It didn’t take a long look at James Harrison’s free agent visits to know he wanted to stick it to the Steelers after he turned down a pay cut and was released this offseason.
But after meeting the Ravens and settling with the Bengals, Harrison admitted there is a motivation against his new rivals in the AFC North.
“I understand it’s a business, so it’s not like I can take it personally,” Harrison said in his first interview with Cincinnati reporters, via Geoff Hobson of the team’s official website. “But to say that it doesn’t motivate me in some sense it would be a lie.”
That kind of edge has already been made evident to his new teammates, who think Harrison can add the kind of attitude they need.
“He gives you that swagger and that seal,” cornerback Adam Jones said. “When you mail out the letter you have to make sure you put a stamp on it. Well, he’s the stamp.”
The Bengals were already good, but definitely needed something to make the next push. Much like the Texans signing Ed Reed, Harrison’s biggest contribution may well be intangible.
And it sounds like it’s already working.