Report: Steelers coaches want James Harrison back


The Pittsburgh Steelers are widely expected to ask James Harrison to take a pay cut, but if the front office can't work a deal with the veteran linebacker, it appears they'll have some explaining to do down on the field.

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Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the team's coaching staff wants Harrison -- contract talks aside -- back in the lineup for the Steelers in 2013.

He turns 35 in May, but Harrison still matched Lawrence Timmons for a team-leading six sacks last season after missing the first three games with a knee injury. If Harrison is, indeed, on borrowed time, his coaches are still "counting on" him to team with LaMarr Woodley at outside linebacker for at least one more campaign, per the newspaper.

The Steelers weigh in at roughly $14 million over the salary cap. The team could unearth $5.1 million in relief by releasing Harrison, but that isn't going to happen without trying to work out a more affordable deal first. Harrison isn't the terror he once was, but he knows Dick LeBeau's scheme as well as anyone and -- if healthy -- can still cause problems for quarterbacks.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.