Ho hum. Another day, another Patriots personnel move that shakes the AFC to its foundation. James Harrison, the most beloved Steelers player of his generation next to say, Troy Polamalu or Hines Ward, gets his release from his Rebel scum and ends up joining the First Order. Another legend, becoming one with the Dark Side of the Force.
I have to admit I did not see this coming. Not because Harrison doesn’t have any football left in him. Even at five months shy of his 40th birthday, I figured he can be a situational pass rusher for somebody. But he just was never a system fit in Bill Belichick’s defense, even in his prime 2008 DPOTY days. Not because of ability, but because of his size. He’s 6-0, maybe. And probably closer to 5-11. They’ve always restricted their defensive ends to that 6-4 and above range (with the rare 6-3 Rob Ninkovich in the mix). But clearly they are making an exception for Harrison.
Why? Partly because of the vicious and painful head games this will play on the Steelers when they inevitably meet in the AFC championship game again. Harrison has found himself on the pointy end of seven losses in nine games against Tom Brady led teams, including two in the playoffs by a combined score of 77-44. And seeing him in a Pats uniform will be a mindfuck of colossal proportions in the Steelers locker room. Also because the Pats are ridiculously thin at DE, with major snaps going to cast offs, rookies and role players like Eric Lee and Deatrich Wise, Jr. So having a veteran in there on passing downs just to be a disruptor is exactly what they need, whether or not the Johnny Bravo suit fits.
But we’ll have to see how it plays out. All I know in the meantime is that James Harrison belongs in New England if for no other reason than he despises Roger Goodell with the heat of a million suns. This was him after getting fined for illegal hits:
“My rep is James Harrison, mean son of a bitch who loves hitting the hell out of people. But up until last year, there was no word of me being dirty – till Roger Goodell, who’s a crook and a puppet, said I was the dirtiest player in the league. If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn’t do it. I hate him and will never respect him.”
And again after being mentioned in the Al Jazeera PED scandal where Peyton Manning got exonerated in about 25 seconds:
“If it leads to the hands of that crook, I mean Roger Goodell, he can do whatever he wants. Whatever evidence they might have or reasoning for questioning for me is out of my control, I don’t know. I wouldn’t have a problem with it being filmed live. I’ve been prosecuted and persecuted publicly in the media by them for something I didn’t do, so I don’t see why we couldn’t have the media there and do a live interview.”
So yeah, I’m glad he’s here. Any man with Harrison’s resume, his grudge against his old team and his venomous, all-consuming hatred for that crook, puppet, crook Roger Goodell belongs in a silver helmet hoisting a LomBrady trophy. And now the the Patriots have the oldest offensive player and the oldest defensive player in pro football. It’s a great time to be Old Balls.