LATROBE, Pa. -- James Harrison walked off the practice field on Sunday dripping in sweat. And he didn't even take part in the Steelers first practice of training camp.
Harrison, wearing a Steelers hoodie and sweat pants, still got in a workout though and his attire on the hot summer day added to him looking like he had just been through a regular season game.
"I work out in my sweats," said Harrison. "It makes me burn more calories."
It's no surprise the more you look around the Steelers weight room these days, the more you see guys doing the same thing. Because Harrison is a leader, a lot of that by the example he sets in his workouts, and guys want to do what he is doing.
Rookie linebacker Bud Dupree said Harrison is one of the players who has helped him with the adjustment to the NFL, someone he looks to as the 'father-figure' in the linebacker room. Harrison got a chuckle out of that.
"I could probably have kids his age if I would have started earlier," he joked.
And then, he talked a little more about that role.
"I have been in that position before. I am used to that I guess," said Harrison. "It's just a veteran leadership role, nothing more or less than it was before. I may be giving more advice than I did in the past as far as what to do to be a professional and stay in the league longer because guys see how long I have been I in the league."
Harrison is entering his 13th season with the Steelers, held out of practice on Sunday only because Coach Mike Tomlin thought it was best.
"I'm going to protect him from himself," joked Tomlin. "He and Will Allen are too old to be working right now."
But when the pads come on Wednesday, Harrison wants to be out there and is looking forward to seeing what the defense does when things heat up.
"I am looking at the whole defense," said Harrison. "I want to see hitting. I want to see a nasty demeanor.
"I think the offense likes to get the pads on because I think it's like, 'If we had pads on this would have happened.' Now we can settle the 'if' we had pads on argument."
One thing that Harrison doesn't like is recently the Steelers defense hasn't been the ones doing the dominating, something he wants to turn around this year.
"In previous years the defense was up there," said Harrison. "Now the offense has the upper hand. We'll see.
"You want to get back to the elite status of the defense in the league. It's not going to happen overnight. That is why we are here trying to figure out where we are at and how far we need to go to get to where we need to be."