As Crazy As James Harrison Is, He's Still Among Elite 3-4 OLBs

James Harrison has been a headliner in the news this week because of an interview he did with Men's Journal where he called Roger Goodell, among other things, a "puppet" and a gay slur. He also embarrassed his quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, and had comments for other teammates.

In short, things didn't turn out very well for him and the news stories this week have been suggesting Harrison isn't the brightest tool in the shed.

Maybe, maybe not. But Harrison is a hell of a football player.

Pro Football Focus crunched the numbers over the last three years and found Harrison was the top 3-4 outside linebacker.

Lost in all the fallout and chatter that came as a result of the big fines he was hit with, people seem to not realize just how well Harrison is playing. What's remarkable is that he still puts up huge pass rushing numbers, even when he's rushing 150 times less than some of the top pass rushers. That speaks volumes for his versatility, as he's a truly complete outside linebacker who can do it all.

The Steelers dominate these rankings as LaMarr Woodley, Steelers outside linebacker on the other side, comes in third. The Cowboys, too, do well in the results with two linebackers in the top five. 

So this is part of the reason why Harrison's hard to deal with. Teams can say what they want about disciplining their own players but when that player is arguably the best defensive player in the NFL it's a little harder to bring down the hammer. 

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