Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has proved a lot of people wrong during his career that started with him being originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Kent State. After Tuesday’s OTA practice, the 37-year-old veteran shared his motivation with the media that has allowed him to play in the league since 2002.
“My motivation is what people tell me I cant do,” said Harrison. “Tell me what I cant do and I’ll do everything I can to prove you wrong. I was the first pick of the tenth-round and I am where I am now. So that’s the road I took, so to speak. So it’s nothing different, you can say I can’t do this, or I can’t do that. I’m too old to do this, or too old to do that, but I’m still here.”
Harrison is indeed still here and it looks like he’ll be the second-oldest defensive player in the league this season, assuming Oakland Raiders safety Charles Woodson makes the final cuts in September.
“There’s so much you can learn from him, the intensity, the way he practices, the way he attacks the weight room,” linebacker Lawrence Timmons said Tuesday. “Young guys see that and feel his intensity and they try to pick up on that and grow from it.”
Harrison needs eight sacks in 2015 to become the Steelers all-time franchise leader in that stat and I doubt there are many people willing to tell him he can’t do that.
According to Pro Football Reference, five different players have managed to record eight or more sacks in a single season at the age of 37 or older. Of those five players, four of them are currently in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the other player, former Steelers outside linebacker/defensive end Kevin Greene, has been a finalists in each of the last four years.
The odds might tell you that Harrison won’t hit eight sacks in 2015, but odds probably wouldn’t be brave enough to say that to the linebacker’s face. Would you?