Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison will never be accused of taking it easy during the offseason and we know that due to all of the videos that he’s posted on his social media accounts over the years. Harrison has long been considered a lead-by-example kind of player and the young Steelers linebackers certainly take notice of that.
In a Thursday morning interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Steelers second-year linebacker Bud Dupree talked extensively about what he’s learned from Harrison in a short period of time when it comes to keeping his body in tip-top shape.
“It’s crazy,” Dupree told Alex Marvez and Ovie Mughelli on the Opening Drive. “He spends tons of money on his body to stay healthy, tons of money on treatment every day. He just puts his body No. 1. So things like that rub off on young players like me early. And things we’re doing, that I’m doing now, that he showed me, he didn’t even have his first couple of years in the league.
“So he started doing it late, so it’s great to have him around to show me early and the rest of the young guys.”
A few years ago, when he was with the Cincinnati Bengals, Harrison told the local media there that he spends between $400,000 and $600,000 annually on “body work.” That upkeep includes him spending time in his own hyperbaric chamber. additionally, he said at the time that he keeps six different masseuses on his payroll, in addition to a homeopathic doctor, chiropractor and acupuncturist. During the offseason, Harrison also spends quite a bit of time in Arizona training at at Performance Enhancement Professionals.
“You want to be able to stay in this business for awhile, you’re gonna have to take care of your body,” Harrison said in 2013. “If you want to do that, you’re going to have to spend money, it’s not cheap.”
Dupree, who recorded 4 sacks during his rookie season after being selected in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Kentucky, revealed recently that he hit the proverbial rookie wall last year and that he hopes to be in much better shape in 2016.
“I just was not being used to playing that many games,” Dupree said, according to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It took a toll on my body. Now I’m more prepared for that. I’ve been training longer, doing different things that I didn’t have the time to do coming from college. Just a lot of little minor things you need to do, just looking at guys like James Harrison, guys who really take care of their body, following their lead.”
The Steelers certainly hope and need Dupree’s increased dedication off the field this offseason to translate into increased production on the field during the 2016 season. He now knows what it takes from a conditioning standpoint and he can’t say that he hasn’t had a great mentor so far during his NFL career in Pittsburgh. As for his mentor, Harrison spent Thursday morning doing leg work.