James Harrison says he can’t and won’t change the way he plays
Shortly after he was suspended for a game for another helmet-to-helmet hit on another opponent, Steelers linebacker James Harrison told a former teammate that he has no intention of changing the way he plays.
Harrison had a conversation with former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis, who said on ESPN’s NFL Live that Harrison told him he’s going to keep playing the way he has always played, despite the league office cracking down on him for his head shot on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy.
“He told me he can’t,” Bettis said when asked if Harrison would change the way he plays.
Bettis said Harrison doesn’t think he did anything wrong when he hit McCoy, and that he could have hurt McCoy a lot worse if he had wanted to.
“He told me that it was laughable that this was the case -- it wasn’t a funny situation but it’s laughable that he would get suspended over what he felt was a very, very small incident,” Bettis said. “In his words, ‘If I would have really hit him I would have close to knocked him out.’”
Asked if Harrison is likely to keep getting in trouble for helmet-to-helmet hits, Bettis answered, “Absolutely.”
“James said that he’s concerned this will happen again and then there will be a larger suspension,” Bettis said, “But he said to me, ‘I’m not going to worry about it. I’m going to play my game. If they suspend me they suspend me, but I’m not going to change the way I play football.’”