Mike Florio highlights this morning in a post on ProFootballTalk some explosive comments that James Harrison made in an article for an upcoming edition of Men's Journal. In the piece Florio highlights things that Harrison said about Commissioner Roger Goddell. Harrison calls Goddell a "devil" and a "crook," among other things. He goes on to say that if Goddell was on fire, he would not even urinate on him to put him out. While these comments are interesting and, well, ballsy, the comments Harrison makes about teammates are the one's that interest me much more.
He criticizes Rashard Mendenhall's performance in last years Super Bowl. But the most interesting, and lasting comments he made, were about Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He said Ben should stop trying to win the game in the air like Peyton Manning. That he's not as good as Peyton. He also said Ben should just hand the ball off and do what he does best: that being to wait for his defense to bail him out yet again.
WHOAH! I don't know about anybody else, but I am shocked that the Steelers best defensive player (Might be Troy, I know) would call out the team's best offensive player to that degree. And these are two of the best players at their positions in the entire NFL who have won a Super Bowl together. Those things to me make this a huge story. Imagine if Tuck said similar things about Eli? As a fan I would be REALLY worried about my team.
And how about this? Maybe Harrison should look in the mirror first about his performance in the Super Bowl last year. The same one where he made one tackle (a sack) the entire game. No assists. Maybe if he was able to get more pressure on AR in the second half the GB QB wouldn't have carved up the Steeler secondary the way he did. Add in the fact that Harrison had back surgery this off season and will possibly be slowed on the field this year... I just don't get it. Is he trying to talk his way out of Pittsburgh?
As a Giant fan, and a Giant Eli fan who totally embraces the QB Class of 04 rivalry between Eli, Ben, and Rivers, I like this. I am not a Ben fan, nor a Steeler fan (although I sincerely respect the hell out of the organization, how they conduct business, and the history). My dream is for the Eli - led Giants to meet the Ben - led Steelers in the Super Bowl and of course defeat them. But Harrison's comments about Ben is a huge story going into the 2011 season (God willing). I for one will be looking for that Men's Journal magazine the second it comes out.
What do you think? Is Harrison right to criticize Big Ben? Is his criticism on point?