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Insider Only Are the Steelers preserving James Harrison for later in the season?

Latest Steelers Buzz

Will James Harrison become part of the Steelers defense in 2017?

Harrison was a force for the Steelers down the stretch in their run to the AFC title Game last season. After the Cowboys loss to fall to 4-5 and the Steelers season spiraling out of control, the change to Harrison in the starting lineup played a big part in transforming the defense.

Circumstances have changed quickly in 2017 as Harrison might as well been inactive vs the Browns and Vikings.

Through two games the Steelers are getting to the quarterback better than have in years with 12.5 sacks.

T.J. Watt is a more impactful player than Steelers thought he would be this early and Harrison’s not going to be given a chance to take away Watt’s reps.

The 2016 version of Harrison was still pretty good and things appear to set up perfectly for Harrison to be a situational pass rusher and get 8-12 snaps for certain schemes without taking Watt off the field.

However, we’ve yet to see any of that and in the Week 2 win over the Vikings, T.J. Watt left early with a groin injury and Harrison still didn’t see the field, playing zero snaps.

Anthony Chickillo moved over to right outside linebacker and played 46 snaps while Watt played the first 20 snaps at ROLB before his injury.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin explains why Harrison is parked on the bench and fow now isn’t even the backup ROLB.

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About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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