Steelers' Pouncey blasts Harrison for joining Patriots


Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey blasted now ex-teammate James Harrison for joining the Patriots, saying the long-time Pittsburgh linebacker "erased his own legacy" by signing with New England after he was cut last week.

Pouncey said Harrison, 39, who practiced with the Patriots for the first time on Wednesday, a day after signing, forced his way out of Pittsburgh, where the linebacker had been unhappy about a lack of playing time.  

"He wanted to go," Pouncey told reporters in Pittsburgh. "It's funny to read the stories. It's something he wanted to do. He needs to come out and admit that."

Pouncey scoffed at the notion that Harrison would provide any inside information on the Steelers to the Pats should the two teams, as expected, meet again in the AFC Championship Game. 

Said Pouncey: "What's he gonna tell 'em? The line slides left? The line slides right?"

Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree echoed Pouncey's sentiments: "I don't want the media to portray we're [the Steelers are] the reason he left...," Dupree told reporters. "That ain't the reason. He chose to leave. He made certain decisions and his actions got him to this circumstance."

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wasn't as critical of the move. “James has to do what James has to do,” Roethlisberger told reporters. “It’s not like he called and asked me if he should or not [sign with New England]. James was out there — he’s a free agent, he has to do what’s best for him and his family. I wish him the best. I’ve had a lot of good years with him.” 

And on Harrison possibly giving away any Steelers intel to his new team, Roethlisberger said: “That’s on James. If they want to ask him about every single piece of information he has, that’s what this league — other people do that, too. I’m not worried about it. We don’t play them this week, we don’t play them next week. So we’ll see.”


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