If you look onto any of James Harrison’s social media accounts, you’ll see a man who strives to be the hardest worker in the room. At almost 37 years old, he’s in the twilight of his illustrious career. But he won’t use his age as an excuse.
Harrison came out of retirement to act as a band aid to help out the injured linebacker corps. What he also did was singlehandedly revive a unit that was in some serious need of a wake up call. He brought back a nastiness that was sorely needed, one that defined the Steelers defense for an era.
With that era now gone, its up to Harrison and newly appointed outside linebacker coach Joey Porter to teach the young’ins how the deed is done. They have plenty of talent to mold, from Jarvis Jones to Bud Dupree.
Not only does Harrison work with his outside linebacker group, he has also taken a liking to inside linebackers Ryan Shazier and Vince Williams, in particular Williams.
Earlier in the offseason, James brought his posse of mainly Jarvis Jones, Ryan Shazier, and Vince Williams out to Arizona to pump some iron and sharpen their skills. They’ve all gained some muscle mass to show for their hard work.
You can tell James’ workouts have really put a fire beneath the young linebackers. They often try to outwork each other, which will only cause them to keep improving past their old limits. Its exciting to see where all of dedication will lead to.
Despite this, only time will tell how effective their training really was come Training Camp.
Antonio Brown is the undisputed leader of the wide receiver unit. His work ethic is almost tangible, likely giving even the laziest of fans a sudden urge to run some suicides and start trying to push the Earth. He has always played with a monumental chip on his shoulders, from the knocks on his size and speed.
Yet, he proved them all wrong. His All-Pro 2014 season is testament to no matter what the critics say, you are what you make yourself to be. His motto, CUEUPU (Chest Up, Eyes Up, Prayed Up), certainly does a lot to inspire those around him. Just ask Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton.
You see these guys taking that extra initiative to better themselves. Martavis Bryant spent his 2014 Bye Week at an MMA gym in California to improve his hand to hand techniques. Markus Wheaton stays long after practice is over with Antonio Brown. They all go that extra mile to prove that they have what it takes to compete with the best of them.
It won’t be long until it rubs off on the equally talented Sammie Coates.
Without a doubt, veteran presences can mean the difference between an 8-8 season and an 11-5.
Info courtesy of Steelers.com and NFL.com