When training camp opened up, James Harrison proclaimed that he was only at 75-to-80 percent following off-season back surgery and didn’t know when he would be 100 percent. For some reason, that went completely unnoticed by most of the media as the focus was all about Harrison’s controversial comments.
Harrison’s back is not going to be an afterthought anymore.
Immediately as the first half ended last night, what caught my attention the most was not about how dangerous the Steelers offense has the potential to be but how James Harrison just doesn’t look right.
Harrison looks to be out of football shape but most concerning is that he struggled to get any kind of push on the line of scrimmage. There has been rumblings this summer that he’s lost a ton of lower body strength and is squatting at least 300 pounds less than his normal 600+ pounds. His lack of lower body strength was evident in last night’s game.
Harrison has admitted he’s not “there” right now and he doesn’t know when he will be.
“Eventually I’ll get to full strength. When that will be, who knows, ” Harrison said last night. “It’s more trying to get into game shape, trying to get the back to hold up the same it did the first play as it will the last play. That’s something that will come with time. The longer I’m out there the more I get games in and reps in and the better it will get.”
Harrison will not see much time if any in the final preseason game. How effective he will be early in the season, is very much in the air.
“I’m feeling it this morning. Guess it’s going to take a little longer to get back to normal than I thought, ” Harrison (@jharrison92) said this morning on twitter.
The Steelers may have to look to Jason Worilds early on in pass rushing situations who has been inconsistent this preseason but shows flashes with superior speed and strength to the outside.