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Steelers Blog

Harrison shows another side

Posted by Teresa Varley on December 8, 2012 – 6:25 pm

Blog_Harrison_1

Linebacker James Harrison will wreak his usual havoc at Heinz Field on Sunday when the Steelers host the San Diego Chargers, but on Saturday it was a completely different side of Harrison that was on display at Heinz Field.

Harrison hosted the third annual James Harrison Family Foundation Brunch with Santa, having fun with all of the guests, but the kids in particular who he has a soft spot for.

“This is fun,” said Harrison. “You hang out with the kids and those that come to support it. They all get to see some of my teammates and myself and just have a good time.”

While it is fun, there is something bigger behind the event and that is to raise funds to aid in Harrison’s mission of helping children with disabilities. Last year Harrison said his goal was to provide a handicapped accessible van to help Kendle Haught, a young girl he met several years ago through his involvement with the Muscular Dystrophy Association Muscle Team. He was able to do that, and the van has been a blessing for her family, easing the daily struggles of getting around.

“It has meant so much to us,” said Haught’s mother Kristy Miklic. “We have been trying to get a van for years. Kendle’s been in the wheelchair since she was three and she is now 10, and thanks to James and the foundation we were able to get the van. It’s been amazing.

“James means so much to us. He goes above and beyond for our family and other families through his foundation. He doesn’t have to do that, but he does. He goes out of his way to help. He cares so much and has a special place in his heart for Kendle and kids with special needs.”

Harrison posed for pictures with the guests along with a special friend – “The Grinch,” who Harrison was nothing like. Then he and some of his teammates signed autographs for everyone, including some of the kids who will benefit from his generosity and caring.

“It’s an opportunity to help someone less fortunate than yourself,” said Harrison. “My thing is helping children. There is nothing a child has done to put them in the situation they are in. You feel helpless and want to do whatever you can to help them.”

James_Blog@ James_Blog2


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Knowing who the true heroes are

Posted by Teresa Varley on November 6, 2012 – 4:01 pm


As Steelers Jonathan Dwyer, James Harrison, Doug Legursky and Brett Keisel entered one of the hangers at the Air National Guard’s 171st Air Refueling Wing in Pittsburgh, you could see the excitement on the faces of those who serve this country, seeing players they cheer for on Sunday afternoons right in front of them.

But for the players, on this day they weren’t the heroes, the ones people look up to. Not even close. It was the men and women in uniform who were the heroes.

“You get to see what they do to protect and serve us and give us the freedoms we have,” said Harrison. “It’s obvious they are the true heroes. We go out here and play a game and we consider it battle. They go out there and put their lives on the line and they don’t come home. I’m going to come home after a game.”

The visit, done in conjunction with USAA, was a part of the Steelers “Salute to Service” in honor of Veteran’s Day. The players were there to say thank you to those who serve the country and learn a little bit more about what they do on a daily basis.

Part of the tour of the base included learning the different aspects of their job, from refueling planes in battle to helping close to home as some members were recently deployed to the New York/New Jersey area to help in Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.

“It’s a great opportunity and we are so happy they came here,” said Colonel Tony Carrelli, Wing Commander at the guard base. “One of the great things about a guard unit is we are a community Air Force, we are the Pittsburgh Air Force. We are strong to our ties to the community. There is such great support. Any time we can host someone on the base it’s a great opportunity because they are so supportive of us.

“As you walk around the base you see Pennsylvania. The patches have been adapted to show that. We go all over the world supporting missions and people look at us and say you are Pittsburgh.”

The most obvious symbol of Pittsburgh is the Steelers logo and Terrible Towel painted on the nose of one of the KC-135 Stratotanker jets that are used for refueling missions.

“To see the picture on the jet explains it all and how much pride they have in Pittsburgh,” said Dwyer, who has family that served in the military. “It’s a great feeling and it motivates you more to go out and do our jobs each and every day because they fight for us to be able to do what we do every day, wake up and not worry about anything.”

The players got a tour of the jet, with Harrison sitting in the pilot’s seat trying to convince them to let him turn on the jets, to Legursky, Dwyer and Keisel, with his son Jacob, touring the entire plane, including climbing down into a small area and seeing how the fuel is transferred from one plane to another.

“It was awesome,” said Keisel, who has family currently serving and many military veterans in his family as well. “All of these people here are our heroes. They protect us, protect all of our rights. To have the opportunity to and bring my son and show him about these guys and what they do is awesome.”

The team was presented with a photo of the plane, and in return the unit was given a helmet signed by Dan Rooney, Sr., Art Rooney II, Mike Tomlin and the four players on hand.

The most exciting part for the players, though, was when they had the opportunity to sign where the logo is painted on the nose of the plane and the realization that every time that plane takes flight for a mission, their names will be on there.

“That plane going overseas and on so many missions, with that art on the nose of the plane and to have my signature on it and it continue to serve our country, it’s a pretty big honor,” said Legursky, whose father Wayne served in the 82nd Airborne. “Coming from a military family it’s close to my heart. To come out here and hang out with people who serve is the least I can do for everything they do for our country.”


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Harrison knows defense needs to play better

Posted by Teresa Varley on October 15, 2012 – 7:21 pm

The Steelers have yet to have linebackers James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley on the field for a complete game this season, and the hope is it happens this week against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Harrison missed the first three games of the season but returned to play against the Philadelphia Eagles. Woodley injured his hamstring early in the Eagles game, and with a short week sat out the Titans game.  

“Hopefully,” said Harrison when asked if he thinks the two will be out there. “We’ll see when Sunday gets here.”

Regardless of who is out there, Harrison knows they have to pick up their play.

“What we need is to play better defense the whole game, better situational defense,” said Harrison. “Guys need to take responsibility for their actions and do what the defense is called to do and that is it.

“Overall it’s breakdowns in the defense. Not executing, guys playing different calls than what are being called. Not getting all around snap in and snap out execution of the defense. Some of it is communication, some of it is knowledge, and some of it is the overall technique.”

Despite not performing up to the level they are capable of, Harrison has confidence this team can still get the job done.

“I feel like it can be done, but we still have to go out there and put it on paper,” he said.


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Injured players ready for Sunday

Posted by Teresa Varley on October 5, 2012 – 2:45 pm

Linebacker James Harrison, running back Rashard Mendenhall and safety Troy Polamalu are all listed as probable for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Heinz Field.

Harrison, who hasn’t played yet this season, said his knee felt good in practice this week and he is ready to go.

“Yeah, definitely I will be ready for Sunday,” said Harrison. “It felt good, especially on Monday. I was able to make it through the week without any problems. I was able to cope with what my knee was doing. I wasn’t reacting to it as much as I had before. I am just happy to be able to get back out there and contribute to help this team win.

“I will play as much as my wind will allow me to play. Obviously, I haven’t really done anything since last postseason. I am going out there and seeing what happens. It’s really just my first game back. We will see.”

Mendenhall also hasn’t played yet this season and said he won’t know how things are until the game gets rolling, a game which he isn’t sure how much playing time he will see or what the rotation at running back will be.

“I’m not sure who we’ll have playing,” said Mendenhall. “The game will tell us that and take care of itself. We’re all prepared. Come game time, it will all unfold.”

Polamalu is the only one of the three returning this week who has played this season, starting in the season opener in Denver. He deferred to Coach Mike Tomlin regarding his ability to play Sunday, but did say he is feeling better. Now the key is the kind of impact the three players will have upon their return.

“We’ll see,” said Polamalu. “We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. Just because people have played and their resumes are out there doesn’t really mean much.”

Harrison said that there is no added pressure this week with the three players returning, but instead it’s just a matter of everyone focusing on doing their job.

 “There’s no more pressure than every other week,” said Harrison. “Our guys just need to go out there and execute their jobs. We have a lot of guys going out there and trying to do more than their part. With them trying to do that, they are not taking care of their jobs.”


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Right time to be at full strength

Posted by Teresa Varley on October 4, 2012 – 10:35 am


The Steelers defense should be at full strength on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, with safety Troy Polamalu and linebacker James Harrison back at practice this week and expected to play.

Their return definitely will be a boost for the defense, and something the Eagles offense will have to prepare for.

“It gives you two players you have to scheme for offensively,” said safety Ryan Clark. “They are two players Coach (Dick) LeBeau can use extensively in his package and isolate and give them opportunities to make plays. Also, they are going to produce. You know what they are capable of. They seem extremely healthy right now, which is good for us and allows us to be the defense we have been for years.”

Polamalu has missed the last two games and Harrison hasn’t played yet this season. According to Clark while it does give the defense a lift, it also puts some pressure on them.

“I told them Monday first play no more excuses,” said Clark. “We can’t run in here and say we don’t have Troy or James. We have everybody we are supposed to have so we have to go out and make plays. You get a lift when they are out there running around, running to the ball and doing what they have done for years and we are definitely excited about that.”

Having Polamalu and Harrison back on the field couldn’t come at a better time as the Steelers are trying to rebound and improve on their 1-2 record against a tough 3-1Eagles team lead by Michael Vick. Vick can do damage with his arm and his ability to run with the ball, so the defense has to be on point at all times.

“Being able to run opens up a lot of avenues for the offense as a whole,” said Clark. “You see what Ben (Roethlisberger) can do, how he can extend plays, and you are talking about a guy who is different from any quarterback who has played the game in Michael Vick.”

Vick has been sacked 11 times through four games, so applying pressure on him is going to be a key for the defense.

“You have to hit him more than once,” said Clark. “He has been taking a pounding this year. You look at the first few weeks of the season, guys are getting to him, able to make him fumble and give the ball up. That is what you look to do. In trying to get to him you have to be sound in your technique and sound in your gaps. Where you see opponents try to exploit what he does, he can also exploit you if you are trying to make plays that are out of the sense of the defense.

“With Michael Vick it’s not always about making the play, but stopping him from making the play.”


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Tomlin expects injured players back

Posted by Teresa Varley on October 2, 2012 – 12:16 pm

Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin expects to have all on hands on deck in practice on Wednesday, after everyone except Marcus Gilbert participated in Monday’s practice. And better yet, if all goes well in practice the rest of the week, Troy Polamalu, James Harrison and Rashard Mendenhall could all play on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles at Heinz Field.

“Based on what I am looking at on how we worked yesterday I think that is a safe assessment,” said Tomlin when asked if they will play Sunday. “We will watch these guys as we proceed throughout the week. All guys have performed well and were able to get through practice and we’re optimistic that they’re going to be full participants.”

Polamalu has missed the last two games after playing against Denver, and Harrison has not seen game action yet this season, but both practiced Monday. Rashard Mendenhall also continued to practice, even though he has yet to see game action as well.

“Coming off the bye, I think it’s been a productive bye for us,” said Tomlin. “We’ve had the opportunity to work on some elements that we feel like need to be addressed in all three phases. At the same time we were able to get some of our injured men back.”

Harrison practiced last week as well, and worked out during the team’s bye. While Tomlin had not talked to Harrison yet to see how his knee responded to practicing, as he has had setbacks previously, he does know having him back healthy is a good thing.

“If he plays well and plays like James is capable of playing, obviously he’ll be an asset to us,” said Tomlin. “But, we’re not going to make excuses and we’re not going to sit around and wait for those that are not participating to participate. Injuries and so forth are a part of the game. When we have those guys, we’ll appreciate it. When we don’t have them, we’ll remain steadfast in our goals and our objectives.”

Having a healthy team will be a key for the Steelers, who are looking to get back on the winning track this week against the Eagles.

“It’s a big week for us,” said Tomlin. “Those are exciting things for us as we push into this week. It’s a big week for us coming off our last performance, but also having an opportunity to play at home in front of our fans against a really good team in the Philadelphia Eagles.”


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Getting Rashard back would be a boost

Posted by Teresa Varley on October 1, 2012 – 7:56 pm

It was back to business for the Steelers on Monday, after a four-day break for the bye week, and as they prepare for the Philadelphia Eagles the hope is they will get some of their injured players back on the field Sunday.

Among those who haven’t played yet this season, but whose return would be a huge boost to the offense, is running back Rashard Mendenhall. Mendenhall has been out since suffering an ACL injury at the end of last season and his presence could help a ground game that is averaging only 65 yards per game through three games.

“Rashard is one of the best in the league,” said wide receiver Mike Wallace. “When you get a guy back like that who is very explosive, has really good feet, a lot of vision, it’s going to boost our team.”

While his teammates talk about a potential return for him, Mendenhall still isn’t sure if he will be ready to play this week.

“I can’t say that,” said Mendenhall. “I am just trying to improve and take it one day at a time. We are all gauging it, going through it. When the time is ready I think we all need to be clear on it. We’re just taking it one day at a time. We will see.”

Mendenhall said he is preparing the same this week as he did week one of the season when he wasn’t able to play, but he is definitely making progress and benefitted from the days off during the bye week.

“It felt good,” said Mendenhall. “We are back at it, still taking it one day at a time. I’ve been improving every day. I am going to continue to work and prepare for the game, like I have every week.”

Safety Troy Polamalu hasn’t played since the first week of the season in Denver, and linebacker James Harrison has been sidelined all season as well. Polamalu, like Mendenhall, took advantage of the rest during the bye week.

“The more time off, the better,” said Polamalu. “It was a pretty early bye week for us but hopefully we can get some momentum going and we will see how this week turns out for us.”

Polamalu, who also didn’t comment on his status for this Sunday, instead deferring to Coach Mike Tomlin on whether or not he will be able to play, said he doesn’t know what kind of impact having him or Harrison back on the field will have on the defense until it actually happens.  

“I don’t know,” said Polamalu. “We will see once we all get on the field together. There are some other new faces out there that have become starters. It’s about how all 11 guys are playing together.”


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A time to heal for several Steelers

Posted by Teresa Varley on September 26, 2012 – 9:16 pm

Steelers’ players have the next four days off for their bye week, giving several who are ailing a chance to get healthy. Among those the team hopes to get back on the field after the bye are linebacker James Harrison, safety Troy Polamalu and running back Rashard Mendenhall.

“It would help,” said linebacker LaMarr Woodley, speaking about Harrison and Polamalu. “Those are our key guys. That makes a big difference for the defense.  Having them back will be great for our defense.  The bye week is always great. Having a few injuries, Troy and James, gives guys time to heal up and rest and come back and play.”

Harrison was on the field for the first time on Tuesday, but didn’t participate on Wednesday. Polamalu worked on both days.

While both players are expected to make an impact upon their return whenever that might be, their teammates also know they can’t depend solely on them to turn things around defensively.

“We have to get them back out there,” said safety Ryan Clark. “But I don’t think it’s fair to put that much pressure on those guys to say you are why we are not playing well. You can’t say the standard is the standard and say we aren’t playing well because they aren’t there. You can’t do that. The guys who are on the field need to perform.”

Mendenhall has been practicing regularly, even getting more physical contact for the first time last week. With the running game not getting in gear yet, having him back soon would be a welcome addition.

“Rashard is one of the best in the league,” said wide receiver Mike Wallace. “When you get a guy back like that who is very explosive, has really good feet, a lot of vision, it’s going to boost our team.”

The Steelers take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 7 at Heinz Field and getting any or all three of the injured players back for that game is something teammates are hoping for.

“You get a player like Rashard back, James and Troy and that will provide us a spark,” said wide receiver Antonio Brown. “They are key factors on our team and provide us an opportunity to win games. It will be great to have them back and this gives them time to recover.”


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Harrison, Polamalu miss practice again

Posted by Teresa Varley on September 14, 2012 – 2:02 pm

Linebacker James Harrison missed practice for a third straight day on Friday and would not commit to whether he will be able to play Sunday against the New York Jets or not.

Harrison, who said the knee is “doing all right,” was evasive about his status but did say he doesn’t want to rush back on the field and do any further damage that would linger.

“What it comes down to is there is no need to try to hurry and rush yourself back and end up doing more damage and having to deal with the injury for the rest of the season, instead of saying I’ll sit out a few weeks and get it back healthy rather than go in and play in the game, reinjure it, have to sit out a whole week rehabbing until you can get to where you can play again in another week or so,” said Harrison. “There is no need to go out there, it’s too early in the season to go out there and do more damage and prevent myself from actually being out there healthy.”

Harrison said it’s up to him as to whether or not he is ready to play, rather than others making the decision for him.

“They don’t know how I feel, only I do,” said Harrison. “If I feel like I can go, I will go. If I feel like I can’t, I won’t.”

The status of safety Troy Polamalu is also a question mark this week, as he also was held out of practice again on Friday.

“I feel good,” said Polamalu. “Coach (Mike) Tomlin knows how my injuries feel better than I do.”

Both Harrison and Polamalu are listed as questionable for Sunday.


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Harrison misses practice, would like to play

Posted by Teresa Varley on September 7, 2012 – 12:50 pm

Linebacker James Harrison missed practice for the second day in a row on Friday as his knee continues to heal.

“The word is I didn’t practice today,” said Harrison.  “The knee didn’t feel too good. They want to let it rest and see if rest will help it and make the decision when the game comes.”

Harrison said he would “definitely like to play,” but if the Steelers-Broncos game were today he wouldn’t be able to.

“There was a little swelling, nothing major,” said Harrison. “It’s more irritation and a little pain. The soft tissue hasn’t healed yet. It’s just sore.”

Harrison said he would list himself as a game time decision for Sunday night’s matchup in Denver, but isn’t sure what Coach Mike Tomlin has in mind.

“I don’t know,” said Harrison. “You would have to ask him. I am not in his head right now.”


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Door is still open for injured players

Posted by Teresa Varley on September 4, 2012 – 12:19 pm

The Steelers will be without guard David DeCastro and linebacker Stevenson Sylvester this week against the Broncos as they are both coming off surgery, but there is still hope for some other injured players to be on the field Sunday night.

Linebackers James Harrison and Jason Worilds and running backs Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman have not been ruled out by Coach Mike Tomlin.

“They all worked in some capacity yesterday and we are going to leave the door open for all of those men and see where the week takes us,” said Tomlin. “A lot of their availability will depend on how they respond to a workload. We provided a workload for them yesterday. Today is a player’s day off. We’ll see where that takes us as we push into tomorrow and cumulatively throughout the week.”

Safety Robert Golden and cornerback Curtis Brown both practiced on Monday after being injured in the preseason and also could be available on Sunday night.

“Those (two) guys are less likely to miss PT, but some of the other guys I mentioned earlier are closer than others and we’ll just monitor their progress and make the decision as we push forward through the week and base that determination on how they respond to the work,” said Tomlin. “It was good work yesterday.

“I am encouraged by the work of all of those men, particularly the two linebackers who missed quite a bit of time during the preseason in James Harrison and Jason Worilds. I thought A – they were relatively sharp from an assignment standpoint and B – I thought they displayed pretty good overall physical conditioning for a couple of guys that hadn’t logged very much in helmet time in the early portions of the season. I am encouraged by that front.”

The Steelers will be without free safety Ryan Clark, who is unable to play in the high altitude in Denver because of complications he has due to the sickle cell trait.

“That has been our position in the past and will continue to be our position,” said Tomlin of Clark not playing. “Ryan understands that and is supportive of that. I am sure he will be a big supporter of his teammates, not only in the stadium this week but in preparation. He always has been that guy and I expect that to continue.”


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Harrison back on the field

Posted by Teresa Varley on September 3, 2012 – 2:45 pm

Linebacker James Harrison returned to practice on Monday, the Steelers first day of preparation for the regular season opener against the Denver Broncos on Sunday night.

Harrison participated fully in practice, except for the final team segment and came away with the knee feeling all right.

“It went okay,” said Harrison, who added that it was bothering him very little.

He won’t know until Tuesday morning, though, how the knee will fully react and still doesn’t know if he will be able to play on Sunday night.

“We will find out tomorrow,” said Harrison. “I just have to wait and see if it blows up tomorrow. It will give us more detail definitely.”


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Teammates welcome Wallace back

Posted by Teresa Varley on August 28, 2012 – 4:14 pm

The Steelers practice facility was buzzing on Tuesday with Mike Wallace back in the fold, ending his holdout that covered the team’s OTAs, minicamp and training camp.

And those happiest to have Wallace back were his fellow wide receivers.

“Everyone is excited around here just to get him back,” said Emmanuel Sanders. “The dimension that Mike brings to the offense is the speed. He takes the top off the coverage for us.

“He is a big time playmaker around here. He has been doing that the past three years. We are excited to get him back. He is the last link for us to take off.”

Antonio Brown was energized to have Wallace back, knowing it helps the offense overall to have the speedy receiver as part of the arsenal.

“It definitely helps everyone’s cause with a guy like Mike, taking the top off defenses,” said Brown. “It opens us up. Mike can do so many things to get us open, draw coverage, help us get open underneath. It allows so many other things and options.

“It’s something special, knowing we have our guy back. We all need him here, working together, moving on in the right direction and chasing the Lombardi. He is going to be a key role in that.”

Another person who is going to benefit by Wallace’s return is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, giving him another weapon on the field.

“To have him here is another piece of the puzzle that completes it for us,” said Roethlisberger. “He is a fast guy that stretches the field for guys and gets other guys open and makes big plays for us.”

Wallace will have some catching up to do, but his teammates are happy to make sure he is right on schedule for opening day in Denver on Sept. 9.

“We are going to do the extra things we need to do to make sure he is ready,” said Brown. “If that is stay out after practice, we will do the necessary things to make sure when we go to Denver we are ready. It’s going to take a little bit of time and studying but that is why he is here. It’s just fun to have him back and see if we can get off to a great start.”

Wallace can’t practice for three days, ruling him out for the preseason finale against Carolina on Thursday night, and giving him only a week to prepare for the Denver game. But teammates are confident he will be ready.

“I feel like he is going to do everything necessary that he has to do,” said Sanders. “The coaches are going to work with him hard to get him caught up.

“It’s a new playbook. There are some similar things he will be able to pick up on. He is not familiar with the concepts, but he will get caught up fast and coach will do an exceptional job getting him caught up. I think he will be ready by Denver. No question about it.”

There was no dissension among the ranks, with the players understanding Wallace’s situation and welcoming him back with open arms.

“We understand. That is the business part,” said Sanders. “We missed his personality in the offensive room. Ever since I have been here he has been in that meeting room. It’s been different, but everyone is glad he is back. The Young Money Crew is back. We are looking forward to that. It’s going to be fun.”

And speaking of fun, right after Wallace arrived at the facility linebacker James Harrison had some fun snagging Wallace for the first exclusive interview, which he posted on his Twitter account, @jharrison9292.

“We are friends before anything else and he wanted to talk to a friend first, so I was there for him,” said Harrison. “We talked a little bit and then he gave me the first exclusive.”

Don’t look for Harrison to change professions and join the media ranks, though.

“I don’t like putting cameras in people’s faces,” said Harrison. “It’s not me. But you have to first hear it from James Harrison.”


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Harrison working his way back

Posted by Teresa Varley on August 21, 2012 – 4:03 pm

The Steelers are strong at linebacker, but injuries have taken their toll this training camp with James Harrison and Jason Worilds on the PUP list since camp started and Stevenson Sylvester now out with a knee injury.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

When asked on Tuesday if it is realistic that he will be back in time for the season opener in Denver on Sept. 9, Harrison said, “I think so,” even though he doesn’t anticipate playing in any preseason games at this point.

Harrison isn’t sure when he will be able to return to practice, but does know he will need some practice time before he is game ready.

“We just have to go through each day and see how I feel,” said Harrison. “I think I might need a little preparation. We’ve got a couple of new things but other than that I think I’ll be all right.

“You have to get your timing back with the other guys and everything else. A few days of practice will help.”

Harrison had arthroscopic surgery on his knee during camp, but isn’t concerned about it bothering him down the road.

“Just actually getting out there and doing field work and cutting caused it to blow back up. I couldn’t let it go any longer,” he said. “The scope cleaned it up. I’m not worried about it.”


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Carter ready if Harrison isn’t

Posted by Teresa Varley on August 15, 2012 – 8:12 pm

The talk at training camp on Wednesday was about James Harrison’s left knee after he had arthroscopic surgery on it.

One player thrown into the spotlight if Harrison is out for any amount of time is second-year linebacker Chris Carter.

“The standard is the standard,” said Carter. “I have a lot to live up to. I am going to try my best and hopefully get to where James is at.”

Carter, who said he was pleased with his performance against the Eagles, doesn’t doubt his ability to get the job done

“I am the last person to ever doubt my size especially when it comes to the run,” said Carter, 6-1, 248. “I’ve been doing a good job so far during camp and in preseason games. I have to continue to build on it. The one thing about Coach (Mike) Tomlin and Coach (Keith) Butler is that we never get satisfied, ever.”

Like everyone else Carter doesn’t know how long Harrison could be sidelined, but said the offseason helped prepare him for this after not having an offseason his rookie season because of the lockout.

 

 “I expect James to be at full health and in the case that he is not I am more than willing, able and ready to stand up and take that job that day,” said Carter. “Coach (Dick) LeBeau and the rest of the defense have done a great job of prepping me to be able to take care of the responsibility I need to when I am on the field.

“I wish the best for James. He is a great asset to the team. With him out there our defense is unstoppable. But I believe in myself as well and my abilities and I can still get out there and hold things up.”

Carter is having a strong training camp and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“He’s represented himself well not only since he’s been here but he had a very productive offseason, OTAs and minicamp,” said Tomlin. “He’s a second-year player, a guy that has to take that step in the manner in which we challenge all our second-year players. So far, he’s accepting that challenge.”
Carter hasn’t talked to Harrison about the injury, which has had him on the PUP list since camp began, and he doesn’t know how long the recovery will take.

“I don’t ask him about it,” said Carter. “He is a consummate pro. He knows how to deal with that and get his body in perfect condition. I am sure he is going to come back as soon as possible, as soon as he feels ready.
“Until then I am just going to take care of my business.”


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Foote speaks up as signal caller

Posted by Teresa Varley on August 4, 2012 – 6:25 pm

If you know linebacker Larry Foote you know it’s not often you hear anyone say they can’t hear him. Usually you hear him minutes before he arrives.

However fellow linebacker James Harrison was giving Foote, who took over as the defensive signal caller with James Farrior gone, some grief for being hard to hear when he is calling the plays.

“I can’t hear Larry Foote,” said Harrison. “He has to speak up because I can’t hear him. But there is not a difference (between him and Farrior). They are both knowledgeable of the defense, play it well. I don’t see much more of a difference.”

Foote laughed when he heard what Harrison said, and jokingly said that it’s Harrison who isn’t listening.

“He is the only one that says it because you know how you can be sitting next to someone and they aren’t listening, well he is one of those guys,” said Foote. “He can hear me, but isn’t listening. You have to say it to him and make sure he gets it because in the game his mind is in other places. That is a part of calling defenses. That is your job.”

And it’s a job he welcomes with open arms, even if it can get harried at times.

“It’s fun. It comes with the territory,” said Foote. “I don’t mind it. It’s just natural

“There is pressure when you can’t get the call and you have 10 guys screaming at you and they don’t understand that it’s the sideline and it’s not me. We are going to complain and gripe about that forever. I saw them yell at Farrior about it and I am sure they are going to yell at me too.”


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