Less than a week after new SAM linebacker James Harrison pronounced that he would rush the passer even more in Mike Zimmer's 4-3 defense, the evidence to support that statement is already mounting. According to Geoff Hobson, Harrison lined up as a MIKE and executed one of Zimmer's calling-card A-gap blitzes during the Bengals' most recent OTA session.
Right end Michael Johnson had a tipped pass of backup quarterback Josh Johnson on a play SAM backer James Harrison lined up tight in the middle and blitzed.
As soon as the news surfaced back in April that Harrison was on the verge of striking a deal with the team, inquiring minds began to wonder just how Zimmer would utilize the former 3-4 standout. As it turns out, the answer is pretty awesome. So far in OTAs, Harrison has lined up at multiple linebacker spots and has been used as both a rusher and a pass defender.
It's a bit early to declare the James Harrison experiment a success, but if Hobson's OTA reports are any indication, it certainly is looking to be heading in that direction. If Harrison is able to return to his pre-injury form, offenses will undoubtedly have their hands full with the once-defensive-player-of-the-year.
Atkins, Johnson, Dunlap, and now Harrison? Opposing quarterbacks might just want to take a sick day when they face the Bengals in 2013.