There's definitely some bad blood between Harrison and the Steelers, and that became clear early Wednesday when several Steelers players Pittsburgh by being a bad teammate. However, since no one offered any specific details, it was hard to say what exactly Harrison did wrong.. According to multiple players, Harrison forced his way out of
That mystery might finally be solved, though, thanks to DuPree, who went off on Harrison during an interview with CBS Sports radio's 93.7 the Fan in Pittsburgh late Wednesday. Here's a quick summary of what DuPree had to say about Harrison from the man who conducted the interview, Paul Zeise.
Dupree said Harrison would leave the stadium as soon as he found out he was inactive the past four or five weeks, often didn’t practice or attend meetings and rarely would come in the locker room. Said he wouldn’t visit Ryan Shazier in hospital, either.— Paul Zeise (@PaulZeise) December 27, 2017
Yikes. That's definitely one way to force a team's hand. If everything that DuPree said is true, then the Steelers really didn't have anyHarrison. It's also easy to see why DuPree wanted to get all of this off his chest.
"That's basically what happened," Dupree said during the interview, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "At the end of the day, he just did a lot of stuff that really wasn't Steeler-like. ... It's no one's fault on our team, why he got cut. He cut himself. He came in, he didn't want to do anything that made us better."
From skipping practices to leaving games to not visiting Shazier in the hospital, you can't blame the Steelers at all for dumping Harrison. Also, when Harrison wasn't skipping team meetings, he would apparently just show up and take a nap.
Among ways Harrison tried to get himself out of Pittsburgh, one team source said Harrison was known to sleep in a recliner chair during position meetings and snore loudly while Joey Porter would teach.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) December 28, 2017
Apparently, DuPree felt it was important to get the story because a lot of people have been ripping the Steelers over the past few days for cutting a veteran like Harrison. According to DuPree, the Steelers wanted to keep him, but he made it impossible.
"People going in on coach [Mike] Tomlin, saying the Steelers are stupid for cutting James Harrison, the Steelers are dumb, [Harrison's] gonna tell the whole -- if he tells the whole playbook, that's his fault," DuPree said. "I didn't see him in meetings, so I don't know if he knows the plays or not."
The Steelers linebacker believes that Harrisonas a way to spite the Steelers.
"It feels like he went to the Patriots just to spit in Coach Tomlin and Mr. Rooney's face. That's all it was to us," Dupree said. "Like basically you spit on your teammates, you spit on us because the whole season you've been shown as someone different than what you were supposed to, so-called, be to us -- other than a leader."
DuPree also said that Harrison had an interest in being a leader to younger guys in Pittsburgh.
"When someone really doesn't want to share wisdom with you or share knowledge with you because they feel like you're gonna take their shine or take their limelight, that's how we feel," DuPree said. "We tried to hold back as much as we could because we didn't wanna jeopardize making him look bad."
Dupree, who was in his third year as a teammate of Harrison's, even complained about the 39-year-old's wild workout videos. According to DuPree, everyone would always get mad at Harrison for showing off in the weight room because the rest of the team wasn't even allowed to lift the way Harrison was lifting.
"It's not that we don't choose to work out like [Harrison works] out," DuPree said. "The strength coaches, they won't even allow us to lift how he lifts. He's in the weight room, making all those videos before practice, calling us out. Now you're making them look at us, like, so me and T.J. aren't supposed to be playing? That's just how we feel."
Here's a look at one of those workouts.
As for Harrison, he didn't deny that he wanted out. During an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the new Patriots linebacker admitted that he asked the Steelers to release him several times this year.
"After the first week of the season, I said to them, it's clear you want to play your younger guys and I understand, so why don't you release me," Harrison said. "You go on your way and I'll go on mine. They said, 'No, no, no, we got a role for you.'"
For Harrison, the decision to sign with the Patriots all came down to business.
"I explained the situation to [Steelers linebackers coach Joey Porter] and he said, 'I'm not going to sit here and tell you not to do something when you're making a business decision,'" Harrison said. "I made a decision based on what was best for me."
That business decision could lead Harrison right back to the Steelers because the Patriots could end up facing them in the AFC title game.