Harrison still chasing the ultimate goal

The best photos of Linebacker James Harrison from the 2015 season thus far.

William Gay is back with the Steelers, getting ready for his 14th NFL season and still conceding nothing in terms of how often he'll play and how long he'll continue to play.

"Everybody wants to start; who doesn't?" Harrison said at the outset of mandatory veteran mini camp. "I'm going to do whatever it takes, whatever they want me to do. I'm just here to help.

"I just work here, baby."

The help Harrison provided last year included five sacks and an interception while splitting time at right outside linebacker with Ryan Shazier.

Harrison started just one of 16 games in 2015 but far exceeded the 25-snaps-per-game limit outside linebackers coach Joey Porter had suggested might be in place for Harrison a year ago in April.

At 38 he's back for one more season but not necessarily his final season.

"Play it by ear," Harrison said.

As for last season, "I did alright," he assessed. "Could have been better, could have been worse."

The best part for Harrison was making it from beginning to end unscathed.

"I made it through the season without getting hurt," he said.

He'd like to do more than that this season.   

"Win a Super Bowl, hopefully," Harrison said. "That would be better."

Harrison didn't initially commit to returning to chase another Super Bowl championship when the 2015 season ended.

He at first said he wanted to wait and see how he responded to his standard off-season training regimen, to see if his body would hold up off the field while he prepared it to do what would need to be done on the field.

The early returns were encouraging enough.

"I probably knew after the third week," Harrison said. "My body was feeing good."

And so he's back to do better than he did a season ago, and to help the Steelers' defense do the same.

"We did alright," Harrison said. "We can do far better. That's why we're going through the process right now, to get better.

"Guys got more familiar with the defense and with each other. We got a little better as the year went on."

Harrison will assess his continued participation as this season progresses, a season that may be his last in the NFL but isn't necessarily destined to become a farewell tour.

"I still feel good about it," he said. "When I don't feel good about it, I'll give it up."

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