James Harrison will be a Steeler again.
James Harrison will be 37 in May.READ MORE: Suspect In Custody After Woman Killed, Man Injured In Kennedy Twp. Shooting
James Harrison still — apparently — has some gas left in his tank.
That’s a good thing for James Harrison.
Is this all a good thing for the Pittsburgh Steelers? Maybe.
Is this all a good thing for Jarvis Jones? Absolutely, positively not. He has been a severe underachiever, there’s really not any other way to put it. This isn’t golf or bowling — guys in the upper reaches of their 30s aren’t supposed to be able to hang with a guy who is 25 at linebacking in the NFL.
But Jones is letting this happen.
On Sunday afternoon, the news came down that the Steelers agreed to a two-year deal with Harrison, an outside linebacker who came out of retirement to play 12 games with the organization last season.
Fans will get excited about this.
Renegade will play, towels will wave, shouts of “Deeeebo” will bounce through our little part of the world.
And they should. Harrison was — and still can be in spurts — a dominant football player.
One of the most iconic Steelers in recent memory is on his way back, as No. 92 jerseys can safely be pulled back on from Beaver Falls to Brockway and from Masontown to McCandless.READ MORE: Police Searching For 65-Year-Old Missing Man Nicholas Ciccone Last Seen Around Coraopolis
But as I have been saying for quite some time, Harrison is just a part of this story — and maybe not the biggest part of this story.
Jarvis Jones is just as much the story in all of this. James Harrison re-signing with the Steelers (twice now) speaks to the deep disappointment that Jones has been in his time with the team.
You think that’s too harsh? Go ahead and try to spin it another way, but I’m not buying it. This all circles back to a guy who was supposed to be a top-end talent unable to perform like one.
And what have you seen from Jones that you think it’s trending in the right direction or going to get better? I’ll hang up and listen.
When Jones, a 2013 first round pick of the Steelers, has been healthy enough to play, he’s provided little in the way of a pass rush, more often being out-muscled and shoved around than getting to the quarterback as a vehicle to force him to hurry.
And make no mistake, that’s a big reason why Sunday became Bring James Harrison Back Day 2.0 for the Steelers. We have all seen the Instagram clips of Harrison and his otherworldly displays of strength in the weight room, which also factors into all of this.
Harrison, this time around, doesn’t head into a season needing to get into shape as he did last season. No, he has been training all off-season and will continue that training streamlined right into and through St. Vincent. Last season it took Harrison awhile to get up to speed after he came out of retirement beyond the beginning of the NFL season.
This should all scare Jones.
This time around, as Jones fights (again) for a spot he should have already safely secured, he should be very uneasy that Harrison has his full focus on football through the summer.
Part of me thinks signing Harrison now will motivate the heck out of Jones and force him to improve.
But another part of me thinks if Jones hasn’t performed yet to the point where a soon-to-be-37-year-old has the chance to beat him out, he will never truly help this franchise.MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Zoo Reopens Admissions After Temporarily Reaching Capacity For 'ZooBoo' Event