James Harrison wouldn’t have stayed in Pittsburgh if he knew he’d be a bench warmer

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Veteran linebacker James Harrison has barely played for the Steelers this season, getting on the field for just 29 snaps. He’s not happy about that.

Harrison told Michele Tafoya of NBC that if he had known he wasn’t going to play much this season, he would not have signed with the Steelers.

The 39-year-old Harrison signed a two-year contract with the Steelers in March, but he now says he would have signed with another team if he had realized how little he was going to get on the field in Pittsburgh this season.

“Oh, yeah,” Harrison told Tafoya. “Who wants to not play?”

It remains to be seen whether Harrison plays beyond this season. But those comments suggest that if he does keep playing, he may want to try to find a team that will put him on the field more than the Steelers have.

58 responses to “James Harrison wouldn’t have stayed in Pittsburgh if he knew he’d be a bench warmer

  1. Tomlin supposedly a players coach and uses that to his advantage to say one thing in April and then sing a different tune when September hits. He sticks other guys and coaches (Lebeau) in the back like this.

    Also, probably there was concern he’d be going to a rival if they didn’t keep him.

  2. he tried that once when he left for a year in Cinci and we see how that worked out for him….

  3. There are no guarantees even if he goes to another team. Todays’s NFL teams are always looking to bench over 30 veterans (except Brady). It is wrong wrong wrong. But they are trying to get the new replacements up and trained while sitting the experienced talent often times. He was crucial to their wins last year.

  4. Todays’s NFL teams are always looking to bench over 30 veterans (except Brady). It is wrong wrong wrong.
    —-

    No front office/coaching staff in the NFL cares about age at all. All that matters is performance and the salary cap. And not being Kaepernick. Otherwise, if you can perform and they can afford it you’re on the field. That’s why felons get second chances.

  5. In defense of Harrison for his time on Cincinnati he flat out did not fit the scheme…he was brought in more as a stable pony to show younger guys how and what a pro does. That being said I’m not sure how much that worked for Cincy because they have quite a few knuckleheads in the clubhouse

  6. Steelers have the 4th ranked defense in the NFL and are very close to being 2nd ranked. They are young and fast and it is working. Harrison will likely see more playing time as we get closer to the playoffs as I suspect they were saving him just like the Raiders with Lynch.

  7. Better headline: Pittsburgh Steelers wouldn’t have re-signed Harrison if they knew he’d be a bench warmer.

  8. Not a good week to complain about playing time when one of your teammates (a LB’r, no less) had a life altering moment.

    Really selfish and stupid.

    The high road is such a better road to take. You’d be amazed how well it works.

  9. Hey Thrifty – why you bringing Shazier into this? While hoping he gets back his health that injury was self inflicted…dude needs to keep his head up when he tackles.

  10. piratefreedom says:
    December 9, 2017 at 6:08 pm
    Keeping his old legs fresh for New England. Tomlin knows those are the only games that matter.

    1 2 Rate This

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    lol! you best hope he doesn’t play vs the pats

    they will drop 30 if hea doesn’t play. if he plays, it’s 40

  11. One For The Thumb says:
    December 9, 2017 at 4:32 pm
    He’s worth more to the Steelers than he is any other team due to his extensive knowledge of their scheme. I doubt he’d have any other takers in FA.

    15 5 Rate This

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    oh, yes, such a complex “scheme”

    3-4 zone blitz over and over and over

    ooooohhhh..scary!

  12. Old man still dominates Eric Fisher when ever he plays against the chiefs. But he should look on the bright side, according to his workout videos, he’s the strongest 65 year old in football.

  13. If he gets more playing time in December/January he will change his tune.

    Dude once upon a time was a bench warmer and only kept around because he was a pretty decent special teams player, 12 years ago no one would have thought he would have had the career he ended up happening.

    Plus he retired a couple years ago after that weird year he was a bengal.

  14. It is strange that he hasn’t played more, considering that he looked good in his most recent appearance. I do think the fact that Shazier is out should create more chances, so his comments seem curiously timed.

  15. baronvonheil says:
    December 9, 2017 at 2:58 pm
    Honestly, time has come with Shazier out. Play a hybrid 4-3 with Williams at MLBer, using Harrison as a DE.
    —————————

    Completely change your defensive scheme 3/4 of the way through the season in order to get a middle aged WILL backer to play out of position at DE.

    Yeah…..

  16. JustBlameTrumpOrRussia says:
    December 9, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Patriots defense could really use him. They are historically bad.
    __________________________________

    It’s sad when you just mail it in chip

  17. stampnhawk says:

    Tomlin supposedly a players coach and uses that to his advantage to say one thing in April and then sing a different tune when September hits. He sticks other guys and coaches (Lebeau) in the back like this.

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    Ridiculous, childish comment. I love Dick LeBeau and will always love him. But he is 80 years old, and he was declining in Pittsburgh. It was Kevin Butler’s time. At some point, LeBeau was going to retire, and if the Steelers didn’t give Butler the chance for which he had waited patiently for years, they would have lost him. The Steelers defense is back at the top of the league, and LeBeau has found new energy with the Titans. It was a win all the way around. I love Harrison and will always love him, but he is a 39-year-old linebacker. If he were needed on the field, I guarantee, he’d be on the field. No one is getting stabbed in the back here. This is a professional sport. When Brady stops producing, if he doesn’t walk away voluntarily, he’ll lose his job just like everyone else. Tomlin’s stats as a head coach speak for themselves. I’m not going to speculate about why he gets so much hate on these boards. Don’t have to.

  18. You’re all missing the point. If he was told his role on the team was going to be a play or two a game he goes somewhere else and gets a better opportunity to play. Starting on a bad team is better than sitting the bench on a good team. Especially when you’re a vet.

  19. He was brought into cincy to show the younger players how the stealers take cheap shots and get away with it. The only thing he couldn’t bring with him is the rooneys ability to pay the refs off to buy them the game.

  20. Grandpa Jimmy is getting cranky! 🙂

    I don’t think the NFL lets Grandpa Jimmy bring his cane on the field that’s why he’s not playing!

    🙂

  21. Father Time doesn’t play favorites. Otherwise, Franco Harris would still be playing.
    C’mon James. It’s about time for you to start hanging out with Mel Blount and Andy Russell and the boys. You’re one of the Steelers’ all-time greats! The Steelers probably care about their players more than any other team. They’re 10-2, so the priority is still winning.

  22. He hasn’t been worth a damn since he had back surgery a few years ago, before he left the first time. He needs to sit on the bench, be quiet, & be happy that ANYONE is still willing to pay him. For all the Steelers fans that get upset by this, take off the homer glasses, be honest with yourself, & admit that he isn’t the same James Harrison from around 2008, nor will he be.

  23. I always got the impression that Tomlin didn’t like James very much. That being said, Tomlin, being one of the worst H/C’s in the league, pretty much relies on his assistants for decisions made regarding personnel, game planning, and most critical aspects of running the team. I would tend to think that the D/C has a lot more to say about who’s on the field and who’s riding the pine. Tomlin is little more than a cheerleader, as Bradshaw would say.

  24. itzmeagainbro says:
    December 9, 2017 at 10:33 pm
    Guyer roids like Rob Ninkovich was suspended for?O well,can’t blame him.

    7 13 Rate This

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    right, but nink trying to extend his career in his last year and being
    punished is a far cry from peyton manning and harrison, etc, getting
    away with using the undetectable source of peds.

    get it?

    goodell covered for the protected ones to help those teams (denver, pitt and gb) cheat.

    you seem to have a comprehension problem

  25. JustBlameTrumpOrRussia says:
    December 9, 2017 at 7:29 pm
    Patriots defense could really use him. They are historically bad.

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    Really? Over the past 10 games they are averaging fewer than 15 points per game….

  26. I think it is time for the Steelers coaching staff to earn their money by doing something creative like starting Harrison at OLB and trying Watt at inside Line Backer in place of Shazier / Spence. Getting them both (Watt & Harrison) on the field at the same time w/o disrupting Dupree seems like the thing to try. Spence simply does not have the speed to get to the edge anywhere quickly enough and Brady / Belichick will exploit that all day and all night – just like Baltimore did. Besides the Steelers corners are VERY WEAK (AWFUl to be exact) and the Steelers need to get some real pressure on Brady or he will eat their lunch.

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