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New Bengals LB James Harrison Says That He Doesn\’t Hate The Steelers

Former Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison is now officially a member of the Cincinnati Bengals as of Tuesday and he talked to the media via conference call earlier today.

Harrison, who spent nine seasons in Pittsburgh, admits he doesn\’t quite know yet how to feel about the change.

“I wouldn\’t say it feels strange,” Harrison said. “I guess when that time comes, I\’ll have a better understanding or feeling of exactly what it will be then. I\’m just happy to be able to continue playing.”

Following his March release, several speculated that the former Defensive Player of the Year wanted to specifically remain in the AFC North in order to get back at his former team, but Harrison attempted to dispel that notion during his talk with reporters after signing a two-year contract with the Bengals.

“There was no significance in staying in the AFC North,” Harrison said. “My thing was I wanted to play with a team that was competitive and had a chance of winning a Super Bowl. I felt like [defending champion] Baltimore and Cincinnati were those teams.

“The second thing I wanted was to stay close to home. I currently live in Pittsburgh and that\’s where I\’m going to reside. I really didn\’t want to have to go farther away than I had to.”

As far as the notion that Harrison now hates the Steelers, the veteran linebacker shamed the media for running with a story that really was never there and noted that he was more disappointed than anything else.

“I don\’t have a chip on my shoulder against the Steelers,” Harrison said. “I don\’t hate the Steelers. All the things they\’re saying, that the media is blowing it up to be … am I disappointed? Yeah, I\’m disappointed. But when the negotiations first started, I basically knew the situation was going to be what it was going to be.

“I wish them the best, except for when we play. And I\’m assuming they wish me the same, except when we play them.”

As far as Harrison now being forced to play in the Bengals 4-3, as opposed to the Steelers 3-4, the soon-to-be 35 year-old linebacker said the Cincinnati defense is very similar in alignments and  coverages that he was accustomed to playing in Pittsburgh, but he did note that he expects he\’ll be switching sides more now.

In addition to everything else, Harrison thinks that he is now the healthiest that he has been in several years.

The Steelers won\’t have long to wait to see Harrison in a Bengals No. 92 jersey as the two teams are scheduled to meet in Week 2 on Monday Night Football in Cincinnati.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Pete

    James Harrison. One of my favorite Steelers ever! Good luck with the Bengals and tear it up.

  • Lamarr56

    Expect in week 2 and 15!

  • walter mason

    “the healthiest he has been in several years” that sounds scary. We dont hate you either James. Actually you are also my favorite player since Jack Lambert. Real sorry to see you go. Thanks for being a Steeler. Sad to see you go…. real sad….

  • walter mason

    Dont tear up Ben. Any chance sitting it out week 2 and 15? Try to be easy on our offensive line.

  • SteelSpine

    Who gives a f* whether a guy hates a former team. There’s a draft coming up.

  • hergieburbur

    He’s on a new team, of course he is going to say he is healthy. :)

  • Michael Mazanowski

    James (in real life) is a douche bag! I went to school with a girl who waited tables at a restaurant in Pittsburgh and she said he was a d!@#head when he came in! Best of luck James! Hopefully you eat a bowl of Cincinnati chili before you play the Steelers–poop your pants kind of chili!

  • Michael Mazanowski


  • r4kolb

    Not to sound like a homer but let’s face it last year he was not the same James we all were used to. He is a year older and I, and I think the Steelers, saw him as not worth the money he was going to be paid. He will not play the whole season this year as he will have an injury as he had last year. Plus the Bungles play a 4-3 so he will be out in space a lot. I remember when they let Peasy (Joey Porter) go I thought we would miss him too. I don’t remember him lifting the Dolphins “D” to prominence. I don’t wish him luck, why would I? Maybe if he played for an NFC team I would wish him luck but no way with him on a team in our division.

  • Michael Mazanowski

    I ate at her table for awhile if you know what I mean! Lol!

  • r4kolb

    Correction…I wish him luck 2 games this year….against the Ravens

  • r4kolb

    Did you eat fish?

  • Michael Mazanowski

    Lol! Something similar!

  • r4kolb

    Hope you didn’t have the CRAB!!!!!!

  • Michael Mazanowski

    Imitation crab maybe! I have to go to doc’s to find out!

  • walter mason

    He played very well at the end of the year. He looked healthy to me and he has had the offseason to get even better. But its possible that he wont be coachable in Cincy.

  • Michael Mazanowski

    It’s also possible that us Steelers fans don’t give a sh@#!

  • Michael Mazanowski


  • Christopher Wilkes

    When’s the damn draft-exercise-competition-whatever-thing? There’s 2 days left.

  • Michael Mazanowski

    Lmao! Yeah?! Wilkes happy draftivus!

  • hergieburbur

    I know quite a few people that have gone to school with him, done work for him etc, and they all say the same thing that girl said.

  • Michael Pearce

    Who cares about James Harrison. He’s a Bungle now. His decision.

  • SteelerFanInMD

    I agree. James Harrison is also one of my all time favorites. I hope the last contract that he signs is one that allows him to retire as a Steeler.

  • rizzo29

    If anything hate your agent,He rolled the dice and lost. Good luck 92 loved seeing you coming around that corner getting those strip sacks.Let,s see none of that against the black and gold.

  • Jason Brant

    My friend has done quite a bit of chiropractic work on James and said he was an incredibly nice and humble guy. Sometimes people mistake being quiet with being a dick.

    He was a great Steeler and I hope he has a resurgent year – minus two games.

  • steeltown

    Haha agreed

    Though Im glad to hear him say these kinds of things, instead of talking like Colon did… Colon really irks me with his “big azz chip on my shoulder” comment. Umm hey Colon how about being greatful to a Team that took a chance on you year after year, a Team and FO that helped give you some success not only in the NFL, but in Life with the millions of dollars that they paid you for very little service rendered

  • Pete

    Yeah, I knew a girl who knew a girl who knew a girl who knew a girl too…and that’s how I come to my judgements about people. Nice comment ese.

  • Michael Mazanowski

    How did you come up with this information coming from 4 girls from my story? One girl…..a restaurant….a douche bag! Back at ya on the comment thing Pete!

  • Michael Mazanowski

    She told me she dreaded serving on Thursday nights because Harrison always came in and treated the staff horribly! She is a diehard Steelers fan too–she didn’t say it because she’s a Browns fan! Just saying!!

  • Maurice_hill_district


  • hergieburbur

    A guy my brother works with did some work on his house, and said he was a dick. He would complain about air conditioning the neighborhood and stuff like that when they were bringing materials in, and never offered like a glass of water or anything. Like he was struggling to pay the bills or something.

    Not to take anything away from him, as that being a dick is a big part of what makes him such a great player. Just sayin…

  • hergieburbur

    I also have a friend who played with him at Kent State and said he was a mean SOB in general. Again, something that translates well on the field.

  • hergieburbur

    I’ve heard those stories too, but more often the first hand stories I’ve heard are of overt dickiness. Is that a word?

  • SteelSpine

    Good contrast example, I happen to completely agree with you on that.

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