PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – James Harrison has officially retired from the NFL after 11 season.
“If you’re all looking for tears, you’re not going to get it,” said Harrison, a fan favorite.
The linebacker announced his retirement Friday afternoon at Steelers headquarters on the South Side. He said he wanted to coming back and finish it where it all started.
Harrison originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Kent State in 2002 with the Steelers. He spent the first 10 years of his NFL career with Pittsburgh and appeared in 131 regular season games (95 starts).
Harrison earned five consecutive Pro Bowl selections from 2007-11 as a Steeler while helping lead the team to two Super Bowl Championships (XL and XLIII) in three title game appearances.
It was a play in Super Bowl XLIII that most remember Harrison for, a 98-yard interception return for a touchdown.
“You’re on the biggest stage, the ultimate goal of playing NFL football is to win a Super Bowl and we came through,” Harrison said. “It wasn’t just me, there were 10 other guys out there hustling their tails off. Without them, we don’t get the outcome we did.”
Harrison said he was motivated by “proving people wrong.”
When asked what advice he would give young players, Harrison said, “Do what Coach LeBeau told you to do. Prepare yourself as if everything depends on you, but pray as if everything depends on God. And with those two things you can’t go wrong.”
In 2008, Harrison set the franchise record for most sacks in a single-season with 16.0 and was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. His 64.0 sacks rank fourth-most in team history. Harrison was twice named the Steelers team MVP.
“My greatest accomplishment hasn’t happened yet,” Harrison said. “I’m hoping to raise two boys to become men.”
Family is what led Harrison to retire a Steeler and finish it off where it started. He was also able to get in one last hit before he left the podium.
“And I’d like to also thank Roger Goodell for being my biggest adversary,” he said.
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Steelers Players On Harrison’s Retirement: “He Epitomized Steeler Defense” (9/5/14)
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