Linebacker James Harrison happy to rejoin Steelers
Pittsburgh — James Harrison walked off the practice field in his familiar No. 92 jersey Wednesday afternoon, a gift of sorts from nose tackle Daniel McCullers.
The rookie graciously gave up the number when the Steelers re-signed Harrison to give an injury-depleted linebacker group a welcome dose of veteran snarl.
"He deserves it," McCullers said. "He's a good player."
One who finds himself on a team that's undergone a rapid-fire makeover in the 18 months since the Steelers released the five-time Pro Bowler in March 2013 in a salary cap maneuver.
Sweat pouring off his bald head, Harrison spoke like a man who understands he's no longer an integral part of the game plan but a role player.
"No aspirations, no goals," Harrison, 36, said. "I'm just trying to make it to tomorrow."
Harrison estimated it may take him 3-4 weeks to be truly ready, but estimated he's fit enough to see the field for a handful of plays.
That's likely all he'd see anyway as the new elder statesman in a linebacker group that doesn't feature a player over the age of 28.
Lawrence Timmons is the only starting linebacker left over from Harrison's last game in a Steelers uniform in December 2012.
LaMarr Woodley (Michigan) is with the Raiders. Larry Foote (Michigan) is with the Cardinals. Harrison is back with the team he helped win a pair of Super Bowls, albeit in a far different capacity.
He will start Sunday's game against winless Tampa Bay (0-3) on the sideline watching Arthur Moats — who considers Harrison a role model — take the strong outside linebacker spot in Pittsburgh's intricate 3-4 defense.
"Different faces, but it's still the same," Harrison said. "It's still a family. We've just got different members."
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