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This and That

This & That: Teammates talk about Harrison

Deebo being Deebo: He is the first player in the weight room every day, going through a workout that would do in a 20-year old, yet James Harrison, at 38-years old, has no problem with it.

Harrison has been a key cog for the Steelers' defense this year, getting stronger as the season has worn on.

A few teammates weighed in on Harrison, what makes him special and what they learn from him.

Stephon Tuitt:
"You see it every day. He is so disciplined in everything he does. You try to learn that discipline and incorporate it in your lifestyle, master it and do it every day."

Artie Burns:
"It's just his preparation. The high level of intensity you have to always have. He is a veteran guy, but has the same preparation every day. He comes in to work and works on the details every day. He makes everyone around him go harder. To see a veteran work like that, and play for such a long time, it makes all of us younger guys want to work harder."

Bud Dupree:
"It helps a lot to watch what he does. Him coming in every day with the same routine, the same approach to the game. It shows so much respect and helps us get better. He helps us be aware of things by leading by example. Sometimes he teaches us things that he doesn't even realize he teaches us because we learn just by watching. It's amazing the way he is still doing everything like he is a young guy. It's something to see."

Ryan Shazier:
"I have learned a lot from him, especially when it comes to taking care of my body, I do a  lot of the same treatments he does. It really helps my body, giving me awareness of how to have longevity. It's definitely amazing how long he has played. Some people don't make it two or three years, he has been in the league 14 years. It's amazing." 

Javon Hargrave
"It speaks for itself. The work he puts in. there aren't too many like him."

Robert Golden
"He is a hard worker on the field and he is a hard worker off the field. He has so much dedication and passion for this game. I haven't ever met anybody with that kind of dedication."

Consistency matters: For the first 12 weeks of the regular season the Steelers rotated their outside linebackers. That was until the team played the Buffalo Bills, and Bud Dupree and Harrison became permanent fixtures outside.

For Dupree, it's paid dividends. In the final four regular season games Dupree tallied 20 tackles, 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble. In the postseason he has had 10 tackles, half a sack, and a pass defense in two games.

"That helped a lot not rotating," said Dupree. "We come out when we get tired. I try not to get tired. That did a great thing, helped us get in the groove and be on the field communicating with each other."

The Steelers' way: Mike Mitchell has become a leader on the Steelers' defense, especially in the secondary where he is someone rookies Sean Davis and Artie Burns can lean on for guidance and advice.

"I know when we drafted Sean, Coach (Mike) Tomlin gave him to me and said this is your guy, you raise him," said Mitchell. "I have been on him since Day 1. I spend more one-on-one time with Sean. He comes to the house and what not. He is a very likable guy. He is silly but doesn't say a whole lot. He came in the right way. He is quiet. When you have a young guy like that, that is hard working, you want to help him. I am glad he playing at a high level for us. He has come a long way. It's a beautiful thing for me to see because I have had a part of it.

"I like doing it. It's the Steelers way. An older guy helping a young guy out."  

Davis and Burns definitely appreciate what Mitchell is doing for them.

"I sit by Mike in meetings all the time and even if I have slight little questions, I just go to Mike and ask because he's been there, done that," said Davis. "The same with Will Gay, the same with Coach (Carnell) Lake. Those are the guys in the room who I lean to the most. I'm always in Coach Lake's ear.

"I can take their advice through wisdom and they've been there. I just look at them because they've, like I said, been there, done that. They know the game more than I do so I try and take everything I can from them so I don't have to learn from getting beat or something. Maybe they got beat on something else and they can teach me that."  

Mitchell has helped the two from day one when they arrived, and he continues to lead them as the team is preparing for the AFC Championship Game.

"The first day I came in he was a big help," said Burns. "Bringing me in, trying to help me with the playbook. On the field we work on drills and stuff like that just to try to make me grow because we knew at some point during the season that I was going to be needed. Me and Sean (Davis). And he wanted us to be prepared for it.

"(He told me) take the good with the bad because you're going to make some good plays and make some bad plays, but at the end of the day the life we live as a defensive back, we've got to be ready to take the worst criticism and the praise at the best times."

They said it:

Javon Hargrave on if playing a team a second time makes a difference:
"It's the playoffs. Nothing else really matters. It's going to be a different game. It's one game elimination. Everybody is going to give it all they got."

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