Steelers linebacker Harrison tunes technique
By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, May 21, 2010
Steelers Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison has 38.5 career sacks. He was the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 and then was rewarded with a contract worth as much as $51.175 million.
Still, Harrison, who turned 32 this month, is trying to improve as a pass-rusher. Following Thursday's final voluntary practice of the week, Harrison returned to the field and spent a few minutes working with defensive assistant and former Steelers linebacker Jerry Olsavsky.
"Every year you've got to get better,'' said Harrison, whose sack total dipped from a career-best 16 in 2008 to 10 last season.
Harrison watched as Olsavsky, a former Pitt standout who played with the Steelers from 1989-97, displayed hand placement for use in different pass-rushing techniques. Harrison repeated those movements a few times, attempting to get comfortable with them.
A power rusher who uses ox-cart strength to gain leverage against taller offensive linemen, Harrison said he isn't averse to developing new ways to get to the quarterback.
"(Olsavsky) wants me to try a little something different, so I came out to try it on the bag,'' he said. "When next week comes around, I'll try it in actual practice.''
The Steelers resume voluntary practices Tuesday.
"It feels a little awkward,'' Harrison said. "But everything you start doing feels a little awkward until you get used to it.''
Harrison said he's focusing on the little things.
"Just learning a different technique to try and beat the guy who's in front of you,'' he said. "If you don't get better, then you're getting worse.''
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