CINCINNATI (KDKA) — Linebacker James Harrison is sporting new colors on the football field this season. No more black and gold; instead, it’s black and orange in what should make for a black and blue division this year.
KDKA’s Bob Pompeani: “First off, I want to say it’s good to see you; although, I’m not used to seeing you in orange. How does it feel to be in orange and black?”
Harrison: “It feels good. It feels real good.”
Pompeani: “James Harrison, now a Bengal. It’s hard for me to see him in orange… I’m sure a lot of Steelers fans. But I’m sure you’re glad he is.”
Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis: “Well, we kept the black in the uniform so… but no. I am. I’m really glad that we have James over here. Obviously, I’ve been a fan of his since he finally broke through there in Pittsburgh, so I think it was an easy fit. So, [I’m] excited for him, and I think he’s going to add a lot to us.”
You can circle the date Sept. 16, 2013, Monday night football at Paul Brown Stadium.
It’ll be a special night for Harrison because it’s the first opportunity to play against the team that used to employ him, the Steelers. That means No. 92 will be going after No. 7.
Pompeani: “No extra motivation?”
Harrison: “No. I have no animosity towards my teammates, my ex-teammates. It’s no more than any other game. I want to go out there and win. I mean, I want to win every game. I want to go 16-0, 19-0. So, it’s no different for me.”
Pompeani: “Will the trash talking be there since you know these guys pretty well?”
Harrison: “Oh yeah, there’s still gonna be trash talking. That’s nothing that’s not going to change. There’ll probably more trash talking with me and [Larry] Foote.”
Pompeani: “You’ve spent a lot of your career with Ben Roethlisberger and now all the sudden he becomes a target for you.”
Harrison: “Well, Ben was a target for me when I was in the MAC, too. So, it’s just… from the beginning to towards the end, it’s just reverting back to what it was before. So, it’s no different.”
But seeing Harrison in another uniform, especially one within the division, will be different.
It happened right after he refused to accept a Steeler pay cut to stay in Pittsburgh. As it turns out, that would have been more money than the Bengals ended up giving him.
Harrison: “It’s a business, and the Steelers made a business decision. I made a business decision, and we are where we’re at.”
Pompeani: “James, do you have any regrets about that decision?”
Harrison: “No, none.”
Pompeani: “Do you think they do?”
Harrison: “I don’t know, you’d have to ask them.”
Pompeani: “But looking back, if you had to play the cards all over again, would you have accepted their offer?”
Harrison: “No, I would do it the same way.”
Harrison, however, is not training the same way. He’s coming off both knee and back injuries that forced him to miss several games with the Steelers.
“He’s getting towards the end of his career. He’s had so much success. Having had the opportunity to be involved in three Super Bowls and he wants that opportunity again,” said Lewis.
Pompeani: “You look at this team I think on paper and it looks like a team to beat in the division, would you regard it as that?”
Harrison: “Yeah, I’m here ain’t I?”