Speculation That James Harrison Might Return Bothers Steelers OLB Chris Carter

2014 is a contract year for Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Chris Carter, who is currently on pace to enter training camp as the backup to Jarvis Jones on the right side.

Due to the lack of experienced and accomplished depth currently at the outside linebacker spots for the Steelers, there’s been a lot of speculation that veteran James Harrison will be re-signed prior to the start of training camp. Carter admitted recently to RJ Schaffer of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he’s bothered by that.

“Absolutely,” Carter said. “I respect James and I have all the admiration in the world for him. He’s a great dude and a great veteran when I got here and showed me a lot of things he didn’t have to, but at the end of the day, this is a job, and we’re all competing.”

During his first three seasons in the league, Carter has failed to register a sack after notching 18.5 of them at Fresno State. In addition to saying that he needs to add more pass rushing moves to his arsenal, Carter also told Schaffer there’s something else he’s been working on.

“For me, I was fast, but I always want to get faster,” Carter said. “I think that’s an element of my game that separates myself from a lot of people.

“I have to work on perfecting that and making it superior to everybody else’s speed. I don’t want to just be as fast as everyone else, I’ve got to be a lot quicker.”

Last season, starting left outside linebacker Jason Worilds was in a similar situation to Carter’s. That situation looked like it got worse when Jones started ahead of Worilds in the Week 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. In fact, Worilds didn’t start his second game of the 2013 season until the Week 7 game against the Baltimore Ravens and that was because Jones was sidelined with a concussion. Worilds took advantage of the opportunity and thanks to LaMarr Woodley also going down injured, he started every game from there on.

According to Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler, Carter has had a good offseason. However, most all players that have been around as long as Carter has should look good in helmet and shorts. Training camp and the preseason is where Carter really needs to show that he still can potentially be counted on to start should injuries strike.

  • Geoff Cordner

    Only way for Carter to put the James Harrison talk to rest – perform! He has training camp to do it.. now or never!

  • Dom

    He should worry about his own play not which acquisitions the team are going to make.

  • 20Stoney

    From what I’ve seen, I think he needs to get stronger.

  • Kurt Williams

    Mr. Carter you seem like a fine young man. Performance trumps speculation in regards to acquisitions. This is year 3 and there is not much evidence thus far that shows reserve outside linebacker is a position of strength. Hopefully Mr. Carter can solidify his position with a great performance in Latrobe and in the preseason games.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    It seems pretty simple to me. We need lots of sacks in the pre season games and the OLB’s need to have 3 guys generating serious pressure or we need to sign Harrison, or someone like him, to provide that pass rush. Harrison would be very effective in limited snaps.

    Carter isn’t going to get a lot of snaps in the hopes that he can figure it out during the season.

  • 2443scott

    well another player whos in his contract year saying now he needs to be better what happened from the time he got a contract till now he lived off the money and didnt get better what makes him think he can now be better when he hasnt shown it …i think he better worry more of him self then if james returns because there just might be a lber already on roster who will take his spot .

  • dgh57

    Duh, Chris Carter! If we sign Harrison it’s because you forced our hand in that regard!

    Strike one: Being invisible when asked to perform as a backup up till now!

    Strike two: Getting pulled in a game late in the season for ineffectiveness isn’t the way to build confidence in the Coaching staff and your future with this team.

    Strike three: Signing Moats, So’oto or H. Jones outplay him, or we sign Harrison.

  • Nick Williams

    I think if Harrison is in great shape start him this year and let jarvis get stronger and Carter can spot him

  • cencalsteeler

    I’m one of those in the minority who keep hoping that Carter proves his worth. I know he has talent, it just hasn’t transitioned on the field. In the back of my mind, the development of the likes of Kiesel, Harrison, etc. still gives me hope on the Steelers not losing out on another draft pick gone bad. Hopefully, the contract year and the rumors of signing Harrison motivate Chris to show us all why he belongs.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Carter sounds like a defeated man already. The best thing for C Carter to do is come into camp in the best shape of his life and work his but off. Forget about the past because he basically has shown nothing and make some impact plays in preseason. The writing is already on the wall. If they believed in Carter they wouldn’t have to bring any other OLB’s in.

  • wdhammer

    Hey lets sign Jerome back he looks good too . Or maybe tunch and wolf they look like they can play …Or Tommy Maddox . Mike wagner looked good to in his suit .C’MON PEOPLE I know it’s hard to let go but -MAN !!!!


    If the talk of James Harrison rejoining the team bothers you so much Mr. Carter then I suggest you man up and do what he did to earn his spot on the roster. He made himself a beast after being cut a few times. Get your butt in the weight room and take a lesson from Harrison’s demeanor and work ethic. At this point 70% of James Harrison is better than 100% of Chris Carter. But you can always get to work and prove me wrong!


    You need to read my post dude. I agree with you to a point but this isn’t about not being able to let go.

  • treeher

    If I were him, I’d be worried about James returning also.

  • wdhammer

    how do you know at this point age 37

  • Steelers12328882

    Well, Chris Carter bothers me!

  • Jacob Dixon



    I trust what I’ve heard from the people who have been training with him and what I’ve seen so far from Carter

  • wdhammer

    do you mean speed or strength or both.?

  • walter mason

    Yes he does. He sounds like a defeated man and he gave the wrong answer. The correct reply would be, as a team player, he would welcome Harrison back or anybody that can help his team. It appears he wants to keep his job by default. Its also obvious that he feels Harrison will beat him out of a spot. Bad attitude IMO as he should welcome any and all competition. Now I wonder if he will help his new teamates Moats, So’oto and H. Jones . I have a bad feeling after hearing Carters comments. Its the same bad feeling I had when Woodley spoke.

  • walter mason

    Jim Marshall played well past that age.

  • wdhammer

    That’s Marshall

  • walter mason

    You cannot compare to any of those guys because Harrison played well enough just last year considering it was a new team and a 4-3. He is probably in the best shape he has been in a few years with his past back problems over. Harrison is a monster and he is ready to play another year and he wants to play for the Steelers. What harm is there giving him a chance to make the roster?.

  • Bill

    Dear Chris: Show you are worthy in pads on the field. It’s not in the off season or in shorts; the way to compete for a job is by being of more value than the other guys ON THE FIELD.

  • wdhammer

    he pissed some people off I don’t know if they want him.

  • joed32

    To be fair, everyone should read the entire article over at the PG. It doesn’t sound as bad when taken in context.

  • gene mann

    If Chris Carter has done anything i would be a non issue. we need depth and sorry but i rather have Deebo over this guy on our team

  • gene mann

    harrison is an upgrade over this guy

  • gene mann

    sorry but this guy for whatever talent he was supposed to have has done nothing on the field

  • Matt Manzo

    Yep! That’s what separates him from other bubble guys, for me! He has done absolutely nothing! I’ve never seen a player washed out of a play as many times as him. There’s no bright spots.

  • Virdin Barzey

    I’m one of those people who have no hope for Chris. Why? As long as he has been on the team, I have not seen and not sure what anyone has seen especially on the Steelers that would keep Chris on this roster. Reminds me a lot of Sylvester but at least he was good on special teams. Anyone hear that about Carter?

    If it comes down to Chris and James, the only thing he has over James is age. He is not better than James at this point when clearly he should be. The times we have seen him, he looked lost and no way close to the plays to be considered a playmaker. If he was even as good as James, you would clearly go with the younger guy but he’s not.

    Is Chris a good player? Maybe but I don’t think he fits on this team. He’s not even competing for the starting position which in the minds of the coaches and everyone else was never even an option. Carter would have to come to camp and blow away the staff and since he did no such thing in mini-camp, I fail to see what he can do in camp to blow anyone away.

    Don’t hate the kid but he himself should consider going somewhere else to try to be successful and even be a starter. I did not hear that in his reply. Sounds like he just trying to stay on the team.

  • cencalsteeler

    I agree gene mann. Your response mirrors my second sentence.

  • Madi

    He is. He was responding honestly to a question asked by a reporter, not shouting it from the rooftops to anyone who would listen.
    I see a lot of comments here ragging on the guy for this quote. We all know he hasn’t performed on the field, but what has he done wrong here? He’s working hard and competing. Aside from actually being better, what more do you want?

  • Bob Loblaw

    It’s not like the two are mutually exclusive.

  • Virdin Barzey

    Sorry but there are number of us that respectfully disagree with you. Harrison was injured the last couple season he was with the Steelers. The Steelers did not think he was washed up, they wanted him but with a pay cut. He refused. That’s the only reason he isn’t on the roster so not sure how you came up with your assessment.

    He was healthy finally with the Bengals but he was playing in a 4-3 system and at a new position and not a starter. Hence the stats. Is James the same player at the prime of his career? Of course not but I think its foolish to write this guy off. I bet he will be motivated to prove guys like you wrong. Will he? I don’t know but I do know one thing for sure, he is a much better option than Carter.

  • CrazyTerry

    This guy just doesn’t have talent to be an NFL backup. Why are we wasting another year on this guy. Cut him already.