James Harrison didn’t struggle with having to adjust his mindset from being a linebacker with the Pittsburgh Steelers for virtually the entire 2017 season before suddenly signing as a free agent with the New England Patriots.
“As soon as I signed the paperwork (on Dec. 26), it switched,” Harrison told Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on Late Hits. “That was easy. That’s the nature of the beast, that’s part of the business.”
‘This is God’s plan’
And for Harrison, it’s also a chance to win another Super Bowl. He experienced that kind of success with the Steelers. Now, he’s hoping to do so Sunday when the Patriots face the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.
“That’s the main goal of playing this game each year is to go out there and try and win a Lombardi (Trophy),” Harrison said. “This is God’s plan. It’s just a blessing that I’m still here and able to do this.”
‘Building a comfort level with new teammates isn’t hard’
There were no issues with fitting in on a new team. Harrison felt an immediate acceptance, something that wide receiver Danny Amendola demonstrated Wednesday when he and Harrison swapped jerseys for the Patriots’ media session. The challenge has been getting used to playing in a new defense.
“Building a comfort level with new teammates isn’t hard,” Harrison said. “You just be yourself. It’s a fraternity of good guys most of the time. You’re going to mend and everything with them. The biggest thing for me was just learning the defense, trying to get an understanding. I’m still doing that as we speak.”
‘All the extra things and people pulling you in different directions is something that you’re just going to have to push in the background’
One thing Harrison does bring is something that is plentiful with the Patriots: Super Bowl experience. He has been on two Super Bowl-champion teams with Pittsburgh.
“If it’s an advantage of anything, it’s just handling the off-field things and knowing that you’re here to actually work and play a game and try and win a Lombardi,” Harrison said. “All the extra things and people pulling you in different directions is something that you’re just going to have to push in the background and stay focused on the task at hand.”