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James Harrison's return to Steelers will be in "a supporting role"

Per James Harrison's agent, Bill Parise, the former defensive player of the year is returning to the Steelers in "a supporting role".

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

James Harrison has officially signed a new 2-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and his agent has clearly set the groundwork for the plans the organization has for him in the upcoming season. Harrison' agent Bill Parise tells Chris Bradford of the Beaver County Times his client is returning to the team in "a supporting role".

This should be welcomed news to Steelers fans, as the reality of the situation is Harrison at age 37 will most likely not be able to withstand a full 16 game season playing every snap. Harrison proved in 2014 he still has a burst, and can rush the passer, but can fatigue easily. After all, father time catches up with all of us.

With Harrison returning to the team as a situational pass rusher, he will be able to make a bigger impact compared to if he were to stay on the field as he did in his younger days.

In 2014, Harrison played in 11 games, registered 45 combined tackles and had 5.5 sacks. The team lead in sacks last season was between Cameron Heyward and Jason Worilds with 7.5. Harrison played in 5 less games and nearly matched their production.

Barring injury to Arthur Moats or Jarvis Jones, both starting outside linebackers, Harrison will be able to do what he does best - rush the quarterback. Harrison returning in a supporting role could be the best case scenario for both Harrison and the Steelers in 2015.