James Harrison was a star of the first episode of “Hard Knocks” without trying. Or because he tried hard not to try.The Bengals’ linebacker hasn’t been shy about voicing his preference not to have the NFL Films cameras around for training camp and preseason.
“Why do I have such an aversion to the Hard Knocks cameras? I don’t feel they deserve to be here,” said Harrison on Monday. “They did nothing to be here, other than want to be here. They didn’t put no blood, sweat and tears into none of this. All these men in here, they did that. They (the cameras) did nothing. No one deserves to see this, to come inside of this unless you’re a part of this. That’s why.”
Harrison said it’s nothing personal against the film crews or the regular media that cover the team on a daily basis. He’s just not a fan.
“Just the profession,” said Harrison. “Nothing against you personally. You might be a good guy. I just don’t like your profession.”
If there is one thing about Harrison that came through the first episode, it was his devotion to the playbook and being as prepared as he possibly can. After playing in Pittsburgh’s 3-4 zone blitz scheme for the past decade, he’s now adjusting to the 4-3 base package the Bengals deploy as well as his new teammates.
“As far as the playbook, I’m leaning on them,” said Harrison. “Rey (Maualuga) and Vontaze (Burfict) and those guys who have been here, I’m leaning on them to make sure I’m doing what I need to do. But as far as actual trying to take care of your body and everything like that, they talk to me about that, about what it takes to continue to play this long.”
Still, Harrison is accommodating to media with his time. He’s blunt and will give a straight answer to questions. It’s very similar to his playing style.
Just don’t ask him to speak to the NFL Films cameras. He’d just as rather jump into a stranger’s car, which he did during the first episode rather than walk toward the cameras as he crossed the street from the team’s practice fields to Paul Brown Stadium. For normal people that probably wouldn’t be the safest move to make, but we are talking about James Harrison.
“It’s kind of like this: Everybody knows I’m getting into the car with him. There’s a bunch of cameras watching me get in the car. It wouldn’t be too smart. They’ve got his license plate and everything else,” explained Harrison. “And plus, I think I can kind of handle myself. He’s driving and I’m behind him, so I think I’d be all right.”