James Harrison praises Pats, says reports of friction ‘made up’
James Harrison joined the New England Patriots in late December, just in time to join the team on its march to an appearance in Super Bowl LII.
Having an up-close view of the Patriots, even for such a short period of time, left Harrison with a completely altered perspective compared to the negative one cultivated as a longtime member of the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
About the same time Harrison joined the Patriots, a bombshell report from ESPN’s Seth Wickersham exposed alleged dysfunction within the Patriots organization, primarily involving a rift between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
Harrison joined FS1’s “Undisputed” show Thursday, and the now-retired superstar linebacker spent time addressing all things Patriots. Harrison specifically expressed his opinion that allegations of friction existing between Belichick and Brady were “made up.”
“All these stories that come out of all this friction and stuff, I honestly believe that it is made up,” Harrison said on the program, via NFL.com. “I came in there looking, I was like, ‘I am going to see what is going on. They have trouble too, just like everyone else, right?’
“I get in there and I see nothing. They were interacting. They were talking. I don’t see any friction. I believe they just make up these stories to pull the team tighter and closer together and that is really all it does.”
Harrison also discussed how he expected to hate Brady, but ended up with a completely changed outlook on the quarterback.
"I'm a Brady fan now; I'm not going to lie. I wanted to hate this dude. He's the ultimate teammate. … Tom is a great QB — the best ever."
— @jharrison9292 pic.twitter.com/ZFjg0Uf0yG
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) July 19, 2018
Harrison will likely elicit the vitriol of Steelers fans with what he had to say about Belichick when compared to Mike Tomlin.
Better coach: Mike Tomlin or Bill Belichick?
"Belichick. Tomlin needs to be a little bit more disciplined. … Man, I've seen Tom Brady running to a meeting scared to be late." — @jharrison9292 pic.twitter.com/9oA0lZ3XHM
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) July 19, 2018
Despite Harrison’s assertion that the rumors of a rift between Brady and Belichick are “made up,” a new report out of New England suggests that issues still exist between Belichick, Brady and owner Robert Kraft and still need to be “hashed out.”