The Steelers - James Harrison Divorce Just Keeps Getting Uglier

James Harrison lifting

ESPN“If you didn’t want to be here, come out and say it,” [Maurkice] Pouncey said. “Don’t make it look like it’s the team’s fault. … You think the team and the organization wanted to get rid of James Harrison? Come on, now. If I wanted out, I wouldn’t let the team take the blame for it.”

Added linebacker Bud Dupree: “I don’t want the media to portray that we’re the reason he left. That ain’t the reason. He chose to leave. He made certain decisions, and his actions got him to this circumstance.”

Players witnessed Harrison sleeping in a recliner during position meetings and snoring loudly while outside linebackers coach Joey Porter tried to teach, the source said. Sometimes, Harrison would skip meetings altogether, and when he missed practices for various injuries, player suspicions would rise when Harrison conducted his famous power-lifting sessions the same week or day, the source said.

Harrison left the building at random times, would leave stadiums before or during games on days he was inactive and told teammates he was trying to get traded, released or placed on Injured Reserve, the source said.

“I don’t know how many secrets about the playbook Harrison could give to [the Patriots] because I never saw him in meetings,” said Dupree.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette“I have to assume when they say you’re going to get 25 percent of the snaps and you get 25, safe to say things didn’t go as planned,” Harrison [said].

“After the first week of the season, I said to them, it’s clear you want to play your younger guys and I understand, so why don’t you release me. You go on your way and I’ll go on mine. They said, ‘No, no, no, we got a role for you.’”
But that role never materialized for Harrison, except for a Week 6 game in Kansas City where he played 15 snaps and registered his only sack at a key moment late in the game to close out a victory. He played only 40 snaps all season, was inactive for six games and did not play in three others. …

Harrison said the breaking point came after the 27-24 loss to the Patriots, a game in which he said he was told during the week “to be ready, that I’d get a lot of [playing] time. I didn’t get any snaps.”

Look, I’m not going to get into who’s telling the truth here, because this is your classic they said/he said scenario. Instead, I’ll just say it’s sad to see things end so badly for a superstar in a city where he was a beloved icon for so long that he was on the border of being statue-worthy. Just truly, deeply sad. One of the all time great Steelers and clearly the love went out of the relationship between him and coaches and teammates. Now they’re claiming he stopped working on the marriage. He’s saying they made promises and broke them. And when things end badly like this, nobody wins.

Except the Patriots. Nobody in sports history ever took advantage of a messy breakup like Bill Belichick. From Corey Dillon in Oakland to Randy Moss in Oakland to LeGarrette Blount in Pittsburgh, 2014 and Michael Floyd last year, he’s always there to be your rebound. It reminds me of this bar near me back in the day that was a notorious Cougar hangout (The Barnside in Hanover, MA, if you’re scoring along at home) where, if you didn’t get laid by a desperate, divorced older woman, it’s only because you didn’t want to. The NFL is that for Belichick. He is to disgruntled veteran players what Chazz Reinhold is to recent widows. Realizing that getting benched and then released it’s the ultimate aphrodesiac. It’s almost unfair; like fishing with dynamite.

All I do know is that the more the Steelers rip Harrison, call him a quitter and accuse him of napping through Joey Porter meetings, the more weights he’ll put on the bar, the more meetings he’ll sit up and pay attention to, the more reps he’ll earn and the more havoc he’ll wreak in the playoffs. So by all means, keep talking. Tell us everything. Because after reading this I’m almost as excited as Belichick.