Mike Tomlin praises unretired LB James Harrison


James Harrison's Steel Curtain call reached a crescendo Sunday night at Heinz field.

The 36-year-old linebacker was the best defender on the field, time and time again pounding Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco into the turf. Harrison ended the night with two sacks and four quarterback hits.

It was the veteran's second consecutive two-sack contest after several impactful performances since his Week 4 return from retirement. The devastating linebacker said he returned to help his long-time Steelers teammates win games like Sunday night against the Ravens.

"I'm not going to lie and say I missed football. To be honest with you, I didn't miss football," said Harrison, per ESPN.com. "I was comfortable where I was at, being retired. I felt like I had an obligation to come back if my kids wanted me to. They were OK with it, and I came back because I didn't want to let the (Steelers) down and I felt like them guys are like my brothers -- (Brett) Keisel, Troy (Polamalu), Ike (Taylor). Kind of hard to say no to them."

While the rest of us watch in astonishment as a man could roll off the couch and after a few weeks destroy offensive linemen and quarterbacks with the ease Harrison seemed to Sunday night, his teammates and coaches aren't surprised by what they are seeing from the un-retiree.

"He is not a regular guy. He is James Harrison," coach Mike Tomlin said. "He is getting up to speed and getting into shape and doing James Harrison-like things, which quite frankly is what we expect."

Harrison has given the Steelers one final curtain call, but when the music dies out this season the linebacker plans to take his instruments and head back home.

"I can't see another year," Harrison said. "The way my body feels after games, coming in Monday and working out, it's getting too hard. The workouts are harder than the games."

Until then, quarterbacks have been warned: James Harrison is back on the NFL stage.

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