Deebo’s Done

When I think of James Harrison, one word comes to my mind and that’s longevity. It seems as if he’s been in the NFL forever and he’s still been able to be productive at an advanced age because he’s changed up the way he plays. His peers around the league nicknamed him “Deebo” after the well-known character from the movie Friday and he definitely did favor him because he always looked angry. After 16 seasons in the NFL, he’s decided to finally call it a career as he announced his retirement on Instagram today.

It’s insane to think that he went undrafted in 2002, but the Pittsburgh Steelers took a chance on him and signed him as an undrafted free agent and I think things worked out really well for him, wouldn’t you agree? I’ve seen a few defensive players impose their will and play ferociously and he’s one of them. He always bought the intensity on every play and wanted you to know who he was when he came up to make a tackle. As an offense, you had to know where he was at all times and if you didn’t, you paid for it. Whatever it was you needed him to do, he did it. He could drop back in coverage if necessary, he was always in on the tackle when it came to stopping the run and his specialty was rushing the passer and finding more than one way to get to the quarterback. He was such a force coming off the edge and it seemed as he got older, the more refreshed his legs looked. He always gave 100 percent on every play and never gave up. Many of you have often heard me state that you play until the whistle blows. James Harrison was the perfect example of that saying. He spent a majority of his career playing for the Steelers, did a stint with the Bengals and returned back to the Steelers. He was released by the Steelers in December of 2017 and was picked up by the Patriots once he cleared waivers.

He retires as the Steelers all-time leader in sacks with 80.5 and also made one of the franchises most memorable plays in Super Bowl 43 when he intercepted Kurt Warner and returned it for 100 yards. He’s a two-time Super Bowl champion, a five-time pro bowler and he won the NFL’s defensive player of the year in 2008 and became the first undrafted player to win the award. It’s definitely been quite the career for James Harrison.