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Ryan Clark knows it will be “tough” to replace James Harrison

Harrison Getty Images

Before free agency started, the Steelers cut linebacker James Harrison.  Since then, after Harrison found no takers in free agency, the Steelers reportedly rebuffed an attempt by Harrison to become a Steeler again.

Steelers safety Ryan Clark apparently believes the team will regret it.

“That is tough,” Clark told NFL Network regarding the decision to move on from Harrison.  “That is going to be one of the tougher spots we have to fill because it is not just the player.  It is the way people felt about James Harrison as you looked across the line and realized you had to block him, or a quarterback dropping back knowing James Harrison is coming, running backs knowing they can’t cut back to the left because James is running down the line.  You can’t change that.  You can’t make a person be that.

“That comes when a guy goes out there week after week and dominates people and that is what James did.  He instilled fear into the offense.  That is going to be hard to replace.  You may get a player with similar numbers, but to have that intimidation factor is going to be extremely hard.  It is something that has to be earned.”

Clark remains confident the franchise will rebound from its current transition.

“It is tough but it is the Steelers though,” Clark said.  “If you talk about one team who has found ways to consistently be in the hunt to win the AFC North, consistently be in the hunt for the playoffs, it is us.  We have been to three Super Bowls in the last decade, so the Steelers know how to retool and get guys right in there that step up to be good players.”

That ability perhaps will be tested more this year than ever before.

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48 Responses to “Ryan Clark knows it will be “tough” to replace James Harrison”
  1. citizenstrange says: Mar 28, 2013 9:19 PM

    There’s a little black spot on the sun today. That’s my soul up there.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    James Harrison may not rank on my all-time ever favorite Steeler list up there with Mean Joe Green and Jack Ham …. but he’s right up there against it.

  2. benroethlisberger7 says: Mar 28, 2013 9:26 PM

    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
    We are sorry for casting such a ridiculously large shadow over the NFL. We recognize how unfair it may seem at times, but we are working hard to make sure that your losing experience is as enjoyable as possible. Sit back and witness our divinity.
    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

  3. davekezer says: Mar 28, 2013 9:27 PM

    Gonna be tough to find someone to get so many personal fouls.

  4. baltimoresohard says: Mar 28, 2013 9:40 PM

    Except you’ve missed the playoffs 2 out of the last 3 years.

  5. steel2372 says: Mar 28, 2013 9:41 PM

    I would agree with Clark. James Harrison does bring that intimidation factor. Touch physical player that will be hard to replace. I hope the Steelers wake up and bring him back for one more year.

  6. steelersfever123 says: Mar 28, 2013 9:47 PM

    Tough to replace James Harrison? One of the best linebackers in the NFL today? Of course.

  7. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Mar 28, 2013 9:49 PM

    I couldn’t agree more with Clark. #92 brought the ruckus — absolutely loved 92. Heart and soul.

    Harrison’s 2012 was injury-compromised — he’s got a couple more years left. Wish the Steelers could have brought him back to where he belongs.

  8. thetooloftools says: Mar 28, 2013 9:49 PM

    The Steelers don’t replace…. they reload. just like the dang Patriots.
    Harrison needs to move on.
    He should have taken the pay cut and stayed.
    WAS IT REALLY ABOUT THE $ ANY MORE?
    To him it was. To the Steelers it wasn’t.
    Now he’s trying to come back with his hat in his hand?
    Good luck finding the $ you agent told you to turn down.. JAMES.
    You should can his (|) for not knowing your market value and trying to pimp you out for more $.
    I could live in happiness for the REST OF MY LIFE … on 1 of your yearly contracts.
    And you think your disrespected.
    How does this taste James?
    Your not as bad as you think in the $ game now are you?

  9. sbaltimore says: Mar 28, 2013 9:52 PM

    The Steelers USED to be about to rebound. They’ve painted themselves into a pretty small little corner.

    (And just for the record…since when has Ryan Clark become the voice of the Steelers? He’s always on NFL Network these days. Nothing against him personally, but I think the Steelers need a better mouthpiece than Ryan Clark. And they DEFINITELY could use a better DB than Ryan Clark!!! The dude gets beaten more than a rented mule.)

  10. sbaltimore says: Mar 28, 2013 9:52 PM

    *USED to be able to rebound.

  11. 6thsense79 says: Mar 28, 2013 9:53 PM

    I understand a player wanting a team to honor their end of a deal and pay a salary the team agreed to. I fully understand that. But under the NFL CBA teams have the ability to cut players with little penalty at certain points in the contract. That’s the reality. So when the Steelers came to Harrison and demanded he take a 30% cut with the ability to earn back the money based on this season’s performance he should have looked at the league land scape for 30+ linebackers and made a sound logical financial decision. I believe he instead made an emotional decision as judging from his on field play and off field interviews he is an emotional individual. I also think there’s a possibility his agent advised him to take the deal but was probably rebuffed. Harrison will land somewhere if he wants but at a vastly lower price than what the Steelers offered.

  12. ravensdominate says: Mar 28, 2013 9:55 PM

    It’s going to be tough to keep big Ben off his back with haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, Elvis dumerville and courtney upshaw trying to kill him….

    The steelers are soft.

  13. getyourownname says: Mar 28, 2013 10:11 PM

    “If you talk about one team who has found ways to consistently be in the hunt to win the AFC North, consistently be in the hunt for the playoffs, it is us.”

    Steelers’ record is fine, Ryan, but actually, over the past 10 seasons (2003-2012) the Ravens have been to the playoffs 7 times, and the Steelers 6. Sounds consistent to me.

  14. green18blue52 says: Mar 28, 2013 10:11 PM

    The Packers need his kind of Nasty for their D. Makes so much sense and thats why it’ll never happen.

  15. petehimself2112 says: Mar 28, 2013 10:27 PM

    regular season stats first 5 years in the league

    flacco 17633 yards 102 td 56 ints
    ben 14974 yards 101 td 69 ints

  16. bobzilla1001 says: Mar 28, 2013 10:31 PM

    I respectively disagree.
    The Steelers have been “consistently” in the hunt and to three Super Bowls in the last decade because they have NOT had to “retool.”
    The Steelers have either lived or died (mostly lived) on their defense, which has stayed pretty much intact since 2004 with its first of five No. 1 rankings.
    Not since the 1970s has the organization had such a consistently stellar defensive unit. And the Rooneys are to be commended for having kept that nucleus together for as long they possibly could.

  17. bert1913 says: Mar 28, 2013 10:44 PM

    this reminds when hines ward was begging the steelers for a job.

  18. modellforprez says: Mar 28, 2013 10:48 PM

    usually do not agree with clarkey but on this one i think he is 100% right and i could not agree more. so Jason Worilds wants to be the man. Jimmy Dix was the illest sonny 93 is just a snot nose bastige and he cannot STOP THE RUN like Jimmy. nobody touch jimmy get away from jimmy.

  19. keiselsbeard says: Mar 28, 2013 10:52 PM

    Face it, fellow members of Steelers Nation, James Harrison’s intimidation factor died off a couple years ago. He’s not the same, it’s time to move on. As much as I hate to admit it, it looks like we could be heading back into the “dark ages” we experienced in the the 80′s & early 90′s. Que all of the wasted seminal excretions known as @ravenator & all of the other copy-cat Steelers haters. Hate all you want, we still have 6. Deal with it!

  20. voiceofsweetness says: Mar 28, 2013 10:58 PM

    Too much turnover for the steeler nation these last few yrs. This team won’t be adding any rings for a long long time.

  21. ravenmuscle says: Mar 28, 2013 11:06 PM

    You got that right. With the way Ozzie has RELOADED the Ravens the Steelers will be lucky to even be a .500 team again this year. Those 6 rings are OLD and RUSTY and the only ones the Steelers will ever see in the next 20 years…if ever.

    Soooo glad the Ravens told Harrison thanks but NO THANKS….and then his own team told him to get lost a SECOND time.

  22. oldway9 says: Mar 28, 2013 11:32 PM

    Boy, no more #86 and no more Harrison, and all of a sudden the league becomes clean.
    It is no wonder nobody wants Harrison.

  23. Vir Publius says: Mar 28, 2013 11:56 PM

    Why are guys like Harrison and Urlacher getting no attention? You can buy youth at LB, but you can’t buy heart. And only one of those things pays out Lombardis. #RayLewis

  24. samoanjungle says: Mar 29, 2013 12:07 AM

    I’m assuming they were tired of his act

  25. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Mar 29, 2013 12:33 AM

    Number 92 brought the lumber — was (and still is) an absolute monster.

    Debo’s 2012 was not him at full-strength — he was playing through injury(ies). Would have been great to have him back in the Black & Gold – where he belongs.

  26. crownofthehelmet says: Mar 29, 2013 1:02 AM

    3 superbowls in 10 years. Dare I say dynasty?

  27. therealpittbull says: Mar 29, 2013 1:04 AM

    The Steelers are going to regret going with ” Tomlin’s pick, Jason Worilds. He may end up being a decent depth player, but until now, has shown only blurs of potential.

  28. alchemistcirca1979 says: Mar 29, 2013 2:50 AM

    Jason Worilds is quicker and bigger than Harrison (notice I didn’t say stronger) and relentless. Im looking forward to him making a name for himself.

  29. asublimeday says: Mar 29, 2013 3:01 AM

    I’m so glad the teams are back in control. I hope all of these greedy D-bags are forced into retirement.

  30. deezenucks says: Mar 29, 2013 4:10 AM

    Not a Steelers or Harrison fan what so ever but he’s right and that was well said.

  31. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Mar 29, 2013 5:56 AM

    The Steelers are using Harrison to send a strong message to their players. When they ask you to take a pay cut or get lost they are not bluffing.

  32. mclovinib says: Mar 29, 2013 6:15 AM

    steelers are toast….

  33. 1mommicked1 says: Mar 29, 2013 6:44 AM

    This year will reveal a lot about coach Tomlin. Is he all that, or has he been riding the momentum from the past that was handed off to him.

  34. marshmont says: Mar 29, 2013 7:05 AM

    harrison is a head case…(raven fan)..ravens had a guy like him..bart scott..glad when he left..JH will have more trouble staying healthy at his age..he is not a good rolemodel in the locker room for young players.,the steelers will find a cheaper and younger player to take his place….he still may end up on the steelers roster because the steelers have so little money and H will take anything now..

  35. ravenator says: Mar 29, 2013 7:26 AM

    Ryan, it’s not just going to be “tough” to replace JH, but “tough” to compete at all. Basement dwellers is where you will be, and its where you will stay. Cheers!

  36. reed20fence says: Mar 29, 2013 7:59 AM

    You know the claims are true when your enemies admit them. And as a Ravens fan, believe me, the intimidation factor with Harrison was very real indeed. All those crucial blindside strip sacks on Flacco made it so.

  37. deceman20 says: Mar 29, 2013 8:10 AM

    I think you can talk about two teams that have consistently been in the hunt to win the AFCN and the playoffs, Ryan…

  38. steel2372 says: Mar 29, 2013 8:48 AM

    Well said Ryan. This brings it and still does. He is a beast. I was watching his top five hits from his career. One of the hits was on Flacco. It was absolutely devastating the way he leveled him. You think Flacco isnt thinking about him when they played the Steelers? Thats intimidation. Wish he was back with the Steelers where he belongs. Thank you for the great years James. Steelers nation will miss you!

  39. bobzilla1001 says: Mar 29, 2013 10:03 AM

    I respectfully disagree.
    The Steelers have been `consistently” in the hunt and to three Super Bowls in the last decade because they have NOT HAD to “retool.”
    The Steelers have been living off their defenses, which have stayed pretty much intact since 2004 with their first of their five No. 1 rankings.
    Not since the 1970s have the Steelers had such a consistently stellar defense. And the Rooneys are to be commended for going above and beyond while having kept that nucleus together for as long as possible.

  40. crownofthehelmet says: Mar 29, 2013 2:49 PM

    @deceman20,

    I wouldn’t call Cincy making it to the playoffs a few years in a row ‘consistently in the hunt’.

  41. Nofoolnodrool says: Mar 29, 2013 3:03 PM

    ravensdominate | Mar 28, 2013, 9:55 PM EDT
    It’s going to be tough to keep big Ben off his back with haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, Elvis dumerville and courtney upshaw trying to kill him….

    The steelers are soft.

    So soft they beat the cream puff ravens with Charlie Batch. Your theory matches is soft on logic fan boy.

  42. Nofoolnodrool says: Mar 29, 2013 3:05 PM

    Ryan, it’s not just going to be “tough” to replace JH, but “tough” to compete at all. Basement dwellers is where you will be, and its where you will stay. Cheers!

    So as a perennial basement dweller at moms house any advice on furnishings there fan boy?

  43. mdev1987 says: Mar 29, 2013 3:41 PM

    Ryan Clark is in the bottom half of worst safeties in the league. He suck n has nothing but a big mouth. Steelers r full of them.

  44. scoobies05 says: Mar 29, 2013 4:02 PM

    all of you steeler fans who like to bring up the charlie batch game, you do realize that the steelers lost to the raiders and the titans and the ravens won the super bowl. congrats on the regular season win…i can remember a day when the steeler fans scoffed at ravens fans for bringing up regular season wins. oh the times they are a changing. the steelers have the 6 trophies…but right now the ravens are the better franchise. go ravens

  45. Deb says: Mar 29, 2013 5:25 PM

    Let’s hope the Steelers front office is listening. As a union rep, Ryan is one player who does have his finger on the pulse of the locker room. Yes, James can be difficult in many respects. But he brings a tremendous work ethic and dogged determination to the mix. He has that “Steelers mentality”–which was missing in some of the play last season. A healthy James Harrison can be a motivational force in the locker room. It’s a mistake to close the door on him.

  46. Nofoolnodrool says: Mar 29, 2013 5:28 PM

    scoobies05 | Mar 29, 2013, 4:02 PM EDT
    all of you steeler fans who like to bring up the charlie batch game, you do realize that the steelers lost to the raiders and the titans and the ravens won the super bowl. congrats on the regular season win…i can remember a day when the steeler fans scoffed at ravens fans for bringing up regular season wins. oh the times they are a changing. the steelers have the 6 trophies…but right now the ravens are the better franchise. go ravens

    Scoobie you do realize you lost to 38 year old Charlie Batch? It really bothers you that your SB chumps got bitch slapped by an old man so you have to state the obvious. Yes you are becoming a raven terrier, you know the ones that bark look at me look at me I want respect…you are smart enough to know it has to be earned and by your reaction your not getting enough respect so you keep barking….ssshhh if your humble you might get some.

  47. blackngold4life says: Mar 29, 2013 8:08 PM

    same ppl makein comments that have nuthin to do wit the topic..Quit D#$% risen each other

  48. steel2372 says: Mar 29, 2013 9:22 PM

    Well Said Deb I couldn’t agree more with your post. It is a mistake to close the door on James. He is still an elite Lb when healthy.

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