Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison made his preseason debut Thursday night with the Cincinnati Bengals as they took on the Atlanta Falcons and he talked to Lisa Salters of ESPN on the sideline about his reaction to no longer being with the team he played 11 seasons for.
“I kind of knew it was going to happen from the beginning of the talks because of how the talks were going,” said Harrison. “I really didn\’t think anything would get accomplished as far as something that I would be comfortable with and that they would be comfortable with. I didn\’t think there would be an agreement made and it wasn\’t. That\’s kind of something I knew from the beginning that was going to happen.”
The Bengals will of course play the Steelers twice in 2013 with the first meeting taking place in Cincinnati on Monday Night Football. Harrison was asked if he will have any extra motivation when he faces his former team.
“No, like I said, I\’m thankful and grateful for everything the Rooney\’s have done for me and the Steeler organization, my former teammates, but right now I\’m here,” he said. I\’m getting paid to play and this is where I\’m going to do the same thing for the Bengals that I did for the Steelers.”
Harrison, who now plays the SAM linebacker position with the Bengals, only played a few series in his debut with the Bengals and was credited with one tackle for no gain on the Falcons opening offensive possession of the game.
The Steelers cut ties with Harrison prior to the start of free agency when the two sides couldn\’t come to an agreement on a cut to his base salary.
If you have HBO, you can catch plenty of Harrison over the next few weeks on the NFL documentary Hard Knocks as the former Steelers linebacker appears to be a main character this season.