The James Harrison Situation is Not a Mystery

posted by Adam Crowley -

Steelers linebacker James Harrison didn't register a sack on Sunday. Don't be alarmed! It's because he didn't play a snap. Does that alarm you? It shouldn't. 

Today at his press conference Mike Tomlin said that James Harrison isn't being passed on the depth chart because of his lack of production, but because of contributions from others on his team, “Bud  (Dupree) missed some time in Week 1, and (Anthony) Chickillo was able  to start. Chickillo produced two sacks. You respect those contributions.  T.J. (Watt) got hurt in Week 2, and we wanted to leave the hot hand in  there, Chickillo being that hot hand. We appreciate James. We know what  James is capable of. James will ready himself, and there will be a time  in the season when we’ll call on his services, and he’ll deliver and  deliver in a big way. Much like he did in the latter part of 2016.

Rightly or wrongly, the Steelers were criticized for playing James Harrison instead of Jarvis Jones at times over the last few seasons. The argument against playing Harrison was that the Steelers needed to see what the young first round pick had to offer. Well, eventually the cream wound up rising to the top. James Harrison was the better player, therefore he earned the playing time. 

Right now, Anthony Chickillo is playing well. As Mike Tomlin said, Chick had two sacks in week one. Unlike his predecessor Jarvis Jones, T.J. Watt looks every bit as good as a first round pick should. Bud Dupree is the future at the LOLB position. There's no place for Harrison right now, but that doesn't mean there won't be one later on this season. After all, it wasn't until the Steelers fell to 4-5 last year that the Steelers turned to Deebo. 

If Watt, Chickillo, or Bud get hurt or hit a wall then the Steelers can turn to a fresh Deebo for the stretch run. Hey, it worked last year.

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Adam Crowley

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