Harrison focused on finishing strong

Take a look at some of the best photos from the career of Steelers linebacker James Harrison.

In what might have been one of the great ironies of his career, James Harrison drew a holding penalty in Cincinnati when he admittedly wasn't being held.

"That's actually weird," Harrison said. "They got one where I slipped but they missed the other one."

The one they called on left tackle Andrew Whitworth last Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium negated a 13-yard gain to the Bengals' 41-yard line with 5:25 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Steelers leading, 26-13.

On the next play, safety Robert Golden intercepted quarterback AJ McCarron and returned the ball to the Cincinnati 16.

Four plays later the Steelers scored an exclamation-point TD in what became a 33-20 triumph.

Harrison also executed a devastating block on guard Kevin Zeitler during Golden's return and pressured McCarron after cleanly beating Whitworth on the pass that cornerback William Gay intercepted and returned 23 yards for a touchdown on the second play of the third quarter. McCarron being unable to step into his throw due to Harrison's presence was an apparent factor on the play.

On Dec. 6 against Indianapolis, Harrison had three sacks in 12 defensive snaps in the fourth quarter of a 45-10 victory over the Colts.

At 37, Harrison is second among Steelers with five sacks (behind defensive end Cam Heyward's six) and leads the team in quarterback pressures (13) and forced fumbles (two, tied with safety Mike Mitchell and linebacker Ryan Shazier).

"I think I'm doing alright," Harrison said. "It could be better, everything could be better."

It's gone well enough as a part of a four-man rotation at the two outside linebacker positions that Harrison isn't sure the final three regular-season games this season will be the final three regular-season games of his career.

"I don't know, really, what I'm sure of," he said. "I think I have a year left (on his contract), I think I signed a two-year deal. I'll do whatever it is that my body tells me to do at the end of the year."

Harrison addressed a couple of other subjects in advance of Sunday's home regular-season finale against Denver.

Among them:

Photos from the last matchup vs the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on December 13th, 2015.

How he's enjoyed 2015: "It's fun to me because I love to compete, I love playing football. Just from that standpoint it's fun."

The Steelers' defense: "I think we're getting better week to week. We're nowhere near where we need to be as far as a complete defensive unit. There are always things we can do better. There are things we need to do better. But from week to week from the last two weeks or so we're definitely heading in the right direction. Hopefully, it'll continue to go that way."

Whether the Steelers are capable of an extended playoff run: "I hope so. That's the focus of everything we do, to go out there and win a Lombardi (Trophy). If I didn't think that was possible I wouldn't be here."

Playing for the Steelers: "It's just a great place to play football. Especially with the fans, the organization, the Rooneys, the history of the Steelers, it's a great place to play."

His role as an attempted peace-maker in the confrontation that developed during the pregame warm-up on Sunday in Cincinnati: "I'm not a fighter, I'm a lover."

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