James Harrison notches two sacks in New England debut

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On a day when the Steelers played plenty of backups, a former Steelers backup made an impact in his new city.

Linebacker James Harrison, only five days after joining the Patriots, notched a pair of sacks in his debut.

“I was just rushing outside,” Harrison said as to the first sack, via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. “It’s the last couple plays of the game, so you know they’re going to pass, so I had a good get-off and was able to get around the corner.”

Harrison admits that the second sack — which came on the next play — was the result of being in the right place at the right time.

“They caught me and I was able to convert back underneath the guard and the quarterback was scrambling out towards me, so luck,” Harrison said.

It was good luck for the Patriots that Harrison was available, and it may be bad luck for the Steelers if a rested Harrison (thanks to his underuse in Pittsburgh) is ready to have the same kind of impact on the 2017 postseason that he had for the Steelers a year ago, when he had 2.5 sacks in three games and drew the holding penalty that wiped out what would have been a game-tying two-point conversion against the Chiefs.

41 responses to “James Harrison notches two sacks in New England debut

  1. Regardless of how this all plays out the bottom line is the Patriots need someone to set the edge. Harrison is a upgrade over Marsh and with Hightower out it’s a bad situation. Furthermore we let Long , Sheard , Mingo ( spot fill) and Rivers got hurt, coupled with Ninkovich retiring has put us in a bind since camp. Wise Jr is a rookie and is playing well but how much can you depend on him. Early didn’t work out either!!! You get my point!!! Go Pats!!!

  2. The two sacks were fun for a stat, but really it was his contributions over the game that mattered. He stopped what came his way. Did some effective pass coverage (I wasnt expecting that either) and had the Jets going away from him. He was effective in the role they neded him in. In Patriots terms…he did his job.

  3. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Steelers set a team record with 56 sacks….and also led the league in that department. Harrison has one of those and they did beat the record by one so he has his hands in the pile.

  4. I thought he played pretty well, nice bend around the edge. He’s a little slow in space but Belichick will put him in position to succeed.

  5. Welcome to New England!

    If he can keep up this sort of contribution it will shore up the D and make a big difference. A big if I admit as the Pats play the tougher playoff teams but its certainly a good start

  6. I never like to see someone get trashed after they leave any organization. What the Steelers organization and players did to Harrison was low class. They cut him on Christmas and then his budies shanked him. Why? Because he didn’t want to end his career riding the bench? The Steelers signed him under false pretenses.

    Belichick gets trashed for not paying big contracts, for letting star players go and not letting them finish in NE. In reality, there were very few bad blood situations like Seymours and even he got to go to a team that was willing to pay him top dollar and even he was welcomed back upon retirement.

    Something tells me Brady’s last years are going to attrack other star veterans that are willing to sign for short money to play in meaningful games for a coach who can play to their strengths.

    .

  7. .
    People have been focused on the James Bond aspect of the Harrison signing instead of what’s right in front of their noses. The fact is that the Patriots are currently wafer thin at LB. Plus, even at full strength their pass rush has been pedestrian at best. They had to sign someone and Harrison was the best available body.
    .
    .

  8. Veterans that come into the Pats and start slow usually don’t make it here. Good to see JH get off to a good start. Go Pats.

  9. The problem with Harrison is that he is only really useful in the situations as described in the article. If you can let him rush the passer with no regard to anything else, he is still way above average. If you ask him to do basically anything else he is below average and more or less useless in pass coverage. With the way the Steelers are set up, they didn’t need that. It seems like the Pats do.

  10. tigerlilac and 6ball have it exactly right. Management and most players understand that this is how the NFL works. It’s only a few immature players and fans who get all worked up about it and have to trash guys who go to other teams.

    Unfortunately, there are also some in sports media who like to stir up animosity between teams’ fans and spin conspiracy theories. Just remember, this is all for clicks and eyeballs. It isn’t real. You can love your team and not hate your rival teams and fans. In fact, it’s a lot more fun to be a football fan if you respect good players, whatever team they play on, and don’t get suckered into that hater mentality.

  11. People have been focused on the James Bond aspect of the Harrison signing instead of what’s right in front of their noses. The fact is that the Patriots are currently wafer thin at LB. Plus, even at full strength their pass rush has been pedestrian at best. They had to sign someone and Harrison was the best available body.
    ————————————————-
    I totally agree with this post, however…

    Am I the only Pats fan that isn’t thrilled about having this woman-beating, Brady Bashing, HGH monster on the team?

    I realize that we need help at getting to the QB….badly…but why is everyone acting like Harrison is such a great guy? Why are we sticking up for him against his old team mates?

    Bill sure doesn’t care what I think, (and for damned good reason), but I wouldn’t shed a tear if Harrison decided to call it a career today.

    The Patriots are scrappy enough, experienced enough, and will hopefully be a lot healthier… to win this Superbowl without Harrison.

    I hope he gets cut today.

    …and Dorsett too. Once a Colt…

  12. Steelers did no wrong by releasing Harrison. Did anyone pay attention to the fact that he was missing meetings, leaving the stadium when he found out he was deactivated, was a problem in the lockerroom and wanted to be released. If Belichick had a guy like this, he would have traded him to the Browns. Don’t think for one second that he was wronged by being released. He already stood by himself during yesterday’s anthem. Buyer beware.

  13. nflrulebook says:
    January 1, 2018 at 8:14 am
    I just hope little Ben doesn’t choke next week from fear of what’s to come in Foxborough.

    Pats 34 Steelers 6

    You assume that the Pats won’t choke in their first game like they did against the Jets several years ago. The Chiefs already won in Foxboro and the Bills are a true “wildcard”.

  14. It actually does not drive the Stillers fans crazy because he did it before.

    Refusing to take a pay cut, he asked for and got his release and signed with a division rival. the Bengals, who the Steelers were guaranteed to play twice. He was going to mentor Burfict. How’d that work out. He was there a year and had no impact on the two division games.

    The Steelers did lead the NFL in sacks this year and set a team record with 56.

    James had ONE of those sacks.

  15. enoughofthatalready says:
    January 1, 2018 at 10:32 am

    You assume that the Pats won’t choke in their first game like they did against the Jets several years ago. The Chiefs already won in Foxboro and the Bills are a true “wildcard”.
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    Of course NE could lose in the first round, but it’s much more likely that the Steelers do since they are likely to play Jacksonville who literally flattened them last time.

  16. “They got busted for it (cheating) later, but hey, they’re Goodell’s boys, so he slapped ‘em $500,000 and burned the tapes. Was he going to rescind their Super Bowls? Man, hell no!”

    -James Harrison

  17. The Steelers is overflowing with talent that they get rid of JH. The Patriots on the other hand is hobbled with injuries yet the Patriots beat the Steelers. JH surely will help and improve the Patriots’ situation and that makes the Steelers players and fans chagrined, understandably so.

  18. More than just the sacks… he was driving the OL backwards.
    Starting to look like… dare I say it.. a TREMENDOUS pickup for the defending World Champions!

    🙂

  19. crownofthehelmet says:
    January 1, 2018 at 12:00 pm
    “They got busted for it (cheating) later, but hey, they’re Goodell’s boys, so he slapped ‘em $500,000 and burned the tapes. Was he going to rescind their Super Bowls? Man, hell no!”

    Remember when you said the Patriots wouldn’t be any good this year

  20. crownofthehelmet says:
    January 1, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    “They got busted for it (cheating) later, but hey, they’re Goodell’s boys, so he slapped ‘em $500,000 and burned the tapes. Was he going to rescind their Super Bowls? Man, hell no!”

    -James Harrison
    —————————————————————————————
    Surrounded by whiners and excuse makers in Pittsburgh, JH fell into line.

    On the league’s premiere franchise, he looked pretty good yesterday. But we’ll see what happens. If he does end up in a match up vs the Steelers down the road, I think we’ll see where his loyalty is as he drives Ben into the cold, hard Foxborough turf.

  21. crownofthehelmet says:
    January 1, 2018 at 12:00 pm
    “They got busted for it (cheating) later, but hey, they’re Goodell’s boys, so he slapped ‘em $500,000 and burned the tapes. Was he going to rescind their Super Bowls? Man, hell no!”

    -James Harrison

    ——————-
    Sure he said that. And a lot of Patriots fans didnt appreciate it and still dont. Plus a lot of other reasons not to like the guy. But no one in NE is looking to for a buddy, there is a job that needs doing and he looks like he can do it so thats that. None of this is personal for NE. Thats a big difference between how things work in Steelers nation vs how they work in Patriots nation.

  22. Flash1287 says:
    Remember when you said the Patriots wouldn’t be any good this year
    ———————-
    Never once have I said that. Just that they’re not as good as the Steelers, or Jax and KC for that matter.

  23. Seems like I touched a nerve talking about a player not good enough to see our field, but needing to play a significant role on your squad.

  24. crownofthehelmet says:
    January 1, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Seems like I touched a nerve talking about a player not good enough to see our field, but needing to play a significant role on your squad.
    ————————————————————————————————————–
    Patriots fans aren’t convinced that Harrison wasn’t good enough to see the field in Pittsburgh – we think it is more likely that Tomlin mismanaged the situation, played the wrong guys, sent a valuable asset packing and will now get payback in the most embarrassing way possible when Harrison plays a role in ending another Steeler season.

  25. rownofthehelmet says:
    January 1, 2018 at 6:10 pm
    Flash1287 says:
    Remember when you said the Patriots wouldn’t be any good this year
    ———————-
    Never once have I said that. Just that they’re not as good as the Steelers, or Jax and KC for that matter.

    Oh little guy.. you will see yet AGAIN how the Patriots are better than all of the above. Especially when they beat your Steelers for the 4th time in a AFCCG.

  26. Harrison was a good gain. He’s got a wealth of experience. That alone can make up for the loss of speed. Can’t wait to see JH on the field against his former team…that will be must see tv!

  27. crownofthehelmet says:
    January 1, 2018 at 6:10 pm
    Flash1287 says:
    Remember when you said the Patriots wouldn’t be any good this year
    ———————-
    Never once have I said that. Just that they’re not as good as the Steelers, or Jax and KC for that matter.

    —————————
    Yeah, if you dont count end results.

  28. if he recognizes that he’s now on the ultimate football TEAM instead of a me-first outfit and that winning the game is all that counts, belichick will find a role for him.

  29. Can James Harrison help the Patriots win?… YES! Everything else is just noise.

    I don’t think the Steelers made a mistake cutting him. He wasn’t playing… and lost his starting job, he thinks he still has a lot of game left. I honestly don’t think this move will have any real bearing on the outcome of the AFC playoffs.

  30. Another great move by Mike Dumb-lin. How smart was releasing JH. Just like he let Blount go for nothing. I think it’s common knowledge that the Pats needed help defensively, so what does Dumb-lin do? Help them out again!!! This so called coach is too much!!

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