But as the Steelers ponder what Harrison will be able to tell the Patriots over the next month (in case they see each other in the AFC Championship Game), Roethlisberger raved about Harrison’s ability to teach.
Even though the 39-year-old only played 40 defensive snaps this year, Roethlisberger said during his weekly interview on 93.7 The Fan that Harrison was key to the development of left tackle Alejandro Villanueva. The interview was before Harrison signed with the Patriots Tuesday afternoon.
“He was still practicing and doing things,” Roethlisberger said. “So he’s going against Al and making Al better. I know Al will forever give a lot of credit for helping him to become the tackle that he is. He talks about his moves, and I don’t want to speak for Al, but I know, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard him say that James might be the best guy he’s ever gone against, and really just kind of helped him improve and learn from things.”
Considering there’s not a lot of tape to watch of Harrison this year, the academic aspect might be his biggest benefit to anyone. And even if the Steelers didn’t think Harrison could contribute, things as simple as line calls and audibles are the kinds of things he’s sharing with his new friends in New England.
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