Joey Porter on James Harrison: 'His time is going to come'

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Date sent: 2017/11/02 02:59:13
Joey Porter was James Harrison's teammate when the Steelers won Super Bowl XL.
A dozen years later, Porter, Harrison's <a href=""></a> position coach, explained why his former teammate has played in just 29 snaps through eight games. Harrison didn't play in Pittsburgh's Week 8 victory over the Lions, making it the fourth game this season that Harrison has been kept on the sideline.
“I mean having him out there covering, that’s not what he’s doing right now, that’s not his strong suit," Harrison said, per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "His strong suit is when we get to this cold weather, if somebody comes here and tries to run the ball, I can put him in there and it’s not going to happen. If it gets cold here at playoff time, I can have him in those tough situations, go rush the quarterback and get a sack because the situation is not going to be too big for him.
“It’s just frustrating right now, but his time is going to come when we’re going to need him. If he is frustrated, he’ll tell me how he feels, but at the same time we’ll move on. It’s not like we’ll hold a grudge and he’s not going to talk to me for a day or nothing. We’re past that. He’s like my little brother.
“He knows it’s nothing personal. I mean we’re still trying to win a championship, and he knew what that was when he came back.”
With Harrison mostly on the bench, Anthony Chickillo, T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree have received the bulk of the workload at outside linebacker this season. That trio has combined to tally 10 of Pittsburgh's 26 sacks this season, as the Steelers have been able to keep Harrison on the bench while keeping him fresh for the team's stretch run.
“Obviously he feels like he can go out there and do more," Porter said of Harrison. "But you just got to understand his situation, like I try to tell him, you’re 39 years old ... You’re in a fortunate spot to where a lot of people don’t get that. Nobody plays linebacker here at 39. When we hit 30 we’re always looking to do something different. So the simple fact that they still have you here, that just shows you how much loyalty they have to you and they still think that you can still play. As long as you know that, you can’t be mad at the situation."
Harrison was able to make one signature play during the first half of the season. With the Chiefs threatening to score the game-winning <a href=""></a> touchdown in the final minute back in Week 6, Harrison beat Eric Fisher to sack Alex Smith on a play that helped seal Pittsburgh's 19-13 victory. It's plays that like that still make Harrison a valuable asset to the Steelers, a team that hopes to win their third Super Bowl with Harrison on the roster.
“We want you to be here to win a championship; we want you to be part of it," Porter said. "No matter how we use you. And when we do use you, I know you’re going to go out there and make a play. As long as we have the same understanding and we don’t hide anything, he knows exactly what it is, there’s really nothing you can be mad about.”

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