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March 13, 2013

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Releasing Harrison could come back to haunt Steelers

OPINION — I DON’T KNOW if I would’ve had the guts to release James Harrison if I was Kevin Colbert.

The reasons are many and have been well documented by my colleagues in the regional and national media -- namely who’s going to replace him?

But that’s not why I wouldn’t have released him.

Colbert and the Steelers made him extremely angry and there’s been talk of him heading to Cleveland to join the Browns and new defensive coordinator Ray Horton — a former Steelers defensive assistant coach.

Ohio also happens to be Harrison’s home state and the draw of wrapping up your career in your home state would have to be a major draw for Deebo.

Perhaps, the biggest draw of playing for the Browns would be the opportunity to stick it to the Steelers twice a year for the next year or so.

An angry James Harrison is not someone I’d want to mess with — especially with the relative inexperience of who will probably be starting at tackle next fall — and definitely two times in one year.

We can generally count on wins whenever we play Cleveland, but Harrison’s energy just might propel them to a win or two — something a team coming off an 8-8 year can’t have.

I would’ve bit the bullet and kept him around this year.

ä I’m happy the Steelers were able to bring Ramon Foster back Monday afternoon.

I’ve long thought Foster was underrated.

It just seemed like year-after-year someone was supposed to start at guard then they’d either get hurt or stink up the joint and in would come in Foster.

You wouldn’t hear announcers signalling him out for any mistakes like they would other o-linemen. Foster was hardly ever beaten badly or whistled for holding.

Yet, the team was quick to put injury prone Willie Colon at left guard instead of the steady Foster.

Or they were cool with Chris Kemoeatu getting whistled for like a gazillion penalties each game.

With this new three-year deal, I hope the Steelers will allow Foster to assume a more comfortable role with the team — starting left guard.

* I haven’t heard any rumblings of it actually happening, but I’m hoping the Steelers are able to bring either Beanie Wells or Steven Jackson to town to be their new starting running back.

Jackson wouldn’t be a long-term solution, but definitely be an upgrade over what the Steelers currently have on the roster.

If he wanted to come to Pittsburgh, I’d give him a two-year deal with a decent salary and all kinds of incentives.

We Steelers fans would have to remember Jackson wouldn’t be a reincarnation of Jerome Bettis. Jackson is way too old to recreate the magic JB brought to the team.

Wells, who was released by Arizona Monday afternoon, would be another upgrade over Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer, but for a little bit longer period than Jackson, which is why he’d be my choice.

Remember, Wells isn’t too long removed from a 1,000-yard, 10-touchdown performance in his second year as a pro.

He’d be the perfect compliment to the Steelers’ passing game and would help open things up for Antonio Brown and Co.

But because he’s only 24, he might be too expensive for the Steelers and is too high profile for them as well.

In other words, Wells won’t be a Pittsburgh Steeler.

 

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