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fordfixer
08-03-2010, 01:36 AM
OLB Harrison played through injuries in 2009
By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 93156.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_693156.html)

Much has been made about how the Steelers' defense would benefit from a return to health by strong safety Troy Polamalu and defensive end Aaron Smith.

The same may also be true when it comes to outside linebacker James Harrison.

The three-time Pro Bowler played the second half of last season with a variety of injuries, including a strained biceps that compromised his strength and, ultimately, his ability to take down opposing quarterbacks.

Healthy again, Harrison is looking to trump what he accomplished in 2008, when he set a Steelers' single-season record in sacks and copped NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors.

"I really want to try to get something like 22 sacks," Harrison said Monday. "I'm going to shoot high. If I come under it, oh well."

Harrison had 10 sacks last season, well under the 16 he totaled in 2008, and only one of those came in the Steelers' final seven games. Not coincidentally, Harrison battled a biceps strain, an MCL problem with his knee and an AC Joint problem with his shoulder during that period.

The 6-foot, 242-pounder was so battered by the end of the season that it's a wonder he managed to play in all 16 of the Steelers' games.

"We didn't think he was going to play against Baltimore (Dec. 27)," Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler said. "He wanted to play, because he knew that game was important to us."

Said Harrison, "Towards the end of the year, I had situations where I actually had the (quarterback) wrapped up. I just couldn't hold on to him. I'm good now."

Harrison kept the injuries quiet for obvious reasons.

"It would be stupid to tell somebody that," he said. "That's something they could shoot at."

His drop in production last season didn't make Harrison any less of a marked man.

Butler said the Ravens frequently used an unbalanced line against the Steelers, putting an extra offensive tackle on Harrison's side of the ball.

While that helped the Ravens contain Harrison, it freed up outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley to wreck havoc on the left side. Three of Woodley's career-high 13 sacks last season came in two games against the Ravens.

"I think it's pick your poison with those two. Which one are you going to take out of the game?" Butler said.

Butler would like to do that from time to time with arguably the best pair of bookend linebackers in the NFL.

"Both of those guys played a thousand plays last year," Butler said. "That's hard to ask them to do, especially toward the end of the game, because you get tired and most of the games are won at the end, so those guys have to be fresh."

The Steelers don't have much in the way of proven depth behind Harrison and Woodley. That is why Butler is keeping a close eye on rookie outside linebackers Jason Worilds and Thaddeus Gibson, who were taken in the second and fourth rounds, respectively, of the NFL draft in April.

Butler said the Steelers won't rush either player both are making the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker and that the importance of their development is not related to the fact that Harrison is 32.

"His (drop in) production wasn't age-related," Butler said of Harrison. "His production was injury-related."

It would be a huge boost for the Steelers' defense if Harrison can stay healthy and make a run at his goal of 22 sacks.

Not that the seventh-year veteran sees it that way.

"I think if Aaron Smith and Troy Polamalu stay healthy," Harrison said, "this defense will continue to do what it's done in previous years."

The same can probably be said about him, too.

SteelCrazy
08-03-2010, 01:56 AM
That explains a freakin lot!

hawaiiansteel
08-03-2010, 02:00 AM
we need our defense to step up this season, all of a sudden i feel a helluva lot better... :tt2

fordfixer
08-03-2010, 02:07 AM
Aren't the Steelers to report injuries? Didn't the *'s get busted for that not long ago

hawaiiansteel
08-03-2010, 03:32 AM
Aren't the Steelers to report injuries? Didn't the *'s get busted for that not long ago

:D

http://www.inloughborough.com/newsimages/quiet.jpg

jj28west
08-03-2010, 05:31 AM
This makes complete sense...especially the Cleveland game where the RB's were able to get to the corner on Silverback's side.

papillon
08-03-2010, 08:10 AM
Aren't the Steelers to report injuries? Didn't the *'s get busted for that not long ago

If a player is injured and still plays is the team obligated to report him as injured? That would seem like a bad idea, then the offense would put a bullseye on the injured area.

Pappy

BURGH86STEEL
08-03-2010, 08:34 AM
Most starters play through injuries at some point during the season.

Oviedo
08-03-2010, 08:39 AM
The key question is are these injuries an anomoly or are they the start of a trend for a 30+ year old player?

Harrison's 2 sacks in the final eight games was a major reason our defense failed.

Hopefully he can be more like the version of 2008 versus 2009. I have to admit I am concerned.

Ghost
08-03-2010, 09:41 AM
You don't have to report anything about a player that's going to play. He dressed and played in all the games therefore the Steelers had no obligation to announce he had a bicep and knee that were hurting.

cruzer8
08-03-2010, 10:17 AM
The key question is are these injuries an anomoly or are they the start of a trend for a 30+ year old player?

Harrison's 2 sacks in the final eight games was a major reason our defense failed.

Hopefully he can be more like the version of 2008 versus 2009. I have to admit I am concerned.

How many sacks did Woodley have in the first half of the season when Harrison was on a tear?

Like Butler says, "It's pick your poison with these two."

ramblinjim
08-03-2010, 11:31 AM
I'm just hoping everyone can stay healthy this year. Especially the first half of the season. The D is going to have to carry us for a bit until Ben comes back and our young receivers get some reps in.

Oviedo
08-03-2010, 11:50 AM
The key question is are these injuries an anomoly or are they the start of a trend for a 30+ year old player?

Harrison's 2 sacks in the final eight games was a major reason our defense failed.

Hopefully he can be more like the version of 2008 versus 2009. I have to admit I am concerned.

How many sacks did Woodley have in the first half of the season when Harrison was on a tear?

Like Butler says, "It's pick your poison with these two."

But you need both to be performing for all 16 games to be a special defense. Can't be inconsistent. That is what killed us last season.

cruzer8
08-03-2010, 11:59 AM
The key question is are these injuries an anomoly or are they the start of a trend for a 30+ year old player?

Harrison's 2 sacks in the final eight games was a major reason our defense failed.

Hopefully he can be more like the version of 2008 versus 2009. I have to admit I am concerned.

How many sacks did Woodley have in the first half of the season when Harrison was on a tear?

Like Butler says, "It's pick your poison with these two."

But you need both to be performing for all 16 games to be a special defense. Can't be inconsistent. That is what killed us last season.

I would expect to see more of that if Timmons goes off like many of us anticipate. The trouble last season was opposing offenses could focus on either Harrison or Woodley. One of them was always getting double teamed or chipped while the other wasn't.

It's just like one WR drawing double coverage and leaving another WR with single coverage. It's usually the single covered WR who will see the ball.

BURGH86STEEL
08-03-2010, 12:29 PM
The key question is are these injuries an anomoly or are they the start of a trend for a 30+ year old player?

Harrison's 2 sacks in the final eight games was a major reason our defense failed.

Hopefully he can be more like the version of 2008 versus 2009. I have to admit I am concerned.

How many sacks did Woodley have in the first half of the season when Harrison was on a tear?

Like Butler says, "It's pick your poison with these two."

But you need both to be performing for all 16 games to be a special defense. Can't be inconsistent. That is what killed us last season.

I believe the loss of our best player(Troy) killed us more then anything last season.

fordfixer
08-03-2010, 09:23 PM
You don't have to report anything about a player that's going to play. He dressed and played in all the games therefore the Steelers had no obligation to announce he had a bicep and knee that were hurting.


"We didn't think he was going to play against Baltimore (Dec. 27)," Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler said. "He wanted to play, because he knew that game was important to us."

So then was he on the injuries list foe the Balt game?