The Steelers have been known to be called “Linebacker U” referring to all the great LBs they have had over the years. Probably one of the best of them is James Harrison who was not drafted at all. The story of James Harrison is no fairy-tale, it’s a story of hard work and passion. A very small 6ft 240 LB who was a walk on to Kent State University went undrafted in 2002.
He was a Practice quade player and was cut by the Steelers and Ravens 5 times. The Steelers could have gone with someone one younger and bigger when Clark Haggins went down 2004, but the Steelers brought back someone that had spent a few camps with them and could pick up the game fast if needed. This is where Colbert shows his worth again bring in someone that would be a good depth player help on special teams and could fill in on a pitch.
Harrison being on of the first to start the new found development path that Colbert puts forth for young men trying to make the team, Harrison was a key part of Superbowl XL where he helped on special teams a contributing with three tackles. The following season James Harrison became one of the Steelers starting OLB which was the start of a story that could one day be the best NFL paths to the Hall of fame.
In a world of analytics, Colbert has shown that it’s not all about the combine stats, the high weight and strength of a player. Some players do not have the numbers but have what it takes to play in the NFL. This is a lost art among the younger GM generation. Pittsburgh is Lucky to have a GM that hits and develops young talent in the late rounds and continues to make Pittsburgh “Linebacker U.”