Steelers Bring James Harrison Out of Retirement
Who knew it was this bad for the Pittsburgh Steelers? Thanks to mounting injuries to an already shaky defense, the yellow and black have officially turned to the open market to try to plug their leaky holes, as they have reportedly signed on former outside linebacker James Harrison.
Recently retired, the long-time Steeler makes his return to the field after being away from the game officially for less than two full months. Whether or not the 36-year old Harrison can actually help Pittsburgh’s maligned defense, however, is open for debate.
The team was already struggling to consistently top the opposition through the first three weeks (although they did a little better in week three), and lost rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier and second-year pass rusher Jarvis Jones for up to a month each. Jones was immediately placed on the designated for return injured reserve list due to a wrist issue, while Shazier will have to sit out the next several weeks thanks to a knee sprain.
Harrison spent 2013 playing with the division rival Cincinnati Bengals after the Steelers opted not to bring back the aging star. In Cincy, Harrison seemed like a shell of his former self, as he operated out of the weak side linebacker spot in the Bengals’ base 4-3 defensive scheme.
Out of place and past his prime, Harrison managed just two sacks and 31 total tackles in 15 appearances.
The once stout pass-rusher looked done last year, but it’s worth noting that he wasn’t playing a position or working in a scheme that he is at all used to. Back with the Steelers now, Harrison at least knows exactly what to do and where he needs to be at all times in Pittsburgh’s aggressive 3-4 defense.
While it’s doubtful Harrison returns and plays like he did a few years ago when he was terrorizing quarterbacks with 36 sacks from 2008 to 2010, he should at least be able to serve as a solid stop-gap until Pittsburgh can get back to full strength.
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