Cincinnati Bengals linebacker James Harrison, who was released by the Pittsburgh Steelers back in early March after failing to agree to a reduction in salary, held his introductory press conference with the Cincinnati media on Tuesday and admitted during it that he is motivated to play his former team this season.
“I understand it’s a business, so it’s not like I can really take it personally,” said Harrison, when asked about his motivation following his offseason dismissal from the Steelers. “But to say that it doesn’t motivate me in some sense would be a lie.”
While Harrison might be motivated to show the Steelers that he still has a lot left in his tank at 35 years of age, he still has a ton of respect for Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.
“I credit Dick LeBeau with everything that I do,” said Harrison, when asked about the Steelers long-time defensive guru. “Without him, I’m not up here. He has great knowledge of the game, and the understanding of how to draw up the way defenses are built to make his linebackers successful.”
Harrison was asked at one point about how important his body is to him as far as how much time and effort that he puts into it.
“My body is what helps me to make money, said Harrison. “Whatever there is that I need to do to try and make myself better or get myself healthy, I’m going to do it. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to say that I spend anywhere between $400,000-$600,000 on body work, as far as taking care of my body, year-in and year-out.”
Of course by throwing numbers out there like that it resulted in the former Defensive Player of the Year being asked what that affords him.
“As far as training, I have a hyperbaric chamber,” replied Harrison. “I rent a hyperbaric chamber when I’m in Arizona. I have massages and I bring people in from New York, Arizona to where I’m at. There’s that cost. Like I said, I get body work almost every single day except Saturday and Sunday. I have a homeopathic doctor and I do a lot of homeopathic things. It’s just a lot, supplements, so on and so forth.”
Harrison was asked to further talk on the homeopathic subject by the media and he obliged them.
“I didn’t know what a massage was,” started Harrison. “I take it back. I was getting a lot of massages. I was going to the chiropractor, too. You know, it’s everything. I started off with just one massage person and my chiropractor. Getting massages from different people, probably tried out maybe 150 different massage people. Right now I’m down to, maybe, I believe it’s five … actually I believe six. I have six people that I directly see.”
Harrison would go on to say that he hasn\’t felt this good since the beginning of 2009, but that he\’s still not able to do certain things.
“I’m able to train a lot harder than I have been over the last two, three offseasons,” said Harrison. “I’m able to do a lot of more weight. I’m able to just do a lot more things that my body physically couldn’t do because of injury, or whatever it may be.”
Harrison will get a chance to show his former team what they gave up on early on in the 2013 season as the Bengals will host the Steelers in Week 2 on Monday Night Football.