Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison has arguably been the team’s most important defensive player during their win streak. He continues to be dominant and strike fear in opposing offensive lineman, and he does it like he’s 28, not 38.
James Harrison Continues to be Dominant at 38
James Harrison is playing at the same level as he did ten years ago, which is remarkable considering the beating a pass rusher takes. Harrison takes the beating every game, but comes into every game with the same tenacity and anger. When he is at his best it is nearly impossible to block him, just ask Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher. Harrison’s longevity can be contributed to his work ethic. Everyone can preach that Antonio Brown is the hardest worker on the team, but the old guy is the hardest worker. Did Brown go into the team facility at 5 AM to lift after a road playoff win? Does Brown continually play at such a high level that he is hounded by the NFL with drug tests? No, but Harrison has. His work ethic, tenacity, and anger have led him his entire career as he is the Pittsburgh Steelers career sacks leader and is tied for fifth all time for career postseason sacks.
Mentoring the Younger Players
Younger players are getting the opportunity to play with a legend. What fans see on Sundays isn’t even half of what comes with playing with an all-time great. Young players get to see how Harrison works out, how hard he practices, and how he mentally prepares for games each week. Every young player benefits from this, but the linebackers benefit the most. Young linebackers Ryan Shazier and Bud Dupree get a chance to hone their craft with the assistance of Harrison, and when he talks, you listen. If the young players had enough sense to emulate Harrison, there will be remnants of him remaining on the team long after he retires.
James Harrison is the type of player that every young athlete should look up to. Actually, everyone should look up to Harrison, athlete or not. After he got released four times, did he quit? No, he came back and worked hard to make his dream come true. Ever since becoming a Steelers did he slack off because he finally was an NFL player? No, he worked hard every single day to be the best he could be. James Harrison continues his dominance at age 38 not only because he is a naturally gifted athlete, but he has the type of work ethic that should make him a role model for everyone. Hopefully he can continue being great for a little while longer, because it is a treat to watch.