Harrison, Steelers roll into camp
James Harrison during Super Bowl XLIII.
James Harrison during Super Bowl XLIII.
SteelCityInsider.com
Posted Jul 31, 2009


No Ben Roethlisberger interviews at Rooney Hall, but Casey Hampton, Trai Essex and Willie Colon showed up in good shape. So did James Harrison, who rolled up in a two-seat Smart car and answered these questions:

James Harrison, OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q: What are the benefits of driving that?

A: Not that much on gas. Other than that, there’s a lot of room, but not for the suitcases. It’s fast, too. It’ll go 90, 95.

Q: Not too worried about gas are you?

A: No. Not too worried about gas. I just want to help the environment.

Q: How do you feel about being back?

A: I’m just happy to be here to get started and trying to duplicate what we did last year.

Q: Will that mean another big interception return?

A: If that’s what it takes, so be it. If not, so be it, too.

Q: Do you have any more perspective on that play with the time off?

A: Uh…

Q:How did it happen?

A: How did it happen? Well, everything kind of came together with a little bit of luck.

Q: Catch your breath yet?

A: Yeah. I caught my breath about two weeks after.

Q: You’d told reporters before the game you didn’t like the game plan because you would be dropping too much. Dropping kind of paid off there, didn’t it?

A: That was just a bunch of lies to tell you all, get you all writing something the other team might believe.

Q:So, it worked, right?

A: I actually wasn’t supposed to drop on that play.

Q:You weren’t supposed to drop?

A: I was supposed to blitz. I figured all night we were a step late, and we had an all-out blitz and I figured if I stepped I could hold my tackle and just drop out in case of a quick slant, in or out, and I just happened to be right there. I guess my height helped me that time.

Q:Do you have the freedom to do that?

A: You know, technique, opportunity and all that other stuff met, with a little bit of luck. Sometimes you feel that might be the play that will do it. Coach LeBeau didn’t mind it.

Q:Do you expect to see a lot of spread-the-field, quick-throw offenses this year?

A: I’m not really too worried about what offenses are doing. As long as we play our defense the way it’s supposed to be played, we’ll be fine.

Q:Last Super Bowl team fell flat. How do you guard against that this year?

A: I feel like we guarded against that this year in preparation. I think last time we won the Super Bowl a lot of guys were real lax and took too much time off in getting back to what needed to be done. I feel this year everybody stayed focused and got back to it.

Q:Were you as maniacal in your training as you usually are?

A: Yeah.

Q: And did any more teammates join you in your workouts?

A: Not really. A few guys work out with the same trainer that I do, but everybody got their own things that help them.

Q: Did you bulk up?

A: Actually I lost a little weight. Do I look thick?

Q: Yes.

A: My legs got big. You should see my legs. Wait till we put the pads on.

Q:How much weight did you drop?

A: A few pounds to about 250.

Q: Do you feel that after last year people will be looking at you differently?

A: Yeah. I know they do. Look at these cameras. Other than that, I don’t really feel any different.

Q: Do you expect any more respect from the officials in regard to holding?

A: They really watched it in the Super Bowl, so hopefully that’s a start.

Q:Do you worry about your quarterback’s state of mind?

A: Nah.

Q: How’s your son?

A: He’s doing good, real good.

Q: Is he 100 percent, ready to go?

A: Hundred percent. He has a few scars, but he was back walking in like six days. He’s just got a few scars, but he’s fine.

Q: James, what do you do for an encore?

A: I do whatever it is I need to do to make the defense better. It’s not about me. It’s the Pittsburgh Steelers, not James Harrison. My numbers may not be as good as last year’s, but as long as we get better as a total defense, I’m happy.

Q: You get that big contract and you buy a Smart car?

A: I didn’t buy the car. I got it on, let’s say lease or loan, something like that.

Q: The picture’s going to be everywhere. They accomplished their objective, didn’t they?

A: Maybe. We’ll see.

(To read more of Jim Wexell's camp coverage -- or until he can get back to his room to write stories -- follow him on twitter.)


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