Linebacker James Harrison will be making his 2012 regular season debut tomorrow after being sidelined with a knee injury that has hampered him since the offseason. For the first time this season, Harrison has practice an entire week without his ailing knee giving him any problems.
Head coach Mike Tomlin feels that it is best to rotate linebackers Jason Worilds and Chris Carter for LaMarr Woodley and Harrison respectively throughout this week’s game. Carter has taken the place of Harrison in the starting lineup all season long, but hasn’t come close to the production of the Pro Bowl linebacker.
As for Worilds, his lowly six tackles in the first three games haven’t helped Pittsburgh’s struggling defense either.
Harrison’s return will add much-needed depth and help with a pass rush that has only recorded five sacks so far this season. In addition, the rotating of the linebackers against Philly will keep the Steelers fresh at the position and will increase their chances of containing the Eagles’ elusive quarterback Michael Vick.
More importantly, this strategy will give Harrison a chance to ease his way back into playing shape so he can be ready for the remaining long haul of the regular season.
I, for one, feel that this is a great idea. It is reasoning like this that has earned Tomlin the contract extension he much so deserved.
This defensive strategy could be the x-factor in Pittsburgh winning this game.
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