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Jerome Bettis “disappointed” in James Harrison

Jerome Bettis AP

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 Journaltwisted” 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.

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51 Responses to “Jerome Bettis “disappointed” in James Harrison”
  1. keeponhating says: Jul 13, 2011 8:24 PM

    because james harrison is perfect? he’s a sh!t talkin b!tch. not suprising considering the organization he plays for

  2. eaglesfootballfan says: Jul 13, 2011 8:29 PM

    James harrison is a disgrace to himself and to the NFL. How can he fix his mouth to talk about his teammates the way he did.

  3. eaglesfootballfan says: Jul 13, 2011 8:31 PM

    It’s one thing to talk about your employer ( Roger Goodell) but to talk about your teammates take it to a whole new level.

  4. tdbragg says: Jul 13, 2011 8:39 PM

    Jerome is 100% dead on the money . James Harrison , as good a player as he is stepped way over the line calling out Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall . Bottom line , he should have been a man and aired this to their faces when it happened , not a full season later . You dont throw your team mates under the bus . You keep it in house and take of the problem internally . And as far as calling out Ben about not being Peyton Manning , that wasnt real smart either . Ben has lead this team to three Super Bowls in the last six years and won two of the three . Last time I checked , Peyton has one . Oh and one other thing , James Harrison had a grand total of one tackle in last years Super Bowl . Bottom line , get your facts straight and dont throw stones in glass houses .

  5. smootysmoot says: Jul 13, 2011 8:42 PM

    Harrison is a POS!

  6. drgfri says: Jul 13, 2011 8:50 PM

    Well I am dissapointed in Roethliberger for assaulting Coeds. Harrison broke no laws. He did what he always does, he spoke his mind. He’s a hothead, but no rapist or drunk driver!

  7. Deb says: Jul 13, 2011 8:52 PM

    Sigh … well, I asked for all current, former, and future Steelers to just stop all forms of communication for a while, but at least Jerome said something sensible. Obviously his leadership is missed. Would still prefer they all stopped talking, tweeting, and interviewing for the foreseeable future.

  8. evrybdyhas1 says: Jul 13, 2011 8:52 PM

    Only thing twisted is Harrison’s mind. Mr. Bettis from an era of class. Harrison lost the cl.

  9. hobartbaker says: Jul 13, 2011 8:57 PM

    The Bus says he would have stopped short of running over the guys.

  10. ttommytom says: Jul 13, 2011 9:17 PM

    What twisted words? He was right.

    Mendenhall DOES fumble too much. Big Ben is NOT Peyton and Roger IS an idiot. He was correct about the talking heads too.

    Harrison didn’t tell us anything we all don’t already know.

  11. scott8nj says: Jul 13, 2011 9:18 PM

    I agree with you, Bus!

  12. backuppunter says: Jul 13, 2011 9:23 PM

    ok harrison blame the media fine. that works a time or two but either be a teammate or join the colts.

  13. thetooloftools says: Jul 13, 2011 9:37 PM

    That ticking sound is how much longer this idiot will be a Steelers player.
    He crapped where he ate.

  14. gdeli says: Jul 13, 2011 9:38 PM

    who the hell isn’t! ha

  15. virusgvr says: Jul 13, 2011 9:40 PM

    Let’s give a round of applause to Tdbrag!!!! You sir are right on point!!!!!!

    I would like to piggy-back on his comment by saying I like how Harrison is on the otherwise of the ball at all times, and doesn’t have to worry about the people he talked sh*t about

  16. nickster2k says: Jul 13, 2011 9:40 PM

    If Harrison says he didn’t intend to criticize Roethlisberger, then I would have to give him the benefit of the doubt. It’s not far-fetched to believe that Men’s Journal would twist his words to sell magazines and it’s very difficult these days to trust anyone in the media (like last year when Clay Matthews won DPOY.)

    Plus Harrison hasn’t backtracked in the past after criticizing Goodell or even the President. He’s not afraid of speaking his mind and then reiterating his opinions over and over again.

    It could be a PR move for damage control– but this guy has to have the absolute WORST PR guy in the business– so that can’t be it.

  17. tsizzle55sack says: Jul 13, 2011 9:40 PM

    *** Harrison’s arguably one of the Top5 defensive players in the league. Should he have said what he said? Probably not. Especially about Ben bein’ that he (Harrison) is one of the most respected and feared players in that locker room. It is what it is.

    Harrison, Woodley, Timmons and Troy ARE that Steeler D. Yeah, Hood, Ike, Hampton, Clark, Farrior, Smith are all solid pieces as our the young kids but those 4 are the engine that make it go. James can’t be sayin’ stuff like that that’s actually gonna hurt his team and their morale in the long run.

  18. kane337 says: Jul 13, 2011 9:45 PM

    James Harrison is rock head and an idiot. His comments sure were entertaining and did make me laugh though.

  19. Canyonero says: Jul 13, 2011 9:46 PM

    Where is James Farrior, the captain of the defense??

  20. tsutton84 says: Jul 13, 2011 9:47 PM

    James has great passion and intensity; it’s what makes him great. His comments display his passion, his outspoken intensity, his fervor. Every team needs a sparkplug, like Ray Lewis on the Ravens… And Harrison is right – Ben is NO Peyton Manning. Even though he’s very successful, Ben is a totally different type of QB than Peyton, a sandlot, adapt at the last second QB, instead of Peyton’s more textbook QB play. Two points: For QBs with more than 10 playoff starts, Ben has the 2nd highest win % in history(.769), behind only Bart Starr. Better than Peyton, Brady, Montana, Favre, Unitas… Also, Ben plays behind a crappy line, and has for years. He is NO Peyton, just different, in different circumstances.

    So what it comes down to is, Harrison is right, Ben is no “classic passer” like Peyton, but he’s a winner. Harrison is right, and (probably) was taken out of context.

    Harrison blew it on Rashard’s fumbles, though. Since he entered the NFL in ’08, he’s fumbled 5 times, 98th in the NFL. David Garrard, over the same time period, has fumbled 32 times… Sorry, James…

  21. commandercornpone says: Jul 13, 2011 9:48 PM

    harrison is an illiterate jackass. any interviewer has a hell of a time tracking anything he says.

  22. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Jul 13, 2011 10:18 PM

    How can you not like Jerome Bettis? His assessment hit the bull’s-eye. That said, something tells me the “Men’s Journal” picture of James Harrison posing bare-chested with two of his handguns is not the sort of image the National Football League wants to project. I don’t think I’m being hypocritical in saying that while I’m a handgun owner, I oppose the glamorization of guns.

  23. metalhead65 says: Jul 13, 2011 10:33 PM

    nice going big mouth,I see he did not waste much time tossing out the out of context excuse. just wish his team mates had issued no comments and not try and bail him out with the we talked and everything is cool b.s. real men stand by what they say or produce the evidence that shows you did not say it.

  24. smellmyface says: Jul 13, 2011 10:39 PM

    What a bunch of morons saying hes right because Ben is no Manning. He was saying it as a knock on Ben not to say they are different players. like usual he goes off running his mouth with some retarded stuff and the homers defend him. Remember he is a NFL player that probably didnt get much education since middle school. Not some Einstein that thinks before he speaks.

  25. Canyonero says: Jul 13, 2011 10:39 PM

    RI Pats Fan, would you rather see Peyton Manning shaking his fist howling “Cut that meat! Cut that meat!” Talk about violence!

    J/k I get your point exactly, I’d guess Harrison posed for it as a big “f– u” to Goodell. No one from the league can talk to him now & he’s letting his freak flag fly.

    That said.. don’t like him publicly disrespecting teammates, it’s stupid & selfish. Jerome Bettis is 100% right.

  26. whatthehellisgoingonoutthere says: Jul 13, 2011 10:44 PM

    It’s amazing how much a big contract can give a player the freedom to say whatever the hell he wants. It’s not the first time he’s made a bunch of d-bag comments. If it were, I’d give him a pass.

    Perhaps Jerome should call him and his 1 tackle in the SB out. Yes, 1 tackle. It’s the only stat he put up in the box score. Talk about getting worked over.

  27. pittsportsfan says: Jul 13, 2011 11:28 PM

    drgfri,
    Ben was never found guilty and James Harrison beat his wife. So much for that.

  28. johnnyjagfan says: Jul 13, 2011 11:32 PM

    TommyTom: Mendenhall fumbles two much? Wait, is that too much, you meant to say, or two much, because that’s how many fumbles he had in the regular season. How many fumbles did your favorite RB have?

  29. nfl fan says: Jul 13, 2011 11:37 PM

    Yo James, act like a professional. Take some of that money and learn some life skills, looks like you’ll need it.

    It’s you we no longer respect.

  30. bensux says: Jul 13, 2011 11:54 PM

    you guys are funny…was Harrison out of line…yes…was he wrong in what he said…no

    Listen people, Ben may have 2 SB’s…but what did he do to win those games? One lucky throw in the second one, and the first one he had the worst QB rating for a winning SB QB in NFL history. So this Ben has 2 rings Peyton has 1 ring stuff is dumb. Ben also has had the best D around him in the NFL since he got in the league, remember defense wins Championships. Wake up, Ben hasn’t been, and never will be, a league MVP (like Manning) a SB MVP (like Manning) and a pro bowl MVP (like Manning). Ben will get in the HOF by default for being on a great team…PERIOD. Its funny because ESPN ran an article on the the best QB’s in the league…every QB had MVP’s and their stats listed…not Ben it said he won 2 SB’s and thats it. Case and point.

  31. bensux says: Jul 13, 2011 11:57 PM

    I forgot to mention the point that we all know the Colts would maybe win 4 games all year without Manning, the Steelers went 4-1 without Ben last year, but had a losing record when Troy was out. Case and point again.

  32. bsizemore68 says: Jul 14, 2011 12:24 AM

    He is a cancer to this team, I hope the owner has enough respect for the team and football to cut this fool. The next time he pulls a dirty tackle I hope the commissioner kicks his ass out for the year. If it wasn’t for his money in the bank I think the best job he could get would be flipping burgers, or back in the hood being a punk. Bill

  33. coolzog says: Jul 14, 2011 12:51 AM

    I guess there’s no need to wait for a posthumous examination to know that this guy has some level of brain damage already.

  34. boneyardbuc says: Jul 14, 2011 1:12 AM

    First it was Mendenhall’s 9-11 truther comment.

    Then it was Hines Ward’s DUI.

    Now, James Harrison is putting his whole team and Goodell on blast.

    Somebody should tell the Steelers that you’re supposed to win the Super Bowl to be hung over from it…

  35. monkeyjuice313 says: Jul 14, 2011 1:26 AM

    I’m certain this loud mouthed clown ripped on himself for taking a bunch of stupid personal foul penalties.

    It seems like he is the friend in the group that talks, and talks, and embarasses himself, but being that his friends would rather just role their eyes than just confront him. Especially knowing if they did he 1-wouldn’t change, and 2-make the situation worse. So they just let him make an ass of himself.

  36. lawboy2000 says: Jul 14, 2011 1:28 AM

    Isn’t this so much better than the CBA negotiation drivel?

    Thanks, James!

  37. trickbunny says: Jul 14, 2011 1:40 AM

    Mendenhall has had 5 fumbles in his entire NFL career and Harrison singles him out as having a fumbling problem?

    This neanderthal can’t even throw people under the bus right.

  38. truecowboyfan says: Jul 14, 2011 2:47 AM

    How do words get twisted that bad!!! He’s an a-hole and the Steeler’s need to cut him if their that “Rooney Image” they say they are… You now have the rapist at QB, the drunk at receiver, the terrorist at running back, and the foul mouthed trader racist at linebacker… your team is pathetic!!!

  39. MichaelEdits says: Jul 14, 2011 2:55 AM

    If the Steelers signed Tiki, which of course they’re too intelligent to do, Harrison could talk about his fumbling and keep us all entertained.

  40. drgfri says: Jul 14, 2011 6:20 AM

    @Pittsportsfan

    You must be so proud of your classy hometown team.

  41. imopen7 says: Jul 14, 2011 7:26 AM

    James’ quotes….

    god dell is the devil…correct
    Mendenhall fumbles too much….only in the SB
    Troy is awesome……correct
    Knees are more important than heads… correct

    BigBen is not Manning…correct. Ben has TWO rings.

  42. dbo2020 says: Jul 14, 2011 7:36 AM

    Big Ben doesn’t put up the stats Manning does, so if that’s what Harrison meant, then he’s right on. But Ben also seems to take his game to a higher level at crucial times, which Manning generally doesn’t do. He’s not exactly known as a playoff QB. So, Harrison is actually also right on there too. Big Ben is a winner. He’s no Peyton Manning in that department.

  43. billsfan1 says: Jul 14, 2011 7:38 AM

    its also kind of annoying when former players are critical of current players…at least in this regard…..
    perhaps that stems frm the miami dolphins of 72 still celebrating losses….

  44. dspyank2k11 says: Jul 14, 2011 8:16 AM

    Jerome, you, the NFL, and Harry’s mom are just a few groups and people that are dissappointed.

    This lockout needs to end FAAAAAAST

  45. yzguy431 says: Jul 14, 2011 8:39 AM

    kinda sad that a human of james harrison’s status draws this kind of attention. damn lockout.

  46. fcs34 says: Jul 14, 2011 8:52 AM

    Without the refs Big Ben would have no rings. And you hvae to be on crack if you think he’s a better QB than Manning. Harrison sounds autisitic, has he been tested?

  47. Steeler's Will says: Jul 14, 2011 9:16 AM

    While some of his criticisms are fair, he’s being a major ‘tard by going public with it. He seems like he’s still seething about the SB loss.

    Big Ben: Not so big in the biggest games (Super Bowls) but seems to be just fine getting there. I think he was just as much at fault as Mendy in the SB.

    Mendy: fumbles too much? Well he had 2 last year but one of them was obviously huge. So in that respect, yes Rashaard fumbled too much :D

    James should remember he was manhandled by a scrub O-Line and didn’t play like a beast when it mattered most, so he needs to wear that loss like the rest of us. I’m not looking for a 100 yard TD every time, but don’t make Aaron Rodgers look like (lol) Peyton Manning.

  48. aldashex86 says: Jul 14, 2011 9:23 AM

    “Our analysis of Harrison’s contract is he will be a Pittsburgh Steeler for at least the next three years. Once year four comes around, Harrison will be a 35-year-old linebacker, and the team will have to gauge his level of play at that point versus the increasingly high salary.”

    That is an ESPN quote from 2009 after Harrison got his deal. He has played 2 years under it. I don’t think the Rooney’s would be opposed to cutting bait 1 year earlier than originally planned.

    P.S- @fcs34- how did the refs help the Steelers beat the Cardinals??

  49. ottograham says: Jul 14, 2011 9:38 AM

    First off there is a ridiculous amount of Steeler hatred on these boards and its a little overwhelming. As a Steelers fan, and a football fan in general, it always sucks to see someone put themselves above the game. Unfortunately my city has had to deal with these professional football players causing issues for about the last 2 years. Knowing the Rooneys tendencies to let guys go based on their actions I can see James taking a ticket out of here. Honestly, he is a nightmare in the linebacking core, but hes also a nightmare in the locker room. Pittsburgh has gotten their moneys worth (2 superbowls. lucky if you even get one out of a player) and I believe its time to part ways. Deal him somewhere we will never see or hear from this fool again. Send him out West to ruin his career, i.e. Edgerin James… Guy brings his own silverware to parties for Gods sake (FACT). Talk about walking around with your nose in the air.

  50. gregjennings85 says: Jul 14, 2011 9:39 AM

    Jerome Bettis = Deb

  51. tsutton84 says: Jul 14, 2011 6:52 PM

    @ fcs34 – How’s Seattle this time of year? It’s been 5 years, man. You need to turn off your computer and go outside and play… Even Mike Holmgren has moved on…

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