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fordfixer
11-06-2009, 04:42 AM
Notebook: Something special in store for Harrison?

By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sport ... rison.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1501/2009/november/06/notebook-something-special-in-store-for-harrison.html)

Friday November 6, 2009 12:07 AM

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers’ kickoff coverage team may have a new addition, but it won’t be Anthony Madison.

Don’t be shocked if James Harrison makes his debut Monday when the Steelers play the Denver Broncos.

Before becoming a starting star linebacker two years ago, Harrison was a special teams phenom. There have even been instances over the past two years when Harrison has asked, and been granted, permission to cover kicks.

Since the Steelers have allowed kickoffs to be returned for touchdowns in each of their last two games — first by Cleveland’s Joshua Cribbs, then by Minnesota’s Percy Harvin — might Harrison volunteer this week?

“James does it every week,” special teams coach Bob Ligashesky said. “He’s a team guy — whatever we need, whenever we need it.”

Harrison has yet to cover a kick this year. Considering his importance to the defense, it seems like a risk for him to play on special teams. Then again, he keeps asking to do it.

Will it happen Monday in Denver?

“I guess you’ll have to find out, right?” Ligashesky said.

Meanwhile, Ligashesky wouldn’t bite when asked if the Steelers may be interested in signing Madison, a cornerback who played three years in Pittsburgh primarily because he did an outstanding job covering kicks.

“We coach the guys we’ve got here,” Ligashesky said.

Madison’s name surfaced this week after he was cut by the Cleveland Browns.

Madison played for the Steelers from 2006-2008 but was cut in early September. He later wound up in Cleveland, where he played in four games. MUNDY MONDAY?

There’s a chance that Ryan Mundy will make his first career start against the Broncos.

With Ryan Clark doubtful because of past health issues after playing in Denver, Mundy could start at free safety.

Thursday at practice, one of the Steelers’ defensive backs said it’s his understanding that Mundy — and not Tyrone Carter — will take Clark’s place.
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“Nobody has told me anything yet,” said Mundy, a former WPIAL star who played at Woodland Hills. “But if that is true, I believe I’m ready.”

Clark has been practicing this week, but it’s hard to imagine him playing against the Broncos.

As a sickle cell trait carrier, Clark became seriously ill in 2007 after playing in Denver. He eventually had to have his spleen and gall bladder removed.

Mundy is a second-year pro who was drafted in the sixth round last year.

EASON TO START

The Steelers will have their third different starter at left defensive end.

Travis Kirschke, who had started the past two games in place on the injured Aaron Smith, missed practice Thursday and has been all but ruled out. Kirschke has not practiced since tearing his calf muscle in the Oct. 25 win over Minnesota.

That means Nick Eason will make only the fifth start of his seven-year pro career.

“I want to play. I’m hoping I can play. But it takes some time for (his calf) to heal,” Kirschke said. “Typically it’s anywhere from three to six weeks.”

Smith is on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

TIMMONS QUESTION

Even though he expects to play in Denver, inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons missed his third straight day of practice this week. Timmons suffered a sprained ankle in the win against the Vikings.

Because the Steelers don’t play until Monday, they have an extra day of practice this week. If Timmons can practice today, his chances of playing against the Broncos improve.

FAMILIAR FACES

One of the starting defensive ends in the Broncos’ 3-4 defense is Ryan McBean, the Steelers’ fourth-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.

Meanwhile, the Broncos’ punter is Mitch Berger, a journeyman who spent most of the ’08 season with the Steelers.

Jooser
11-06-2009, 07:49 AM
Sweet.

papillon
11-06-2009, 10:13 AM
It seems that wherever Mitch Berger plays that team heads to the playoffs. :wft :P

Pappy

Djfan
11-06-2009, 10:20 AM
For the record, James Harrison CAN play center.

RuthlessBurgher
11-06-2009, 11:12 AM
For the record, James Harrison CAN play center.

I'd avoid having him long snap anymore, though.

SteelAbility
11-06-2009, 12:38 PM
"Harrison has yet to cover a kick this year. Considering his importance to the defense, it seems like a risk for him to play on special teams. Then again, he keeps asking to do it."

Yeah. For the other team. :tt2

flippy
11-06-2009, 12:46 PM
"Harrison has yet to cover a kick this year. Considering his importance to the defense, it seems like a risk for him to play on special teams. Then again, he keeps asking to do it."

Yeah. For the other team. :tt2

Maybe they're saving him to deliver all his special team punishment to Ed Reed.

SteelAbility
11-06-2009, 05:12 PM
"Harrison has yet to cover a kick this year. Considering his importance to the defense, it seems like a risk for him to play on special teams. Then again, he keeps asking to do it."

Yeah. For the other team. :tt2

Maybe they're saving him to deliver all his special team punishment to Ed Reed.

I think Hines still has dibbs on those STs plays. :wink:

skyhawk
11-07-2009, 01:00 AM
He would be helpful on ST's!

But at Mile high? He might be tired as he$$ too soon!

California-Steel
11-07-2009, 03:25 AM
The second he gets hurt I can't wait to hear all the, "what a stupid move that was to put Harrison on ST" comments.

I think it's a dumb move and I am stating it now. Why risk your all pro starting LB on ST? When he gets hurt (god forbid) or becomes just to run down at the end of the season (begining of the playoff, if we make it that far) then you will all be saying why was he on ST anyways.

There is a reason teams don't have there star starters on ST.

RuthlessBurgher
11-07-2009, 01:17 PM
The second he gets hurt I can't wait to hear all the, "what a stupid move that was to put Harrison on ST" comments.

I think it's a dumb move and I am stating it now. Why risk your all pro starting LB on ST? When he gets hurt (god forbid) or becomes just to run down at the end of the season (begining of the playoff, if we make it that far) then you will all be saying why was he on ST anyways.

There is a reason teams don't have there star starters on ST.

Which is why I'm glad we got Logan, so we don't have to have Santonio returning punts anymore.

California-Steel
11-08-2009, 04:11 PM
Which is why I'm glad we got Logan, so we don't have to have Santonio returning punts anymore.
Also a smart idea. Anyone that wants starters on ST is just asking for trouble. Yeah they may make a great play but then you increase the odds of them getting hurt. Why do that for a few extra plays a game.

If you don't have players that can do that job other than your starters then there is something wrong with your backups. If your backups are good enough to come in when a starter needs a break or get hurt then they should be good enough to play the 4 - 5 ST plays a game. If not then they should not be on the team.