If there were a Grinder Hall of Fame, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison would be in it. In fact, his statue might be in front of it. Grinder is a term in sports that refers to a player who may not have been born with great natural skills or physical attributes but, despite that, became a great player. Unlike natural athletes, grinders succeed because of determination, grit, hard work and sheer will. They love the game and tend to be students of the sport. They study film, the playbook and opponents like surgeons may study medical books. They leave little to chance. They get to the training facility early and stay late honing their skills.
James Harrison is retiring for the second time & this appears to be the official end. The pass-rusher concludes an amazing NFL journey. The Kent State product went undrafted in 2002, with most teams believing he was too small to be a pass rusher. To prove himself, Harrison played for NFL Europe's Rhein Fire in 2003. He eventually became an NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 5x Pro Bowler & 2x 1st-team All-Pro in Pittsburgh. As a relentless rusher with the brute strength of 45 brown bears and a good first step, Harrison will be remembered as one of the Steelers' all-time greats who worked ruthlessly to transform his career from forgotten camp invite into a dominating pass rusher in his prime.