In the year since he retired, it certainly seems as though former Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison has spent more time talking to the media than he did over the course of his entire playing career. He was notoriously standoffish with reporters and refused to speak with them before Friday toward the end of his career, but he now regularly makes himself available to comment on his former teams—primarily the Steelers, of which he has been quite critical at times.
Needless to say, he has seen fit to comment on the situation with Antonio Brown on a number of occasions. He has obviously had some communication with the wide receiver, having appeared with him on social media, but he also said Brown hasn’t said anything to him directly about wanting to be somewhere else.
“I think it’s come to a point where I don’t believe things can be ironed out, so to speak”, he said of the unraveling relationship between Brown and the organization. “I feel like it’s time that maybe he gets a fresh start somewhere else where he can build a whole different rapport, relationship with new coaches, new teammates, and start off from there”.
“I think he just wants to get the same respect and say as he feels other players get that he doesn’t get”, but added when asked that this is not something that Brown has told him directly, but more so “just from the vibe that I get”.
Harrison added that he doesn’t believe necessarily that Brown’s relationship with Ben Roethlisberger is at the root of the problem, which is something that many have speculated. It had been alleged that it was an incident with the quarterback that set him off and prompted him to go AWOL at the end of the season
“Nothing is perfect. I would say maybe it’s a little strained, but I don’t think that’s the thing that would be like the killer because they work well together”, he said of the relationship between Brown and Roethlisberger. “At the end of the day, I don’t really have to like you to be able to work well with you. We’ve got to go out here and win games. If we win games, we both can keep our jobs”.
While he again reiterated that he hasn’t been told anything directly by Brown himself about what he is looking to do this offseason, he said, “I sense from everything that I’m reading now and seeing wit the withdrawal of Steeler comment things from his social media and all that stuff, I would feel that he wants to get a fresh start somewhere else”.
In other words, in a sense, he really doesn’t have any more information than we do. He’s just going by what Brown has done on social media, which we can all see for ourselves. He surely has some insights that we lack, but that hasn’t necessarily brought us much closer to what he is thinking.