Bill Belichick: James Harrison signing not ‘some big historical event’
Bill Belichick downplayed the New England Patriots’ decision to sign longtime Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, saying he does not “see it as some big historical event.”
The Steelers surprisingly cut loose Harrison, who spent 14 seasons of his 15-year career with the team. Belichick summarily dismissed the notion Harrison’s past carries any added significance.
“This is the National Football League. Players change teams. We have (longtime Jets linebacker) David Harris. This isn’t some kind of unprecedented event. That’s just not what it is,” Belichick said, via the Boston Herald. “We face somebody that’s been on our team every week that’s on another team. We have somebody on our team that was with another team that we play against. It’s the way it is every week. It’s the National Football League.”
Belichick later continued to reinforce the fact players switch teams all the time. Harrison is simply another example of such roster turnover, Belichick noted while seemingly growing tired of questions concerning how Harrison arrived.
“We’re not going to college now where players don’t change teams,” Belichick said. “This is professional football. It’s like that every year. It’s like that every week. It’s like that on every team. I don’t see it as some big historical event.”
There is a belief that the Patriots signed Harrison in order to glean valuable insider intel on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Harrison has since stated Belichick “has not asked me one thing” about the Steelers.
That said, Harrison is now a Patriot, regardless of the strange circumstances that led to it. A potential collision course with his former team in what many anticipate as an inevitable match-up in the AFC Championship Game looms. How much Harrison contributes to the Patriots’ efforts remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: Belichick isn’t about to say much about it, to no surprise.