James Harrison visited the Bengals on Thursday. Yes that James Harrison, the one from Pittsburg, the one Bengals fans have been booing since 2004.
Harrison (34) isn’t exactly a spring chicken, 34 is old as dirt for a linebacker. He has shown that he can still play with the best of them over the past few seasons. Harrison plays a lot like Ray Lewis used to, flat out on every play, trying to be apart of every play. He isn’t the veteran leader that Lewis was but he could be a great mentor to the young guys on the Bengals.
The Bengals will look to use Harrison as a base outside linebacker with the loss of Manny Lawson and Dan Skuta, Harrison would be a great fit on that side of the defense.
Harrison brings some baggage along with him. A lot of baggage in all honesty, but controversy and baggage have never scared the Bengals in the past. Look at Adam Jones and Terrell Owens, both controversial but both had and have been having great careers and seasons as part of this organization. Harrison has been fined no less than nine times since 2010 including a one game suspension in 2011. He considers his dirty play as hard playing, many agree and many disagree.
Harrison is coming off a 49 tackle 6 sack season, his weakest season since 2006 when he only competed in 11 games.
The reaction I received on twitter when I asked about Harrison was mixed. From the over the top “HELL NO” to the more realistic “He could really help our young guys” thoughts. The reaction is mixed but one thing is for sure Bengals fans will never forget he was a Steeler first.