In an interview where many laughs were had, the Steelers Ike Taylor caught up with former teammate James Harrison.
Taylor prepped for his potential next job. Harrison discussed a return to his old place of employment.
Those were just a few of the story lines when Taylor interviewed former Steelers linebacker James Harrison on NFL Network Monday night.
Dressed in businesslike attire, Taylor was in studio for the network's Steelers Dynasty Week. Flanked by NFL Network host Dan Hellie, Taylor helped interview Harrison, who appeared remotely in Arizona, where he was training in preparation for his 12th NFL season.
Harrison, wearing a gold King James T-shirt, was asked by Taylor why he didn't pitch him the ball during his 100-yard touchdown return in Super Bowl XLIII. The longest touchdown in Super Bowl history made the score 17-7 just before halftime. Pittsburgh won the game-their record sixth Lombardi Trophy- 27-23 over the Cardinals.
Without direction answering Taylor's question, Harrison recounted the play's dramatic events.
"We lined up and Coach (Dick) LeBeau called a max-out blitz. We had been a second late getting to the quarterback the whole first half," Harrison said. "They had Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin lined up on the same side, and I figured they'd do a quick slant in or out. I don't have a sixth sense, but if you ask Troy (Polamalu), sometimes I can just see something.
"It was a team effort. All 11 guys threw blocks all the way down the end. You got Ryan Clark peeling back to block at the end of it."
"Yeah, but why didn't you pitch me the ball?" Ike said with a laugh. "I don't like blocking. So if you watch the replay, I just kept yelling for the ball."
"That's what we practiced. To just get the ball and run to the end zone," Harrison said. "But you did make a great block. Without you," Harrison said to Ike, "we would have been in trouble."
"Well," Ike replied again with laughter. "Without you, I would have gotten paid."
Harrison's career has been decorated with awards, both individual and with his teammates. Individually, Harrison has earned five Pro Bowl nods while winning the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2008.
Harrison was also a member of two Super Bowl champions and another squad that reached a Super Bowl. But he said that being apart of the Steelers legacy of winning with his teammates is his favorite achievement in professional football.
"(Winning Super Bowls) felt good. It gives you a place to be in the argument," Harrison said. "We brought a couple of (Super Bowl trophies) back, and we had a chance to bring another one back, but came up short. The Steelers were great in the '70s and had some good teams before us. And we kept it going."
Harrsion is currently a free agent. The Bengals let him go after one season in Cincinnati. When asked whom he would like to play for, Taylor jumped in before Harrison had a chance to answer.
"What about Pittsburgh?" Taylor inquired.
Harrison: "Everybody knows that. But we'll see if something happens. If nothing does, so be it. I've had a great career, two rings, and a bunch of relationships with former teammates that are still good friends.
"I want to play until the wheels fall off, or until nobody wants me to put them on anymore."
Taylor then asked if he could meet up with Harrison to have a squad-off, to which Harrison- who stated that he can still bench 650 pounds- predicted a victory over the 10-year cornerback.
The two former teammates and Super Bowl champions each said "I love you" to each other before ending the interview.
"I'm not going to say 'I love you' James," Hellie said. In typical James Harrison fashion, Harrison responded: "Good. I don't love you anyways."