Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison hasn’t had nearly enough time to decide if he’ll return for a 14th season after Sunday’s disappointing playoff exit in Denver.
Harrison, who will turn 38 in May, ended up playing more than expected this season, finishing with 40 tackles, five sacks and two forced fumbles. Before the season, linebackers coach Joey Porter planned for Harrison to play roughly 25 snaps per game. Harrison ended up seeing 55.1 percent of the team’s defensive plays, outsnapping starter Jarvis Jones 611 to 454, according to Football Outsiders.
A somber Harrison said after Sunday’s game that he would take time before making a decision about retirement.
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"If I knew that I wouldn’t be sitting here trying to figure out what I am going to do," Harrison said via Steelers.com. "I’m not ready to make a decision. When that time comes, you guys will hear about it I guess."
Interestingly, Harrison, who is known for his grueling training regimen, said that playing the games is the easy part, while the biggest challenge is offseason workouts.
"I am getting older. That is an understatement. It’s a lot harder on my body to recover and repair. The hardest thing for me is the offseason, the workouts, getting ready to prepare for the season. Once I get into season that is the easy part."
Considering that Harrison barely had to participate in training camp last season, that may be an early clue into what his mindset is. In the meantime, enjoy his ridiculous feats of strength: