the sidelines, I think we are going to see a lot more physicality from this defense. The kind that was happening in Carolina. They were bashing the Panthers offense, and that is the Steelers defense I know and love. I hope he can impact these new guys like he did during his top form days.

kyle said...

Nice of you to stop in with a ray of sunshine, Tim.

I won't defend the post except to say that it's Dale's blog and I imagine he was reacting to some of the hyperbole fans have been expressing online. Maybe I'm wrong.

Anyway, how's your boy, Alex "game manager" Smith doing?

Passing yards, he's 22nd.
Comp. percentage, he's 27th.
QB rating, he's 31st.
Yards/Attempt, he's 24th.

And he's leading the 1-2 Chiefs. I don't mean to entirely change the subject but I haven't seen you on here in a while. I'm just curious if his thoroughly average numbers have changed your mind about how average he is.

Tom said...

Arthur Moats needs to be our savior, not Harrsion.

Dale Lolley said...

Nice to see some people showing their true colors. Don't agree with a post, immediately start with insults.

I was pointing out my reaction to James' meeting with the media. I found it interesting that he had to be talked out of his retirement. He could have said it was an easy decision. He didn't. He said it was a difficult decision to come back. Tells me his heart isn't truly in this, at least at first.

Now, can his pride catch hold and re-ignite the fire? Sure.

I don't think he'll provide as much help as Keisel because A. He won't play as much. B. He won't help on special teams. C. His heart wasn't truly in it. And D. HE WON'T PLAY AS MUCH

As for his salary, the minimum for him is a pro-rated $950,000, not the rookie minimum.

BTW, was I condescending last week when I went against pretty much what everyone else was saying here and predicted the Steelers would win last week?

Sorry some people disagree with my assessment of this. I have the utmost respect for James.

And you're right, Tom, Moats needs to be the guy, not Harrison.

Anonymous said...

Harrison = DPOY fo sho!

Anonymous said...

Guess who has just as many sacks as Harrison so far this year?

Lamarr Woodley

Anonymous said...

I don't believe Deebo is our savior, I don't think we needed one to be honest. A nice security blanket for sure, savior not.

I can understand how it would be tough to come here, when he was willing to come back at the beginning and the team said no thank you to his services. That's a hard pill to swallow when your a pro athlete. He already had the mindset of his life being different and had made those adjustments. It's like having an extended leave when you get back from doing a tour and you settle into civilian life, it's hard to put that uni back on.

I hope this streak goes on for a few more weeks, if can string along a few games, the only speed bump I see is the Colts game.


Tim said...

**Alright, so probably no one will read this because it's been like a week. But I'm just now getting around to it, and it's not like me to not respond.**


Dale's post is indefensible, so thank you for that.

It's true I don't stop in here much anymore. Once in awhile I come by when I'm in my "Must scour and absorb all Steelers information" moods, and usually I'm fine with an eyeroll for stuff like this. Other times I just can't take it. I get that it's his blog and he can say what he wants, but that doesn't mean what he says isn't dumb and rude. And this is far from the first time - it's a habit. He's more about promoting himself than reporting; combine that with the fact he's one of those people that likes or needs to put down others to boost himself up. You're absolutely right that this is his space so he can do what he wants. That's a defense for being allowed to do something, not for it being an okay thing to do.

About Smith, I don't want to get too deep into this, but what you're doing is a perfect example. You pick and choose what to look at. So he had one bad game this year in which he threw two INTs that were his fault and another that wasn't. That means he's not good? Then he played fine in the next game, and great in the following two games. If you look at him overall from 2009 and on, he's been good, sometimes very good. He manages games sometimes, he wins games other times, he rarely ever loses a game (as in, is the cause for the loss). He has turned in spectacular playoff performances. Have you noticed what team he's on? KC was 2-14 before his arrival. He was nearly perfect in the 44-45 loss to the Colts in the playoffs. His team allowed 45 points! And Smith delivered the game-winning play in crunch time, but his receiver simply didn't bother to get his feet in bounds. Contrast that with a guy like Romo or Kaepernick, who will make more splash plays, but also sink his own team like an anchor when it needs him most. But hell, even if Smith drops off a cliff starting tomorrow, that won't change how good he's been for the last 3+ years. I'm not trying to predict the future. He could throw 15 interceptions next week. But the past is already done, and I'm right about that.

He's never made a Pro Bowl, but what are those based on? Stats and reputations. Heath Miller only ever made it when 4 other guys dropped out. I think Aaron Smith made one. Calling Smith average is Pro Bowl-Fantasy Football Garbage.

Tim said...

**Alright, so probably no one will read this because it's been like a week. But I'm just now getting around to it, and it's not like me to not respond.**

Wow Dale. No, you weren't condescending when you picked us against Carolina. That came three days later:

"I don't want to say I told you so, but I will. I told you so.

I told you the Panthers wouldn't come out and spread the field against the Steelers and then run the ball. I told you they could be run on.

I told you their offensive line wasn't very good and was banged up.

It all came to fruition.

Now, that certainly doesn't mean I'm right all the time. But..."

-Dale Lolley

I don't even need to say anything about that, right? This part of the argument is over?

And Jesus, all that bragging because you picked us to win? I'm sure you were in the minority among people in the press that picked Pittsburgh to win, but I bet most or at least half of Steelers fans picked us. I did. Over half the fans at the message board I frequent did. It takes quite a pair to break out that much self-congratulation over successfully predicting a win for a 3 point underdog (one that is your favorite team, no less). If your next mild prediction comes true, will it be more of the same or will you drop the thin veil and tell us to kiss your ass?

"True colors"? I post here like once a year, and it's almost always the same. My colors are easy to see. I'm sure you feel like I'm a troll. Almost all I ever do when I comment here is complain about you. Maybe that means I am a troll. But I'm not here to rile you or the others. I'm not here to cause trouble or hurt your feelings. I'm not poking everyone with a stick to enrage them. I'm calling BS. I don't do that lightly, and I've only ever done it on legitimate grounds. Sometimes it's just too bad for me to ignore. You can ban me if you want -- although, considering how many actual trolls I've seen around here over the years, banning a fan for legitimately calling you out when you step in it seems less like concern about your blog and more like concern about your ego.