View Full Version : Tomlin praises Porter's successor

04-22-2007, 10:44 AM
He didn't exactly say, "Joey who?"
Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau did strongly endorse the player that is expected to replace Joey Porter at right outside linebacker.
"I don't expect us to miss a beat with James Harrison in there at the outside 'backer," LeBeau said Saturday at Steelers minicamp. "Any games that he's played our defense has not missed a beat, and he's always been a contributing factor to that, so I have every confidence in the world in him."
Harrison has been a solid reserve and a superb special teams player for the Steelers, and the 6-foot, 242-pounder has the nasty disposition that is required of a linebacker.

"He's not Joey Porter," veteran inside linebacker James Farrior said, "but he's a great player. We're not expecting any kind of dropoff. He's going to do good things out there."
One thing the Steelers have to like about Harrison: The fourth-year veteran is not assuming anything, including replacing the departed Porter.
That is not surprising, considering Harrison was cut several times by the Steelers -- he was released by other teams as well -- prior to the 2004 season.
LeBeau, for one, doesn't seem to have any doubts about Harrison not only winning the starting job but playing at a high level at Porter's old position.
"I think he'll do a great job there," LeBeau said.
http://img03.picoodle.com/img/img03/8/4/22/f_steelersm_f586839.jpg (http://www.picoodle.com/view.php?srv=img03&img=/8/4/22/f_steelersm_f586839.jpg) http://img03.picoodle.com/img/img03/8/4/22/f_Sitthefckdom_b232a99.jpg (http://www.picoodle.com/view.php?srv=img03&img=/8/4/22/f_Sitthefckdom_b232a99.jpg)
No double-duty yet
Sean Mahan has played exclusively at guard during the first two days of minicamp, but he is still expected to compete for the starting job at center.
Mahan, the Steelers' only significant free-agent signing this year, has not lined up at center simply because the Steelers want to avoid system overload.
"At some point we'll cross-train him," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "There's going to be some position flexibility with him. That's part of what attracted us to him."
Mahan started 28 games at guard the previous two seasons for the Buccaneers but made eight starts at center for Tampa Bay in 2004.
Chukky Okobi has been playing center with the first team, but Mahan also could see some action at the position today and certainly will line up there when the Steelers hold another minicamp May 11-13.
Sidelined ... sort of
Punter Chris Gardocki spent the first two days of minicamp as more of a coach than anything else.
The 17-year veteran hasn't done any kicking because he has what Tomlin called a minor back problem.
Gardocki, Tomlin said, has been helping Mike Barr, who is the only other punter on the Steelers' roster.
"We know what (Gardocki) can do," Tomlin said. "He's been there, done that."
Gardocki's hold on his job appears to be tenuous.
The Steelers made a contract offer to restricted free agent Andy Lee last month, but the 49ers matched it. They could take a punter late in next week's NFL draft or sign an undrafted free agent to compete with Gardocki and Barr.
Extra points
Tomlin hasn't ruled out the Steelers re-signing running back Verron Haynes, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last October in a game at Oakland. Haynes had been the Steelers' third-down back before tearing his ACL. The Steelers released him last month. ... The Steelers conclude minicamp today. They will hold a morning practice at their South Side facility.
Good story! :bigthumb:

House of Steel
04-22-2007, 10:46 AM
Most certainly is. :bigthumb:

Iron City South
04-22-2007, 10:55 AM
Gardocki is as good as gone ..... Let's hope he knows he's helping Barr make the team at this point.

04-22-2007, 11:17 AM
Nice read. Hope this doesn't go to Harrisons head!

04-22-2007, 11:18 AM
very nice article...:bigthumb:

04-22-2007, 01:07 PM
Harrison has worked hard, and been through a lot in his career. He's earned the chance to try for this job. If previous indications are correct and from what we're hearing early on he's going to be special for us and could potentially be that next great Steeler linebacker now that Joey is gone...

Just stay healthy James !!! :pray:

04-22-2007, 01:11 PM
good read!!! and i think james will be just fine in there i have always liked him!

04-22-2007, 01:15 PM
A lot of people made a pretty big deal about Joey's age as one of the reason's it wasn't a big deal that we let him go, but Harrison isn't exactly a spring chicken. Even though he has only been in the league 4 years, he is almost 30 already. I'd call him more of a stop-gap then a replacement.

Good read though.

04-22-2007, 01:15 PM
If he can stay healthy he will be the animal we all know hes capable of being. Gardocki needs to get it through his thick head and realize hes got a fork in him cuz hes done. We got him for accuracy and coffin kicks, not power, hes 60 yrs old and doesn't have anything anymore. The OL is going to be interesting.....:popcorn:

04-22-2007, 02:11 PM
Harrison is a beast and has been preparing for this. He will do great.

04-22-2007, 05:32 PM
I've liked James every time he's been on the field. It's rare that you don't hear his name when he IS there. Given that James already has the right disposition for this, (and he's gotten a little experience under his belt) I believe trying to replace Joey will make him even better.

04-22-2007, 05:37 PM
Every generation of Steeler LB's has carved their timeless niche on the great defenses in Steelers history; Harrison has the potential to do that as well. Yeah I may be jumping the gun a bit since he has to prove he can stay healthy and be productive through a whole season when we count on him the most, but the potential is there for sure :cope:

K Train
04-22-2007, 05:56 PM
harrison is like 27 :dunno:

Oh gardocki...out
Barr....training camp meat
D-sep....the next great nfl punter...and the best one in steeler history

http://www.greatsmileys.com/image/grey%5E_%5Earial%5E_%5E5%5E_%5E5%5E_%5EMark+It+Dow n%5E_%5E.gif (http://www.greatsmileys.com)

04-22-2007, 06:01 PM
harrison is like 27 :dunno:

Oh gardocki...out
Barr....training camp meat
D-sep....the next great nfl punter...and the best one in steeler history

http://www.greatsmileys.com/image/grey%5E_%5Earial%5E_%5E5%5E_%5E5%5E_%5EMark+It+Dow n%5E_%5E.gif (http://www.greatsmileys.com)

He's 29, I think he hits 30 next year. Porter was born on 3 Mar '77 and Harrison on 4 May 78. I thought it was kind of interesting.

And would it really take much to be the greatest punter in Steeler history? lol But I do want Sep to be out next P.

04-22-2007, 06:06 PM
Gardocki is working a lot with Barr right now, and he showed alot of promise in previous camps. If the Steelers think he can do it they may not even look for another punter next weekend.

I know I know, God forbid, right ktrain? :lol:

K Train
04-22-2007, 06:11 PM

He sucked last year, he was better than Gardocki but EVERYONE is better than gardocki

04-22-2007, 06:18 PM
Who dare praise Porter's replacement, or any other linebacker on the Steelers roster!?!