James Harrison impresses in his debut for Patriots
James Harrison just wanted to play. The New England Patriots provided the opportunity in his first game with the club.
The 39-year-old linebacker played 34 snaps in Sunday’s victory over the New York Jets, per Next Gen Stats. The count was just four shy of the 38 snaps Harrison saw all season with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Yeah, James worked really hard, Belichick said. He worked really hard to get things down and to handle the roles that he was in today. Very professional, has a lot of experience but not in this system so he had to do a lot of things to try to acclimate himself to what we do, and terminology, and adjustments and so forth. He really worked hard on that. He got better every day. You could see that through the course of the week. Sometimes it piles up and the load just becomes — there’s a diminishing return effect. In his case, I would say that wasn’t the case. Each day that it went it got better. I thought he made a couple of plays out there today. We’ll see how it goes going forward, but yeah, he worked very hard.
If Harrison recaptures the form he displayed last January — when he dominated during the Steelers’ playoff run — the addition could be a game-changer for the Patriots’ defense.
A day after teammates refused to respond to Jalen Ramsey predicting a Super Bowl win for the Jags at a fan event, Tom Brady continued to reiterate The Patriot Way tone.
It’s how you play, not what you say, Brady said Tuesday morning on WEEI’s Kirk and Callahan show.
Brady dismissing bulletin-board material is a useful in-the-moment tactic, considering the Pats are known to use all the motivation they can. Bill Belichick famously read his team the Philadelphia Eagles’ planned parade route before Super Bowl XXXIX. If you provide the trash talk, the Pats will use it. They won’t, however, respond publicly in kind.
Brady went on to heap praise on the Jaguars’ swarming defense.