James Harrison takes shot at Steelers, but praises Bill Belichick. James Harrison’s final year in Pittsburgh didn’t go as planned, as the Steelers all-time leader in sacks spent most of the season on the bench before getting released by the team towards the end of the season.
Harrison, went on to play for the rival New England Patriots, which didn’t sit well with some of his teammates and fans. After losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl, James Harrison announced his retirement during the offseason.
During a recent television appearance, Harrison was asked to compare the coaching styles of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Even though he played for Tomlin for most of his career, Harrison called Belichick the better coach. “By far,” Harrison said. “Yes.”
“Mike Tomlin is good as a head coach,” Harrison said. “He’s a players’ coach. I think he needs to be a little bit more disciplined.
Bill Belichick Legacy
“The big thing with Belichick is he’s very regimented, he’s disciplined, everyone is going to be on the same page, there’s not going to be anything as far as someone doing their own thing. I think over there [in New England] their whole coaching staff is like that.”
Given the way things ended between Harrison and the Steelers, his answer isn’t too surprising. In March 2017, Harrison signed a two-year deal with the Steelers, and was led to believe he would get significant playing time. If the Patriots want to make it to the Super Bowl they have to beat the Eagles first.
However, the emergence of T.J. Watt and other young linebackers prevented Harrison from getting a lot of playing time, which led the linebacker to ask for his release.
James Harrison credits Belichick’s structure for helping him pick up the defense quickly. When asked how Tomlin can improve player discipline, Harrison said, “just being more consistent across the board with everything. From your stars to your special-teams players.”