By Michael K. Reynolds
Does returning linebacker James Harrison have anything left in the tank? Will he dominate in the NFL again?
Probably not. And it won’t matter.
The premature ending of his retirement is an absolutely no risk proposition for both the wonderfully ill mannered linebacker and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Harrison can’t cover? Then have him rush. His heavily acupunctured back is liable to break down? Then play him until he can’t anymore.
Just as it’s unlikely he will return to Defensive Player of the Year status the moment he enters the stadium, it’s equally unlikely that he has nothing left to offer the Steelers this year.
Whether he comes in with a walker and a pair of dentures, the tank of his foul disposition will never run dry. With the Steelers currently heavy on wide-eyed youth and short on bad attitudes, the return of the old warhorse to the team couldn’t be timed much better.
Whose development will he hold back by grabbing a jersey? He’ll most likely be shuffling in with Arthur Moats and won’t be taking away too many snaps. Howard Jones is a good year’s away from being a genuine defensive contributor under the big lights.
Lest we forget. Ultimately football is a pastime aimed at entertaining its fans.
What could be more thrilling than seeing the former 92 donning the Black and Gold once again? Does he have anything left? Isn’t that part of the fun in finding out?
He’s coming in with a big chip on his shoulder, wanting to prove his short stint with Cincinnati wasn’t the end…but merely a wrong turn in a great career with the Steelers.
Harrison’s got a score to settle. With those who have given up on him. With Father Time. With Roger Goodell. And with every left tackle in the league.
Regardless of how well he does, Harrison deserves a better ending to his story. The Steelers…and hopefully the fans…will give him that opportunity.
Welcome home James. What took you so long?