Sep 16, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker James Harrison (92) arrives prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Would The Pittsburgh Steelers Please Sign James Harrison Already?


Steeler Nation might be feeling good about the inside linebacker core after seeing some snippets and hearing word out of the Pittsburgh Steelers OTA’s that first round draft pick Ryan Shazier is fitting in nicely with the first team reps.  What I think some might forget about is that the outside core is still thin and one injury away from being the achilles of this defense.  However, there is one man waiting in the wings who could be a difference maker from the bench.

I’m talking about former Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison.  And, by ‘waiting’ I mean he’s working out like crazy – getting stronger and staying primed for the NFL.  Check out this video that Harrison posted on Instagram and linked it via Twitter on Wednesday night.

That’s 1200 lbs.  Twelve. Hundred.  One Thousand Two Hundred Pounds.  That’s like taking three tigers (avg 400lbs each), stacking them on top of each other, and James Harrison leg presses them.  All the while he’s like, “I got this, bro.”

The outside linebacker core for the Steelers is thin thin thin.  Assuming that Jarvis Jones continues to improve and can become a viable edge pass rusher (fingers crossed), that leaves Worilds on the other side, who hopefully will not have a Troy Polamalu-like season with this nagging calf injury.  Who’s behind them?  Chris Carter, Arthur Moates, Joran Zumwait (R), and some other special team’ers.  Oh joy.

Look I don’t know what transpired between Harrison and the Steelers a season ago when they were trying to settle on a contract that would work for both sides.  Seems like pride on both sides got in the way, and Harrison signed with the rival Bungles instead.  Harrison has said that he wants to return to the Steelers.  He knows the system like the back of his hand.  He knows the majority of the players on the squad still.  He has a good report with all of them from what we can tell – especially Antonio Brown.

There may just be enough gas in the tank for this guy to be a very suitable backup for the Steelers.  I can understand why the Steelers haven’t yet (and probably won’t) sign a guy like Keisel based on the draft, FA pickups, and Keisel’s decline.  I get it even though he would be a suitable backup too.  But, here we have Harrison who appears to be one step shy of being desperate and pleading his case to Steelers brass and fans that he’s certainly ready to come back.  All he’s short of doing is a commercial spot with Steely McBeam for some used car lot, and he’s probably come full circle.  He’s paid his penance.  He had to play for the Bungles for Christ’s sake.

The Steelers are done working together as a team until they meet for training camp starting July 25th.  Plenty of time left to get him over to the South Side and ink a contract.  According to overthecap.com, the team has spent roughly $116 million on the Top 51.  That leaves them with $6 million still in the bank to spend on free agents or other contract extensions.  They can sign him for a cool million, which would be just over the vet minimum with his experience.

So could you guys just get together and work something out already?!  Yoi.

Here We Go.

 


Tags: James Harrison Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Scott Phipps

    He gonna be a special teams stud? If not, he won’t be signed.

  • Hockeydude99

    Dont see him playing special teams and yes $1 million is cheap but would rather go after Kiesel for the league min or spend the money on Finley TE or Kevin Williams. Would like to see them pick up another CB/FS rather than a LB.

    • Craig

      I see your point, but IMO, corner won’t matter unless the pass rush can sustain pressure.

      • Hockeydude99

        Thats why I want Kiesel or Williams for the D-line. But agree that we have to improve our pash rush. BUT Harrison isnt the solution.

        • SDAZT_STEEL

          And Keisel is? Hahaha!

          • Hockeydude99

            We need some D-line help and he can supply the help. Dont see where Harrison can supply anything especially if he cant be of any use to the ben-gals!!

          • ApexSteel

            He was playing out of position with the Bengals.There’s a reason why Tuitt was drafted early and Cam Thomas was picked up. We now have a stop-gap and the future at the position with Cam Heyward being the established vet. At OLB we have Worilds and Jarvis, but no one else. Which is why Harrison should be signed back.

          • Hockeydude99

            See above response. I would rather see if Jones has anything as Im not sold that he is the answer and I dont think Worilds will resign if he has a decent year as he will want to much money.

          • ApexSteel

            You act like signing Harrison means he would start. We’ll still see what Jarvis can do, but going into the season with unknowns at backup and awful players as backups is foolish.

          • Hockeydude99

            Wasnt a fan of Jones adn didnt like it when the Steelers picked him. Would rather have had TE Elfert, FS Reid or Elam FS or Ogletree in that order. Last year was the year to get a safety and this year was the year to pick up a CB in Dennard that we passed on for another LB. I understand what you are saying but I dont see where a 36/37 year old LB is going to help. Especially with one with as much wear and tear as he has. With all the LBs that we have on the roster now we should be able to find adequate ones even if it means moving some of the young guys around.

          • ApexSteel

            The secondary wasn’t a problem last year. The pass D was 9 in the league and a rookie safety wouldn’t have improved that. The run D was 21st because of Vince Williams’ ineffectivity which is why Shazier was picked. The other OLBs on this squad are either bums or extremely raw. So signing an OLB who knows the defense and has shown that he’s in tremendous shape wouldn’t be a bad thing. And the most important thing that you’re forgetting is that if it doesn’t work out or they find someone better they can just cut Harrison.

          • Hockeydude99

            LMAO…what you smoking dude……both Taylor and Clark were beaten like a drum!! I think that your crush on Harrison blinds you to what this team needs. The first place you improve in your line as they can help everyone else by applying pressure. Yes a LB in the 3/4 is used to help apply pressure sometimes 2 of them. But someone to mentor the D-line is needed more. And check some of the experts they all say the same: signing Kiesel just before training camp.

          • ApexSteel

            Ike rarely had the luxury of safety help and Ryan Clark isn’t on the team so what’s your point? And Like I said, the pass D was in the top 4th of the league the pass D wasn’t the issue the run D was. In football, you run to set up the pass because a team’s pass D suffers if they have to over commit to the run. Luckily, the run defense only caused the pass D to be 9th in the league.

            In a 3-4 defense (not 3/4. What would that even be?) the OLBs hold more responsibility for getting pressure on the QB than the D-line (which is why Keisel never had 6 sacks in a season) and MOST of the time they’re sending both OLBs and sometimes even an ILB. Whoever told you that the Steelers only send 1 OLB most of the time and the d-line applies most of the pressure is completely wrong. As a matter of fact, the D-line’s job is to occupy blockers so that the LBs can make plays. That being said, you can see why another “coach” on the D-line is definitely not needed more than someone who can actually play at OLB.

            Now your name says Hockeydude99 so stick to Hockey because you know next to nothing about football. I gave you facts and you gave me your opinion, a lot of incorrect analysis, misspelled names (Keisel not Kiesel), and you don’t even know the basics of a 3-4 kid.

          • Hockeydude99

            Like I sad before some people are just obtuse and arrogance and think that they know everything…..shame that you fall into that category. And if your biggest worry is spelling than you are a chump!! Seems like nothing pleases you so I guess that you must have a real lonely life if all you can do is worry about 3-4 or 3/4, man you need to get out more or maybe what you need to do learn that everyone has an opinion and yours is just one. If you dont like mine then just shut up because for all your disputation of others ideas you have no respect for others opinions and should learn that you can have any opinion you want and in America that is OK. And one last thing Mr Perfect…..your name…Apex, means narrowed or pointed end and that is exactely what you are narrow and pointed. So grow up and move on.

          • ApexSteel

            Don’t give me that bs, kid. You’ve been condescending towards almost everyone you’ve spoken to in this article. You thought you knew more about football then you got put in your place and like every loser resorted to personal attacks. If you want respect then you show respect. You showed none and you didn’t deserve any.

          • Hockeydude99

            LMAO at the lonely, obtuse, fat thing who doesnt realize that everyone has an opinion and thinks if they dont agree with him that they are wrong. Well arse hole I dont see how you can become any more narrow and pointed than you were but you have!!

          • ApexSteel

            Damn man. You mad huh? Hahaha you got me all wrong. I understand that everyone has an opinion, but (to paraphrase you) you don’t have a very good one kid. It’s funny that I have you so riled up though I mean all I did was tell the truth.

          • Hockeydude99

            Ist stop calling by kid…..you redneck hillbilly cracker or isit boy? 2nd you still a condescending obtuse thing that has a narrow and pointed limited opinion and mind; what little of it you have!!

          • Craig

            The next one that makes a personal remark/attack will get blacklisted. Keep it to football. I don’t need this blog soiled with this kind of stuff. Thanks, gents.

          • SDAZT_STEEL

            Why does the team need DL help? That’s what Tuitt was drafted for and Thomas signed for, correct? Arnfelt, Williams and a cavalcade of younger players are also dueling for roster spots too. Also, if you knew anything about Cincinnati, Harrison was playing out of position and in a different defensive scheme than he had played in with the Steelers last fall. Of course, I’m sure an astute football mind like you knew the differences between a 4-3 and 3-4 OLB. Also, go watch Harrison’s play towards the end of the 2012 season when he was healthy and in a system he fits best in.

          • Hockeydude99

            With scarcasm like yours you must be a Browns or dirtybird fan!! Other than that your cavalcade of younger players are just that, young, and I would prefer Kiesel for one year over trusting a bunch of young guys who have not played. Lets see who we have on the roster for DL…..Arnfelt 1year exp, Hemer rookie, Heyward 4years, Mauro rookie, Tuitt rookie, Williams 2 years, McCullers rookie, Fangupo 2 years, Lapuaho 1 year, McLendon 5 years, Philon rookie, Thomas 5years. Not much experience there and The Beard would help with that, if for no other reason than to talk and lend his experience to the younger players. And if you are so against bringing back Brett because of the young players why do you want an old player in Harrison when this team has so many young LB’s? Im sure that an astute mind like yours has a logical answer for that question. And 2012 is 2….repeat 2 years ago. It is time to see what the young backers can do and see if we have something in Jarvis and Worilds or are we going to be looking for a LB in next years draft. Im not convinced that Worlds will be able to be signed next year. also is Spence healthy and a NFL LB and the same with Williams and Wilson. To bring in Harrison will only shorten the playing time the younger guys can get and in our Def scheme it is tougher on the LB’s to learn than the DL. As for experience for the LB’s I think that Timmons can supply that and with Porter as a coach they will be fine. Im still not sold on Jones as a LB. And one final thought if Harrison was that good he would not have been let go but I would think that the brain trust (GM, head coach and Def Cord and LB coach) made the decision to let him go as they thought he could not contribute more than those on the roster.

          • SDAZT_STEEL

            Exactly what will Keisel add? He’s not as strong, technically-sound or speedy as he used to be and the team drafted Tuitt & signed Thomas to take his place at DE.

            Also, Moats and Carter have illustrated over their NFL careers that they are not long-term answers at OLB. Thus, why not bring back Harrison? At DE there are young and capable guys waiting in the wings, at OLB, nobody is waiting there worth a darn. Most of all, if you even read what I wrote, I never said that Harrison should start over Jones or Worilds either. However, he should be backup #1 since they have literally nobody capable at the position behind both starters.

            Moreover, why would Harrison being signed get in the way of playing time for ILBs like Timmons, Williams, Spence, etc.? You know, since he DOESN’T PLAY THE SAME POSITION AS THEM. The fact that you even tried to point that out is pathetic and makes me wonder if you even know what a depth chart is. So before you criticize, you might want to familiarize yourself with the difference between ILBs and OLBs.

            Also, won’t signing Keisel take playing time away from younger guys like Thomas (who does have 3-4 experience w/San Diego) and Tuitt who was thought to be a 1st round prospect according to John Mitchell?

            Why waste a valuable roster spot? If they want Keisel to mentor these guys, bring him back as a coach and allocate that open spot to an area on roster which needs it more for depth purposes (CB, OL, OLB, etc.).

            And if you’ll care to remember, Harrison was let go because both sides refused to budge on a pay cut, not because he couldn’t play.

          • Hockeydude99

            Well you have your opinion, although its not a good one, and I have mine. And you are never going to change my my mind and Im not even going to try to change someone as obtuse, obstinate and willing to live in the past rather than move on to the future at the LB position as you. As much as I would like to have Kiesel back I dont think he or Harrison will be back due to age, 35 and 36.

  • SDAZT_STEEL

    Why are idiot Yinzers riding Keisel’s jock? Unless an injury occurs, it makes no sense to re-sign the calcified veteran who will take playing time away from the likes of Thomas, Tuitt, etc…

    Harrison on the other hand would be a great pickup if he is willing to play special teams, and his presence would be a welcome sight to a team with questionable depth (Moats & Carter). Plus, who is to say that Jason Worilds and Jarvis Jones stay healthy for the entirety of the 2014 season. Remember, after he got healthy, Harrison had an extremely productive finish to the 2012 regular season in defensive scheme which was far friendlier to his skill-set than the one he played in as a member of the Bengals.

    • Craig

      Well lather me up and call me stupid because I wrote an article about that it is worth while and important for the Steelers to bring Keisel back for one more season. Yup just gonna throw all my eggs into the Tuitt and Thomas basket – no thanks. Not yet.

      Just your dumb yinzer editor here signing off.

      • SDAZT_STEEL

        Lol. Keisel brings nothing to the table at this point in his career, and LeBeau’s infatuation with veterans will automatically means he earns reps over Thomas and Tuitt. While I’m not a huge Thomas fan by any means, Tuitt’s first season will essentially go to waste if Keisel is acquired. No sense in handing a starting job to a veteran who has nothing left in the tank and flushing Thomas’ free agent deal and a second round pick’s first season down the toilet in the process.

  • bonairsfavoriteson

    THIS IS 2014 NOT 2004, GET REAL PEOPLE. JAMES IS DONE, HIS ONLY ATTRIBUTE IS TO NOT BE MOVED FROM THE SPOT HE OCCUPIES WHEN THE BALL IS SNAPPED, CAN’T DROP, CAN’T BEAT THE OL MEN , SLOW AS MAPLE SYRUP IN MARCH. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD GET A LIFE AND WAKE UP. ARE YOUR READING SKILLS SO DIMINISHED THAT YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND, 2014 DEFENSE GOING YOUNGER AND FASTER. DID YOU GUYS NOT SEE THE NO PASS RUSH OR FORCED TURNOVERS THE PAST TWO YEARS, AND YOU CALL YOUR SELF’S KNOWLEDGEABLE, COME OUT O F THAT COMA BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE,

    • PittDave

      At the veterans’ minimum salary, Deebo would shore up the LB corps, unless you are comfortable with an already nicked-up Worilds, Jones, Moats, and Carter.