James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers is the best defensive player in football right now. He is the best player on the best defense in the league. He is an all around player who can do everything you would want from a defensive player. He recorded a Steelers record 16 sacks this season, which is very impressive considering the long history of the Steelers. Harrison won the Defensive Player of the Year award for the 2008-2009 season, beating out defensive studs such as Demarcus Ware and Ed Reed.
Some argue that Demarcus Ware should have won the Defensive Player of the Year award because he recorded 20 sacks and 6 forced fumbles. These are tremendous numbers for any defensive player. His 20 sacks were second to no one in the league and ...view middle of the document...
Though 9 interceptions is very impressive it is nowhere close to the league record of 14, and his other numbers do not stand out. He only had 41 total tackles and 1 forced fumble.
What is most impressive about Harrison is that he is a very versatile player. His versatility makes him such a dangerous player. He had 17 more tackles than Ware and 60 more tackles than Reed. Harrison and 7 forced fumbles to Wareâ€™s 6 and Reedâ€™s 1, and he also recorded a Steelers record 16 sacks, though 4 less than Ware, still a very impressive number. Just recently in the Superbowl, he ran back an interception 100 yards, looking like Ed Reed, something you do not expect a linebacker to do. Not to mention he did all this in 14 games opposed to 16 due to injury.
Harrison is almost impossible to game plan for. If you are playing against Ed Reed, you donâ€™t throw the ball towards him and he cannot intercept it. Ware, you double team him at the line and he wont be able to sack your quarterback. But since Harrison is such a versatile player, it is nearly impossible to stop him. If you double team him at the line, he can drop back into coverage and possibly make an interception. If you do not double team him he will blitz and most likely sack your quarterback. And if you run the ball, he is so strong that he may cause your running back to fumble. He terrorizes opposing offenses to a point at which they succumb. He leads by example, making everyone else on the Pittsburgh Steelers Defense much better. His numbers speak volumes about his play, and the way the Steelers Defense rallies around him speaks volumes about his leadership skills. It is clear to me, and it is clear to the NFL that James Harrison is the best defensive player in the league right now.