clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

James Harrison finally finds a home, as the Steelers defensive closer

New, comments

The Pittsburgh Steelers all-time leading sack leader got his shot, and he didn’t miss.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Chicago Bears Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Nobody said it would be easy.

Not even for James Harrison.

After the Pittsburgh Steelers essentially benched their all-time sack leader the past two games, Mike Tomlin decided to make a change. To use some baseball terminology, he put Harrison in the bullpen.

As excited as I was, and I’m sure I wasn’t alone in that regard, to see Harrison finally get a helmet on game day again, no one knew what the plan was for him. In the games where he was active to start the season, Harrison either didn’t play, or barely played.

Not in Week 6 in Arrowhead Stadium vs. the undefeated Chiefs.

With the game on the line, Tomlin tapped his right arm, figuratively, not literally, and called for the closer.

No. 92 sauntered onto the field, and it only would have been better if someone would have played his theme music, as if he were a professional wrestler. Nonetheless, Harrison goes onto the field, terrorizes Alex Smith with a hurried pass and a sack, and the Chiefs lose their first game of the season.

I may be crazy, but if the Steelers are smart, not holding my breath on that one just yet, they would use Harrison like this every week. Maybe not waiting until the fourth quarter every week, but if the situation dictates you need a polished pass rusher, who still can get the job done, in an obvious passing situation — call on the closer.

The days of Harrison being on the field for four quarters are behind him, at least we hope so, but that is okay. T.J. Watt has proven he is very capable, even as a rookie, but when he is fatigued bringing in a fresh Harrison, who can bench press a house, by the way, could be a recipe for disaster for the opposing offense.

Harrison might not be the next Mariano Rivera, in regards to closers, but he just might be the wrecking ball the team could use to put teams away. He did just that in Kansas City, and could certainly continue to do it in the future.