View Full Version : NFL Any Era: James Harrison

01-28-2012, 03:31 PM
NFL Any Era: James Harrison
January, 25, 2012
Jan 25

By Jamison Hensley
Joe Namath and James Harrison ESPN.com IllustrationWe guarantee James Harrison would focus on getting Hall of Famer Joe Namath. MATCHUP GALLERY
ESPN.com is unveiling its "Any Era" team this week which features 20 current players with the toughness to play in any period of NFL history. The team was assembled by votes from 20 Hall of Fame players (here's a full explanation of the project).

Coming in at No. 10 on the Any Era Team is Steelers linebacker James Harrison. It's surprising that Harrison isn't rated higher on this list because his nasty approach to playing would allow him to thrive in the old-school football days of the 1950s, '60s and '70s.

As ESPN's John Clayton noted, his ferocious tackling style would fit perfectly in the classic Steelers-Raiders clashes. And, if he was playing back then, he wouldn't get fined. He would be applauded.

Here are explanations from three Hall of Fame players on why Harrison made the cut:

MIKE SINGLETARY: ďI picked him because of his mentality, heís been cut so many times and yet he kept coming back. Heís not the biggest guy in the world, but when he lines up, he plays, and he plays every down and thatís what youíve gotta have on defense so thatís why heís there. Simply, itís because of his mindsetógreatness to me is all about what you overcome, and heís been tremendous.Ē

LYNN SWANN: "James will take on two blockers at a time, heíll stop them and then stop a guy for a loss and that fires up a team. With these guys every game you are looking for a hit or a major stop or a picked off pass. With Harrison you donít know if the contribution will be a sack, a hit for a loss, a big stop for a loss on 4th down, or dropping back in coverage to pick off a pass."

MARCUS ALLEN: ďA guy I think could play in the years past, old school, is James Harrison. He gets reprimanded playing the game I grew up wanting to play like and admired and so forth. They are called dirty players and unfortunately, the game has changed a bit. The league has made quite a bit of money off the hits we see in highlights and there is generation of kids who grew up watching and were taught thatís the way you play.Ē

Harrison is the third AFC North player to make the list, but there are more division players in the top 10. The AFC North blog will post every time a division player makes the Any Era Team.

01-28-2012, 04:31 PM
I cant believe he didnít make the top 2. Stupid Goodell mustíve sabotaged it

01-28-2012, 04:54 PM
He would be unstoppable in those eras. The rules would not allow holding on him the way they do now.

Leper Friend
01-28-2012, 05:14 PM
Too bad they won't let him play in THIS era.

01-28-2012, 05:20 PM
James Harrison transcends eras with his style of play and probably should have been #1. Has the entire 20 man list been published?


01-28-2012, 05:33 PM
# No. 20: Colts QB Peyton Manning
# No. 19: Broncos QB Tim Tebow
# No. 18: Lions DT Ndamukong Suh
# No. 17: Colts DE Dwight Freeney
# No. 16: Vikings DE Jared Allen
# No. 15: Jets DB Darrelle Revis
# No. 14: Ravens RB Ray Rice
# No. 13: Ravens S Ed Reed
# No. 12: Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware
# No. 11: Pats** QB Tom Brady
# No. 10: Steelers LB James Harrison
# No. 9: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
# No. 8: Steelers WR Hines Ward
# No. 7: 49ers LB Patrick Willis
# No. 6: Vikings RB Adrian Peterson
# No. 5: Bears LB Brian Urlacher
# No. 4: Packers CB Charles Woodson
# No. 3: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger
# No. 2: Steelers S Troy Polamalu
# No. 1: Ravens LB Ray Lewis

01-28-2012, 05:35 PM
not sure how well brady and rodgers would fare without the rules that protect the QB they have today

01-28-2012, 07:27 PM
How did Tebow make the list? He is barely effective in this era.

Also, Demarcus Ware, the most overrated non-QB in the NFL. How do you include a linebacker who is ineffective against the run?

Discipline of Steel
01-28-2012, 09:18 PM
Its a 20 best players of THIS era list.

01-28-2012, 10:49 PM
not sure how well brady and rodgers would fare without the rules that protect the QB they have today

Rodgers would run into Jack Lambert's clothesline, and that would change things for Rodgers.

Brady is good to go in any era.