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James Harrison

James Harrison went undrafted from Kent State in 2002 and while he played well there he did not gain a lot of looks from NFL scouts who feared that he was to short (6’ 0) and too light (240 lbs) to be an effective Linebacker at football’s highest level.  The Steelers gave him a shot and he was and on an off their practice squad for two years, including a stint on Baltimore’s practice squad and also a run with Rhine Fire in NFL Europe but he while he was impressing athletically he was labelled a head case by some for getting confused in practice sessions and giving up on plays.  Something clicked in 2004 and he made the Steelers roster for good playing Special Teams and coming off the bench but in 2007 he made the jump to starting Right Outside Linebacker and would be named to the Pro Bowl.  That was good, and had his career ended there it would have still been great considering where he came from but as Steelers fans would see they hadn’t seen anything yet!

James Harrison Retires

It feels like we have written about this before.

For the second time, Linebacker James Harrison has announced his retirement via an Instagram post from professional football though we think this time it is going to stick.

Undrafted out of Kent State in 2002, James Harrison would sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Harrison would struggle in his early professional years, as he was deemed too short to be an effective NFL Linebacker and was deemed by some of his teammates as a bit of a head case. The former Golden Flash would bounce off and on the practice roster and would see brief action on the main roster in Special Teams but he would be cut by the end of the year. He would sign with Baltimore in 2003 was cut again after a brief stint with Rhein in NFL Europe but was cut again. Harrison signed again with the Steelers in 2004 but this time he would stick.

From 2004 to 2006 Harrison (or “Deebo” as he was more commonly known) would play on Special Teams and Outside Linebacker showing much improvement from what they saw in his rookie year. In what had to be considered a surprise by many Harrison took over the starting Right Outside Linebacker position from Joey Porter who had been released due to salary cap issues. Harrison would prove Pittsburgh’s new Head Coach Mike Tomlin right as he emerged as one of the most feared defensive players in the National Football League.

In 2007 James Harrison would be chosen for the Pro Bowl, which would be the first of five consecutive. He was also named the Steelers MVP for the year. The next year would be the best season of Harrison’s career as he would record a career high 16 Sacks while earning First Team All Pro Honors. The Linebacker would also lead the league in Approximate Value and would be named the Defensive Player of the Year. Capping the season Harrrison would be the defensive force in the Steelers Super Bowl Win over Arizona. During the game he returned an Interception 100 Yards for a Touchdown, which is still the longest pick in Super Bowl History. This would be Harrison’s second Super Bowl as he played a minor role in their win three years previous.

In 2010 Harrison would be named a First Team All-Pro for the second time and he would compete (albeit in a losing effort) in his third Super Bowl. He would however like Porter find himself the victim of the salary cap and he would be released by Pittsburgh. “Deebo” would sign with division rival Cincinnati where he would play in 2013. The Bengals would cut him after the season and he would retire as a Steeler…but that retirement was short lived as injuries decimated the Pittsburgh D and Harrison would be called back into duty. Harrison was still an effective player in 2015 and 2016 but in 2017 he saw limited action and would be cut by the team in December only to be picked up by the New England Patriots who would go to (again) to the Super Bowl.

James Harrison retires from the NFL with 193 Games Played with 84.5 career Sacks. He has to be considered an outside candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame but the new Pittsburgh Steeler Hall of Honor has his name written all over it despite the fact that his final year in Pittsburgh was not exactly the most teammate and fan friendly.

Harrison will be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2023.

We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to thank James Harrison for the on-field memories and we wish him the best in his post-playing career.

Our 2023 Football Futures are now up

As we approach the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday, we have been working on our future eligible section.  As football players don’t always retire after they played their last game (usually to see if they can land another job while sitting out as a free agent) we aren’t able to immediately add them.  

With that being the case, we have added to our site, 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame eligible list.

The people eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame whom we are featuring are:

Alterraun Verner:  Verner would be named to the Pro Bowl at Cornerback in 2013 when he was with the Tennessee Titans.

Brian Cushing:  The Linebacker was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2009, but this would be the only year that the career Houston Texan would be named to the Pro Bowl.

Carson Palmer:  Palmer was a three-time Pro Bowl Quarterback who led the NFL in Touchdown Passes in 2005.

Chris Johnson:  Johnson was the Offensive Player of the Year in 2009 and the Running Back would go on to three Pro Bowls.

Cliff Avril:  Avril was a Pro Bowl Linebacker in 2016 and was a Super Bowl Champion with the Seattle Seahawks.

Danny Woodhead:  Woodhead was a popular and undrafted Running Back who would have nearly 5,000 Yards from Scrimmage.

Darrelle Revis:  Revis was the greeter of “Revis Island”, where the Cornerback would be named to seven Pro Bowls and four First Team All-Pros.  Revis would win a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots.

Darren McFadden:  McFadden played at Running Back where he would have 7,535 Yards from Scrimmage.

DeAngelo Hall:  Hall would become a three-time Pro Bowl Defensive Back.

DeMarco Murray:  Murray was explosive in 2014 where the Running Back would be named the Offensive Player of the Year.  He was also a three-time Pro Bowl Selection.

Dwight Freeney:  Freeney was a First Team All-Pro Defensive End three times and he would be named to seven Pro Bowls.  Freeney won the Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts and he retired with 125.5 Quarterback Sacks.

Elvis Dumervil:  At Defensive End, Dumervil was a five-time Pro Bowl and two-time First Team All-Pro who led the NFL in Sacks in 2009.  He retried with 105.5 Sacks over his career.

Eric Decker:  The Wide Receiver would have over 50 Receiving Touchdowns over his career.

Eric Weems:  Weems would record over 5,000 Return Yards and was 2010 Pro Bowl Selection.

Eric Wood:  Wood would be a Pro Bowl Selection at 2015 at the Center Position.

James Harrison:  Harrison was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 and was a five-time and two-time First Team All-Pro.  The Linebacker would help the Pittsburgh Steelers win two Super Bowls.

Jay Cutler:  Cutler would throw for over 35,000 Yards and was a Pro Bowl Selection in 2008.

Jeremy Maclin:  Maclin played at Wide Receiver and he had five straight years of 800 Yards.

Joe Thomas:  Thomas played his entire career at Left Tackle for the Cleveland Browns where he was an 11-time Pro Bowl and a six-time First Team All-Pro Selection.

John Kuhn:  Kuhn was a three-time Pro Bowl Fullback who would win two Super Bowls, one with Pittsburgh and one with the Green Bay Packers.

Julius Thomas:  Thomas was a two-time Pro Bowl Tight End.

Kam Chancellor:  Chancellor helped the Seattle Seahawks win the Super Bowl and the Strong Safety was a four-time Pro Bowler. 

Martellus Bennett:  Bennett was a Pro Bowl Tight End in 2014 and a Super Bowl Champion with the New England Patriots.

Matt Forte:  Forte was a two-time Pro Bowl Running Back who retired with 9,796 Rushing Yards and another 4,672 Yards from Receiving.  

NaVorro Bowman:  Bowman was a First Team All-Pro Linebacker who would lead the NFL in Tackles in 2015.

Paul Pozluszny:  Pozluszny was a Pro Bowl Linebacker in 2013.

Shane Lechler:  Lechler was the best Punter of his era, going to seven Pro Bowls and earning six First Team All-Pro Selections.

Tamba Hali:  Hali would have 89.5 Sacks over his career and the career Kansas City Chief would go to five Pro Bowls.

Terence Newman:  Newman was a two-time Cornerback. 

The entire group eligible for 2023 can be found here.

As always, we encourage you to vote and state your opinion.

Thank you again for your support!

 

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