James Harrison was a force on defense when he played in the NFL. At six feet 242 pounds, he was very talented. The way he could move on the field at that size is what separated him from other players in the league.
Throughout his career, Harrison would go on to win a Super Bowl and also played in multiple Pro Bowl games. He was one player that played with a lot of energy on the field.
James Harrison’s career in the NFL
Harrison did not hear his name called in the 2002 NFL draft. Teams thought that he was too short to play the linebacker position. But little did they know, Harrison would turn into one of the best linebackers in the league. The Pittsburgh Steelers decided to sign Harrison as an undrafted rookie.
Harrison spent his first two years on the practice squad for the Steelers. He was cut multiple times and ended up re-joining the Steelers during the 2004 season. This time Harrison would stay with the team, and he showed a lot of improvement in his game. He made his first career start on November 14, 2004, against the Cleveland Browns.
Over the next few seasons, Harrison remained on the Steelers’ active roster, but he still was not getting that much playing time. In 2005 he won his first Super Bowl title as the Steelers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 21-10. Harrison did not play that much during the game, but he was able to be a part of a team that did what most teams dream of doing.
James Harrison’s breakout season
During the 2007 season, Harrison was named a starter, and that decision would pay off for the Steelers. That season Harrison made the All-Pro Second Team and made his first Pro Bowl team. He was named the team’s MVP for the performance he had that season.
Harrison would only get better from that point on. The next season he was named the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and he became the first undrafted player to win the award. That season the Steelers played the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl, and Harrison made a big play in the game. Harrison intercepted a pass from Cardinals’ quarterback Kurt Warner and returned it for a 100-yard touchdown. The Steelers went on to defeat the Cardinals, and Harrison won his second Super Bowl title.
Harrison would play in a third Super Bowl with the Steelers as they took on the Green Bay Packers in 2011. Harrison and the Steelers were not able to win their third title in six years. But Harrison continued to play at a high-level late in his career.
Looking back at James Harrison’s career
Harrison spent most of his NFL career with the Steelers. He did spend one season with the Cincinnati Bengals, and he spent his final NFL season playing for the New England Patriots. Harrison went from going undrafted to a two-time Super Bowl champion.
His work ethic allowed him to be one of the top defensive players in the league. Harrison’s hard work paid off, and he waited his turn. When he got the opportunity to display his full talents, he did not waste any time. Harrison retired in 2018 and he finished his career with 793 total tackles, 84.5 sacks, eight interceptions, and 34 forced fumbles. You can look at Harrison’s career and see that it doesn’t matter where you start, but it’s how you finish. Harrison has made appearances on FS1 as a football analyst bringing his knowledge and expertise to the show.