Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Clark Hopes James Harrison Receives Cheers


James Harrison will make a trip to Heinz Field for the first time as a member of a visiting team when the Cincinnati Bengals take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night.

Although Harrison will be wearing black and orange, Ryan Clark would like to see Steeler Nation give the veteran linebacker his due according to Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:


Hopefully it (the welcome is) a good  one. James did a lot of great things here, [...] A lot of those No. 1 defenses were in large part to the efforts of James Harrison. Hopefully they [the fans] cheer him. Mike Wallace got booed last week but his situation was a lot different than James’s situation. So hopefully they give him the reception he deserves.


In my humble opinion, Clark is dead-on when it comes tothis particular topic. Deebo was a complete and total animal for Pittsburgh during his 10 years (02, ’04-’12) with the franchise, and what he gave to the team on the field should not be dismissed simply because he is wearing a different uniform.

Undersized yet extremely tenacious, the former UDFA from Kent State worked his way onto Pittsburgh’s roster for good in the middle of the 2004 season. After three solid seasons on Pittsburgh’s special teams units, Harrison took over for Joey Porter at the right outside linebacker position in 2007 and went on a terrific six-season tear.

Not only did Deebo make five consecutive Pro Bowls, he earned the league’s Defensive MVP award during Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl-winning season of 2008. Harrison set a franchise single-season record with 16.0 sacks that fall, and he scored one of the most iconic defensive touchdowns in Super Bowl history with his 100-yard interception return against the Arizona Cardinals.

During his career as a full-time starter (2007-2012), Harrison recorded 60.0 sacks, forced 29 fumbles, recovered six fumbles and intercepted four passes. As the menacing face of Pittsburgh’s defense during the last half of the 00’s, Harrison intimidated his opponents with his crushing hits, high motor and relentless ferocity.

Make no mistake, I hope that the Steelers dominate the Bengals on Sunday night and send them back to Cincinnati with a loss. Yet before the game begins, I just hope that those in the crowd will show their respect for a player who did such a fantastic job for his former franchise.





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