It’s been quite a week for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and it has nothing to do with their play on the field (a 34-6 win over the Texans on Christmas). On Saturday, the Steelers released James Harrison, a Hooverball enthusiast and the franchise’s sacks leader. It was surprising, but he’d only played 40 snaps this year for Pittsburgh, making 3 tackles.
Yesterday, Harrison signed with the Patriots. The 39-year-old signed with a team that’s dominated the Steelers for years. Not since Brett Favre went to the Vikings (or, perhaps, when Harrison previously signed with the Bengals) has a player made such a painful switch.
Today, the Steelers practiced, and reporters got to ask players about it. Center Maurkice Pouncey was particularly open about it:
“He erased his own legacy here,” Pouncey added. He also said that the entire team knew Harrison, who had been benched in favor of Bud Dupree and rookie T.J. Watt, wanted out. When asked if Harrison had become a problem, Pouncey had this to say:
Harrison’s agent previously said there were no hard feelings, but that he was disappointed with his playing time and thought he could continue to play. The Patriots and Steelers are currently the No. 1 and 2 seeds in the AFC. If form holds, they’ll meet in the AFC title game.
An earlier version of this post had a photo of a player misidentified as Pouncey.