New Bengal James Harrison: "I don't hate the Steelers" - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

New Bengal James Harrison: "I don't hate the Steelers"

CINCINNATI (FOX19) – In his first public comments since joining the Bengals, James Harrison said he "doesn't hate the Steelers."

"I don't have a chip on my shoulder against the Steelers," said the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year.  "I don't hate the Steelers.  Am I disappointed?  Yeah, I'm disappointed."

The Steelers reportedly asked the veteran linebacker to take a pay cut, which Harrison said neither side could come to a compromise.

"When the negotiations first started, I basically knew that this situation was going to be what it was going to be.  We had a parting of ways and I wish them the best except when we play."

Harrison will be 35-years-old at the start of the coming football season, making him the oldest player on the Bengals roster. But, says the knee injury that forced him to miss games in 2012 feels as good as it's felt in a few years.

"People telling me what I can't do, motivates me," said Harrison.  "I'm just ready to get out there and play the type of game that I'm used to being able to play."

Harrison says he didn't have a desire to stay in the AFC North, instead wanted to play for a team who could contend for a championship and was close to his off-season home in Pittsburgh.  Harrison played down the storyline of leaving the Steelers to join the rival Bengals.

"I wouldn't say that it feels strange.  I really can't say to be honest with you.  When that time comes, I'll have a better understanding or feeling of what exactly it'll be.  I'm just happy to be able to continue playing and play for a team that has a shot at winning it all."

Harrison says he will report to Cincinnati on May 13th to begin working with his new team and has already worked out a deal with Jamaal Anderson (who wore jersey #92 last season) to retain the number he wore in Pittsburgh.

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