Former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis has weighed in on Steelers linebacker James Harrison’s inflammatory magazine interview, saying that Harrison needs to be a better teammate.
Harrison told Men’s Journal that Ben Roethlisberger is no Peyton Manning, and that Rashard Mendenhall fumbles too much. Bettis says the last thing the Steelers need is for defensive players to call out the offense.
“It’s disappointing to hear some of the comments he made about his teammates because this is a team game,” Bettis said in comments aired on NFL Network. “It’s not an offense against defense type situation. It’s a team and you’ve got to go out there and compete as a team.”
Bettis, who played with Harrison from 2002 to 2005, says that he wishes Harrison would have talked to Roethlisberger and Mendenhall privately if he had something to say about them.
“If there are some issues and some uncomfortable feelings, I think that’s when you air it internally,” Bettis said. “I don’t think it’s something you bring it out in the setting, in the format that he did. So I was a little disappointed in that.”
For his part, Harrison claims Men’s Journal “twisted” what he said. We’ll be curious to hear Harrison put into context exactly what he meant when he made his comments about Roethlisberger and Mendenhall. And we’ll be interested to see whether Men’s Journal releases a recording of Harrison’s comments so we can all judge whether his words were twisted.