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Tomlin sets emotions aside ahead of Harrison reunion

James Harrison AP

Cutting James Harrison this offseason was as clear an example as any of the cold business of the NFL.

And while fans might zoom in for Harrison’s first game against his old team as a member of the Bengals, his old coach has tried to take the emotion out of it.

“To be honest, when I step into the stadium they’re nameless gray faces to me once we get started. That’s just part of today’s NFL. There’s movement in this business and just about every week you’re running across a guy you’ve had a professional and personal experience with in the past,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, via Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “James is a special guy who did special things here, but from that standpoint you’ve got to move on.”

That’s not to say Tomlin doesn’t have a high degree of respect for his former outside linebacker/grouch. When a remark to Cincinnati reporters than Harrison wasn’t the most social person was met with laughter, Tomlin concurred.

“I see you guys know James,” he said. “If you do know James, you appreciate that about him. It’s less about what he says and more about what he does.

“That guy’s a hardcore professional the way he works. He provided a great example of that for young guys around here.”

One of those young guys he didn’t get a chance to mentor, Jarvis Jones, could break into the starting lineup this week. And if he does, Jones will be the latest in a long line of Steelers outside linebackers to replace longtime starters once they became old and expensive. And as Tomlin’s attitude reflects, it will likely happen to Jones someday too.

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27 Responses to “Tomlin sets emotions aside ahead of Harrison reunion”
  1. crownofthehelmet says: Sep 12, 2013 9:39 AM

    It’s obvious Tomlin respects him, and feels bad he had to go from the Steelers to the Bengals. Doesn’t everyone pretty much feel bad for him about that?

  2. realskipbayless says: Sep 12, 2013 9:55 AM

    The only ones that are gonna be feelin bad is those Steelers when they’re 0-2

  3. steelbydesign says: Sep 12, 2013 10:04 AM

    People can play the disrespect card for James, and he’ll probably tell himself that too.

    But the fact is the Steelers offered James significantly more money than the Bengals are paying him. He gambled on himself and lost.

    James was due 6 mil this season in Pittsburgh. They wanted him to take 4 mil, he said no, so they cut him. The Bengals are paying him 4.5 over two seasons.

  4. enoughofthatalready says: Sep 12, 2013 11:08 AM

    Harrison is going to have a field day with the Steelers o-line. For years, opposing teams got away with hooking Harrison around the neck and holding him constantly in order to slow him down. That is why he had so many back and neck injuries. The Steelers o-line will not be allowed to get away with it.

  5. sellout1983 says: Sep 12, 2013 11:27 AM

    Wonder if Steeler fans will cry foul if Harrison puts a hit on Ben like the one he had on Colt McCoy.

  6. stoogy says: Sep 12, 2013 11:41 AM

    What quarter are they going to be taking Ben out on a stretcher? I say by the end of the first drive he will be limping around. Thats if they can get a first down once.

  7. jmblosser82 says: Sep 12, 2013 12:00 PM

    The hit on McCoy was just, he passed the ball and James had no time to react, those hits on defenseless receivers were justifiable with the fine.

  8. thinkarez says: Sep 12, 2013 12:06 PM

    who dey! Bengals by 20!

  9. t8ertot says: Sep 12, 2013 12:20 PM

    “It’s obvious Tomlin respects him, and feels bad he had to go from the Steelers to the Bengals. Doesn’t everyone pretty much feel bad for him about that?”

    I think Bengal fans might feel bad that James will hurt Ben on Monday…nah maybe not

  10. Joemontanaflacco says: Sep 12, 2013 12:57 PM

    Of course, Tomlin is putting his emotions aside. He knows Harrison is going to destroy the Steelers for the shoddy way he was treated. The man came back to accept a humiliating pay cut and the door went SLAM! Nice team.

  11. bobzilla1001 says: Sep 12, 2013 1:10 PM

    steelbydesign:
    The fact is, Harrison was already under contract, a contract the Steelers refused to honor. The Steelers demanded he take a cut in pay, and he declined…
    If I were running an operation that was strapped for cash, I’d probably go to the highest paid employee and demand that that person take a pay cut. Roethlisberger will be paid $13 million this season.
    And I can guarantee when the losses pile up, the Steelers’ high-paid employee will be the first to bail, sidelined with some sort of odd and unusual debilitating “injury.”

  12. koenig61 says: Sep 12, 2013 1:40 PM

    Stop BAshing Ben BOBZILLA, its getting old. HArrison was cut loose just like every other player before him. It happens with every team. NFL contracts are not guaranteed money. The team has done quite wll with how they handle their players. Remeber, even Franco was let go. Along with Greg Loyd, Kevin Greene, Joey Porter etc. The Steelers let go of you when you only have 1-2 years left, and build from within, and via the draft.

  13. Deb says: Sep 12, 2013 2:16 PM

    “That guy’s a hardcore professional the way he works. He provided a great example of that for young guys around here.”

    Given the almost complete lack of leadership on the current team, that alone should have been reason to keep James. And contrary to what some are posting here, bobzilla is right. James was under contract when he was asked to take a significant paycut. Most of us would balk at that. He tested the free-agent waters, then came back ready to work with the Steelers and they refused to to business with him. Yes, the team has to cut players when they can no longer do the job. James has not reached that point.

  14. Steeley McBeam says: Sep 12, 2013 2:34 PM

    Funny the people crucifying Harrisons play as a Steeler are the same people celebrating the way he plays and defending his “cheap shots” now.

  15. enoughofthatalready says: Sep 12, 2013 3:36 PM

    Given the almost complete lack of leadership on the current team, that alone should have been reason to keep James.
    -
    Harrison was not a true leader for the Steelers. The guy liked to be by himself in the lockerroom and did his own thing.

  16. enoughofthatalready says: Sep 12, 2013 3:38 PM

    Funny the people crucifying Harrisons play as a Steeler are the same people celebrating the way he plays and defending his “cheap shots” now.
    -
    Amen to that.

  17. Nofoolnodrool says: Sep 12, 2013 4:11 PM

    Joemontanaflacco | Sep 12, 2013, 12:57 PM EDT
    Of course, Tomlin is putting his emotions aside. He knows Harrison is going to destroy the Steelers for the shoddy way he was treated. The man came back to accept a humiliating pay cut and the door went SLAM! Nice team.

    Hey Einstein does the name bolden ring a bell to you skippy? Nice team.

    What’s the over/under on your hiding time after the next loss….also just the over on how many name changes you’ll try after the next loss..

  18. Deb says: Sep 12, 2013 5:21 PM

    enoughofthatalready says:

    Harrison was not a true leader for the Steelers. The guy liked to be by himself in the lockerroom and did his own thing.
    ————————————————-

    You’re right that he wasn’t a vocal leader in the same sense Hines was. But he provided a great example of dedication to the physical and mental side of preparing for each game.

  19. bobzilla1001 says: Sep 12, 2013 6:03 PM

    Koenig:
    There’s a difference between “bashing” and “being objective.” I truly don’t believe I’m hurting SuperBen’s feelings in the least with my objective criticisms, just as I’m sure your hero worshiping is making him an “elite” quarterback.
    I don’t think for a second that it would hurt Roethlisberger to part with a million or two for the good of the TEAM…

  20. koenig61 says: Sep 12, 2013 7:13 PM

    Bobzilla: I’m not even a steelers fan, I just live in a area where they play all the steeler games. I don’t worship any athlete period. To me it’s just entertainment, as are any celebrities from musicians to actors. I’m old enough to have watched the steelers since before the 70′s, and to my recollection they have always cut players loose a year or two before they are washed up, so the Harrison cut was no different. As for Harrison being under contract, every player in the NFL is under contract, and the only GUARANTEED money is the signing bonus. Every NFL player knows they can be cut loose at any moment. That’s what makes it so hard on football players, they know just signing a big contract means nothing. They are one injury away from being cut. I haven’t heard any people I work with or know who are steeler fans that are bashing James. In fact they all wish he still played here, but they know its a business. You say you are objective but you use terms like SuperBen and putting “elite” in quotes. You aren’t objective at all. Almost every post you make will usually include a dig at Ben. I won’t even mention the team I’m a fan of as they haven’t ever been relevant and always suck. Pretty sure you can guess who. But I work and live in the burg. I don’t worship anyone except my mother and father and The Lord. But to tell me you are objective? I don’t think so. No doubt you are a die hard fan, and you know your football, but for whatever reason you dislike Ben. I’m cool with that. But don’t pretend you’re objective about him.

  21. Joemontanaflacco says: Sep 12, 2013 7:38 PM

    Once Roethlisbooger gets sacked 7-8 times on Monday, the Steeler FO will have a meeting to condemn their horrendous treatment of Harrison. The new rule will be to trade players like the Ravens did with Boldin. Don’t make them take humiliating pay cuts and then slam the door in their face! It’s a wonder these rookies even sign with the Steelers after seeing how they treated a distinguished veteran.

  22. koenig61 says: Sep 12, 2013 8:05 PM

    JMF. OMG. Really?!? You posted that with a straight face? I can’t count how many times last year and the year before you bashed Harrison as a dirty player and today you call him distinguished veteran?!? It’s like others have said: the very same people who are praising Harrison today are the same ones who bashed him when he was a steeler. You would think I’d be used to the hypocrisy posted here, but your post really made me laugh

  23. Joemontanaflacco says: Sep 12, 2013 8:45 PM

    Ok. He’s a dirty but distinguished veteran.

  24. crownofthehelmet says: Sep 12, 2013 9:01 PM

    koenig61, you must be new here – jmf has an amazing gift of masking hypocrisy and double-talk. Also, his selective memory is legendary.

  25. blackngold4life says: Sep 12, 2013 10:03 PM

    like I said years ago..any team would love to have James..at the Right price..Now Bungals fans sing his praises all of a sudden..

  26. jtbsteeler says: Sep 13, 2013 9:49 AM

    Big Ben 11-1 in Cincinnati

  27. tiggerblood says: Sep 13, 2013 6:49 PM

    Yeah the steelers are building from “within” real well these days. When was the last time they even had a good draft? I finally thought they had a decent one this year, but their top 2 picks are in the trainers room more than on the field. The Steelers O-line was horrendous before the Pouncey injury now it’s just a train wreck, good luck Ben.

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