NFL Network’s ‘A Football Life’ to feature Two-Time Super Bowl Champion and Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison

James Harrison (92) lining up to play the Baltimore Ravens in 2008. By Andy from Pittsburgh, United States, CC BY 2.0, https

‘James Harrison: A Football Life’ Premieres Friday, September 24 at 9:00 PM ET & PT on NFL Network

“James Harrison is a Pittsburgher and a Pittsburgh Steeler if you ever had to mold one.” – Bill Cowher

The 10th season of the Emmy-nominated and highly acclaimed NFL Films-produced series A Football Life continues Friday, September 24 at 9:00 PM ET and PT on NFL Network with a profile of two-time Super Bowl Champion and NFL Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison. The one-hour show features sit-down interviews with Harrison, former Pittsburgh Steelers teammates such as Ben RoethlisbergerTroy Polamalu and Brett Keisel, Steelers head coaches Mike Tomlin and Bill Cowher, and others.

Among the topics discussed in James Harrison: A Football Life include:

  • His journey from an undrafted player in 2002, to becoming the Pittsburgh Steelers’ all-time leader in sacks and the only undrafted player in history to be named NFL Defensive Player of the Year
  • His intimidating on-field presence which earned him the nickname “DEEBO”
  • The Steelers inviting him to training camp in 2004 and the circumstances surrounding his first NFL start
  • His initial retirement in 2014 and subsequently returning to play that season
  • His new career as an actor on the TV show “Heels”

Emmy-nominated actor Josh Charles narrates.

James Harrison: A Football Life includes interviews with the following people:

  • James Harrison
  • Mildred Harrison – Mother
  • Bill Cowher – Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach
  • Mike Tomlin – Pittsburgh Steelers head coach
  • Dick LeBeau – Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator
  • Keith Butler – Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers coach
  • Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers teammate
  • Troy Polamalu – Pro Football Hall of Fame safety & Pittsburgh Steelers teammate
  • Brett Keisel – Pittsburgh Steelers teammate
  • Joey Porter – Pittsburgh Steelers teammate
  • Cameron Heyward – Pittsburgh Steelers teammate
  • Joe Thomas – Former All-Pro Cleveland Browns offensive tackle
  • Andrew Whitworth – Former Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle
  • Josh Cribbs – Former Cleveland Browns wide receiver/returner
  • Dean Pees – Former Kent State head coach
  • Gene Steratore – Former NFL referee
  • Mike O’Malley – Executive Producer of “Heels”
  • Stephen Amell – Actor on “Heels”

Provided below are some select quotes from James Harrison: A Football Life:

– “I’m cool with where my career ended, what I did with my career and that I was able to at least hold up to some of the legacy of a Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker.” – James Harrison

– “When you think about a Pittsburgher, he’s a hard worker; lunch bucket, come to work, no complaints…James Harrison is a Pittsburgher and Pittsburgh Steeler if you ever had to mold one.” – Bill Cowher

– “I wasn’t even thinking about making the Pittsburgh Steelers’ team. My thought process was I’m going to come in here and I’m going to put film out to 31 other teams, and somebody is going to pick me up.” – James Harrison on entering the 2004 training camp

– “Hard work pays off. He seriously was the best player in the game.” – Brett Keisel

– “I was thinking ‘This is a one-year thing,’ but as I got back and I got back into it, I started to fall in love with it again.” – James Harrison on returning to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2014

– “I have no hard feelings towards the Steelers. I really have no ill-will towards [Mike] Tomlin like that either…It’s kind of hard to hold a grudge over a business decision.” – James Harrison on the end of his time with Pittsburgh Steelers

– “His story like a lot of stories in this game doesn’t have that fairy tale ending that you would imagine, but it doesn’t have any bearing on his legacy as a player and definitely as a Pittsburgh Steeler, the mark that he left. The legend of James Harrison won’t be diminished.” – Mike Tomlin

– “He’s got this rough-tough personality that is authentically him, but there definitely is a side to him [that is] very loving, very loyal and a brother for sure.” – Troy Polamalu

– “He’s one of the most intimidating, scariest football players that I’ve ever been around, and he loved that persona. He loved to be that guy that never smiled.” – Ben Roethlisberger

All NFL Network programming – including episodes of A Football Life – is available across multiple devices (smartphone, PC, tablet and connected TVs) through the NFL app and NFL Network app for subscribers of participating NFL Network providers. Visit for more information on how to watch.

Below is a broadcast schedule for remaining episodes of A Football Life this season:

  • October 1 – Calvin Johnson
  • December 3 – Drew Pearson
  • December 24 – John Lynch


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