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Free Agent LB James Harrison Looks Ready For 2014


It’s almost July and free agent linebacker James Harrison has yet to find a team to play for in 2014. The former Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker is keeping himself in shape, however, should a team call him.

Harrison, who turned 36 in May, has recently posted pictures of himself on his Instagram account and he looks to be in tip-top shape. He’s been working out this offseason at Performance Enhancement Professionals, a private sports performance facility located in Scottsdale, AZ.

As of right now, there’s been no indication that the Steelers will sign Harrison, but being as there’s still a month to go until the start of training camp, there’s still plenty of time for that to happen. Harrison has made it clear since his release earlier in the offseason from the Cincinnati Bengals that he wants to return to Pittsburgh to finish his career, but should that ultimately happen, he would have to accept being a backup to starters Jason Worilds and Jarvis Jones. The fact that Harrison won’t be able to play on special teams also complicates the matter.

Playing Harrison’s favor, however, is the fact that the Steelers really don’t have much depth behind Worilds and Jones. Currently, newcomer Arthur Moats and the four-year Chris Carter are slated to be the backups and between the two they have a combined five career sacks and none in the last two seasons. The Steelers also drafted Jordan Zumwalt and signed undrafted free agent Howard Jones, but neither are expected to contribute in 2014, assuming both make the final 53 man roster out of training camp.

Do you think Harrison will be in a training camp with a team this year? I wouldn’t bet against it.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • http://suspect5.bandcamp.com/ HardPunkKore

    Not that its the biggest of deals, but they gave his number to Fangupo last year. Thats usually the indication they’ve moved of from a player. I don’t see him coming back without an injury to one of the OLBs.

  • Jason Brant

    Dave is beating the Harrison drum like a government mule.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    These pictures don’t reflect his speed decline or reaction time decline. Those things just happen. Is he strong enough to play in the NFL….Yes. Fast enough? Pictures don’t tell us.

  • Weiss Chad

    I am jumping on the bandwagon.With Jarvis still unknown and worilds health always seems to be a little worrisome,I would feel much better with Harrison backing these guys up than moats or carter,providing carter even makes the roster.Im really interested in seeing how that Howard jones and zumwalt hold up and what they bring to the table first.Harrison has been the under dog his whole career.

  • 20Stoney

    Judging by what I saw of him with the Bengals last year, he’s still a better linebacker than Moats and Carter. And he was playing a new position. I really see no reason not to bring him in and have them compete.

  • SteelerFanInPatsland

    Why can Harrison not play special teams? He played almost nothing but special teams until he was 30.

  • steeltown

    True, but Fang might not make the roster THIS year

  • DoctorNoah

    I love Harrison. Bring him in for the veteran minimum or with a slightly higher signing bonus, let him retire a Steeler, then make him an assistant coach.

    I hate watching people like Bradshaw have basically no remaining connection to the team. Would love to have Harrison back in the fold…

  • steeltown

    It would seem Zumwalt and Garvin might be in a battle for that special teams and inside outside guy spot.. H.Jones most likely will be relegated to the PS so I could see Harrison back, maybe, but only if we keep 10LBs

    Worilds, Jones, Moats, Carter, Timmons, Shazier, VW, Spence, Zumwalt/Garvin (and Harrison) …of course, an injury could really help his chances

  • joed32

    James was a great player but he’s kind of a grouch, I’m not sure he’s the kind of communicator who would make a good coach. If he were willing to be a backup I could see him signed for one year but I wonder if he would be content with that role.

  • treeher

    We need to move on from Carter. Bring in James in a backup role, give Carter his walking papers, and bring on the young guys.

  • steeltown

    I would fine with that course of action

  • Donny Simmons

    Harrison should be resigned for depth. Has Vince Williams been given a shot on the outside? He is bigger than Carter and learns fast as we saw last camp.

  • dave

    Odds are a couple of those linebackers will get hurt, that’s just the way it is in the NFL. James was probably told to keep himself ready.

  • Jeff

    I can’t say that I’m upset about it, though. I think we should sign him back.

  • joed32

    OLBs need to be able to cover. He only played 2 downs last year because he can’t cover.

  • dgh57

    If Harrison isn’t in their plans this season then they should at least experiment with V. Williams at OLB this preseason. If it doesn’t work out then at least you know you tried and know that you have a pure ILB in V. Williams. He needs to work on his pass coverage skills but he was going to have to do that at ILB anyways and he’s smart enough to learn. This would push Carter off the roster and open up a spot for Garvin at ILB where it’s kinda crowded right now.

  • cencalsteeler

    Tomlin said they are keeping their options open. To me, that’s a hint Keisel and/or Harrison will be brought back.

  • frednash

    sign deebo as a backup

    olb

    nt

    st

    center

  • walter mason

    I wish

  • dgh57

    I think maybe with the increased speed at ILB and their coverage abilities and VW only as a reserve his lack of pass coverage skills could be masked over. It’s kinda like masking your deficiencies at CB by having a strong front seven.

  • steelerwheeler

    He sure dies look wimpy – sincerely, Joe Flacco

  • John A Stewart

    If you can bring back Gay and Foot why in the hell you would not consider bringing back the most feared and physical Steeler.

  • cencalsteeler

    Exactly my point. But, they’re not going to break the bank on them, especially knowing it’s for a back up role. And honestly, Harrison is not feared like he once was.

  • wdhammer

    James get yourself on muscle fitness.Youlook good but you’re slow .Triple H looks good to but can he play football -no.

  • wdhammer

    is that why he never played

  • wdhammer

    One thing about Steeler fans no matter how washed up one of the old favs are they still think these guys can light it up like the old days..He’s done he’s slow he couldn’t cover the TE over the middle his last yr here.As far as Special Teams .I’d rather develop a younger kid .

  • Virdin Barzey

    Yup. That’s what I thought as well. He might not make the team. The biggest problem with James is he isn’t fast. Strong as all get out but speed, not so much. Jarvis Jones should be working out with this guy. Bring back Debo

  • Virdin Barzey

    Neither am I

  • 2443scott

    its hard to see guys go through this hes a steeler but his age as so many caught up to him …can he still play yes but not every down any more …hes older slower and hes fighting against a younger guy for same pay who has a career still ahead of him who may end up as good as james was so there is so much against him …he feels he can play still at top form but most he can be is a body in case some one goes down …for the money he still feels hes worth a team cant pay that for 1 player who doesnt have what he had when there is a younger james standing beside him who could be a 10 year vet down the line maybe even for less money hes wanting ….i would love him back on team and retire on the team not off it…but in the real world its all against him

  • Asmitty56

    OLBs are not told to cover much in the NFL, Lebeau’s system being one of the exceptions. So no, Williams wouldn’t necessarily have to cover at all at OLB, it just limits what they can do. Coverage is more prevalent at ILB than OLB in most 3-4 defenses. Not that Williams can even play OLB, it’s a completely different set of tools that Vince might not have. The two positions are not as interchangeable as some fans think, just look at Timmons, they tried him at OLB and for the most part failed.

  • Steve

    James was favorite Steeler for years When he wouldn’t sign the contract the Steelers offered last year which would have paid him more than Cincy, he wrote his ticket out of here. Then he wanted to sign, after finding he would have to take less, and the Steelers took the contract off the table. Not gonna happen!

  • Steve

    Too slow.

  • Steve

    Tend to disagree. OLB drop back, remember James dropping into coverage and running back the TD in the SB?

  • John A Stewart

    On the Bengals he wasn’t feared but if he comes back to the Steelers everybody will fear us. It’s about attitude.

  • sean mcmartin

    Bigger might not mean faster. And JH already had no speed to spare.
    At least bring him in and see what the Mass cycle did for his speed.

  • 20Stoney

    He played over 400 snaps. 3rd most of Bengals linebackers. We are talking about him providing depth at this point.

  • wdhammer

    He may have played 400 snaps, but not to affective or the Bengals would have kept him .I say go young and get these kids some playing time. James had his day..If someone goes down OK.

  • 20Stoney

    Ok. I thought your point was that he “never played.” I guess I misunderstood what you were saying.

  • Asmitty56

    I’m not saying they don’t. I’m saying OLBs typically don’t as often unless they play for Lebeau.

  • wdhammer

    We have some young LB’s with potential .James was great because he finally had a chance to prove it .I say lets let these kids have their chance…

  • wdhammer

    Why an assistant coach ? as far as bradshaw that’s been his choice.

  • wdhammer

    Both are done . pLEASE Lets move on .

  • Donny Simmons

    I agree about Timmons but Vince has some speed moving forward and he can drop in a zone. He has the want to and with the lack of OLBs it may be worth giving him some reps in camp.

  • cencalsteeler

    I am not an advocate of bringing back older players, but in this case, it may be wise due to lack of olb depth. At this point, I’d have more confidence in Harrison as a next man up, as opposed to Carter until Chris proves otherwise.

  • Nick Williams

    I’m willing to bet he can still get to the quarterback

  • wdhammer

    you’re thinking about the James of 3-4 years ago. I;ll bet carter has more speed than james. The d was slow they upgraded this yr . James is s.l.o.w.

  • wdhammer

    Maybe ,but once a yr ain’t enough .

  • Nick Williams

    You really think he would only get one sack in a full season?

  • Steve

    EVERYONE makes mistakes and sometimes players have bad games. When players continually are out of position, they are sat and rightly so. Jones was sent to the bench last year after being out of place many times.

  • wdhammer

    how many did he have last yr.?

  • Nick Williams

    Did he play in a 3-4 last year?

  • wdhammer

    I don’t think he played much .

  • Asmitty56

    I don’t disagree that they can give him a chance there, heck they may be forced to at some point. But I’ve seen nothing to suggest that he can play OLB and be a reliable pass rusher. I think he’s fine where he’s at as the main back up to Timmons, and situational run stopper/goal line player in the future.

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