James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers is the best defensive player in football right now. He is the best player on the best defense in the league. He is an all around player who can do everything you would want from a defensive player. He recorded a Steelers record 16 sacks this season, which is very impressive considering the long history of the Steelers. Harrison won the Defensive Player of the Year award for the 2008-2009 season, beating out defensive studs such as Demarcus Ware and Ed Reed.
Some argue that Demarcus Ware should have won the Defensive Player of the Year award because he recorded 20 sacks and 6 forced fumbles. These are tremendous numbers for any defensive player. His 20 sacks were second to no one in the league and fell short of the record by 2.5 sacks. But he isn’t a versatile player like Harrison or a team leader. He is on dimensional in the sense that he can only rush the passer.
Others believe that Ed Reed was the clear choice for Defense Player of the Year because of his league leading 9 interceptions. Many of those interceptions have been run back by Reed in a very impressive fashion. He is renowned for making acrobatic and shifty moves to run many times over 100 yards to score a touchdown. Though 9 interceptions is very impressive it is nowhere close to the league record of 14, and his other numbers do not stand out. He only had 41 total tackles and 1 forced fumble.
What is most impressive about Harrison is that he is a very versatile player. His versatility makes him such a dangerous player. He had 17 more tackles than Ware and 60 more tackles than Reed. Harrison and 7 forced fumbles to Ware’s 6 and Reed’s 1, and he also recorded a Steelers record 16 sacks, though 4 less than Ware, still a very impressive number. Just recently in the Superbowl, he ran back an interception 100 yards, looking like Ed Reed, something you do not expect a linebacker to do. Not to mention he did all this in 14 games opposed to 16 due to injury....