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Pittsburgh Steelers: 5 Reasons James Harrison Should Be Cut

Michael KimbleContributor IIIJuly 16, 2011

Pittsburgh Steelers: 5 Reasons James Harrison Should Be Cut

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    If James Harrison worked a normal blue-collar job, he would have been fired years ago for his antics on and off the field.

    Some people claim, "He's not a dirty player. He's just misunderstood." Others say that he's been unfairly targeted. And some even say that James Harrison can say or do all he wants because he's so pivotal to that Steelers defense.

    Here is why anyone who is defending James Harrison is wrong, and why the Steelers would be better off without him.

5. He's Overrated

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    James Harrison may say that Clay Matthews is "all hype," but Matthews was the one who made one of the biggest plays in the Super Bowl. What was James Harrison's biggest accomplishment in Super Bowl XLV? One tackle.

    Harrison is a great defensive player, but many consider him one of the greatest in the league and being irreplaceable to the Steelers defense. I don't see it. I see many other great linebackers in this league that make as many great players as he does without all the on-the-field dirty plays and off-the-field antics.

    In addition, the Steelers have so many other great players on defense, including LaMarr Woodley, Troy Polamalu, Brett Keisel, James Farrior, and Casey Hampton. He can be replaced, and the Steelers could do without him.

4. He Is a Dirty Player

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    I agree that last season, Harrison was fined for some hits that he shouldn't have been fined for. However, I am also sick and tired of hearing him whine and complain about how unfairly he was treated, and how he can't hit the way he wants to.

    There are plenty of players in the league that make the tackles and plays necessary to make the stops, without making hits like the ones that Harrison makes frequently.

    Harrison shouldn't be making himself look like a victim when he is making hits like the one in this video, unnecessary cheap shots that can have serious consequences to the players he is victimizing.

3. He's a Horrible Role Model

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    Of course, this doesn't have anything to do with the way he plays on the field, but do the Steelers really want this person representing their franchise?

    The way Harrison acts on and off the field appears to be trying to promote this image of what a defensive player should be: angry, violent, and care-free of other players' safety.

    His harsh insults of Roger Goodell and other players, his mocking of any rules the NFL imposes on player safety, and, of course, his frequent dirty hits on the field, make Harrison not the kind of person the Steelers, or the NFL for that matter, want representing the sport.

    Harrison's reckless words make him a poor role model for anyone who may look up to him or the Steelers, or for future or young NFL players who, thanks to him, thinks it's okay to act the way he does on and off the field.

2. He's a Distraction

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    The Steelers have already had enough distractions, from Hines Ward's recent legal woes, to Rashard Mendenhall's controversial tweets. They don't need someone else stirring up the trouble that James Harrison seems to do on a constant basis.

    If I were Art Rooney, this article would be the last straw for James Harrison and his troubled NFL career with the Steelers.

1. He's Terrible for Locker Room Chemistry

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    While Harrison's comments in the past regarding the commissioner and the way he has been treated have been bad enough, the comments regarding his teammates are far more damaging.

    Calling Rashard Mendenhall a "fumble machine," and basically saying that Roethlisberger is overpaid is not a way to make friends in the locker room. When the NFL season starts, Harrison is going to have to answer a lot of questions and mend a lot of fences if he wants to maintain that team chemistry.


    Team chemistry is vital to any team, and reckless comments like Harrison's can destroy that. With his comments, Harrison has proved that he doesn't have his teammates' backs, even after a difficult Super Bowl loss, which, because of his own weak play, he is partially responsible for, as well.

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