Ben Roethlisberger holds no grudges toward New England Patriots recruit James Harrison, but not all Pittsburgh Steelers players feel the same.
While speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey slammed the veteran linebacker for signing with NFL Super Bowl champions the Patriots following his release.
"He erased his own legacy here, let's be serious," Pouncey said, via 93.7 The Fan. "It's crazy. It blows my mind."
Pouncey continued his rant, claiming the entire Steelers locker room was aware Harrison wanted out of Pittsburgh and the organisation did not just "get rid" of him.
"He wanted to go," Pouncey said. "It's funny to read the stories. It's something he wanted to do. He needs to come out and admit that."
Steelers offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert also chimed in on Twitter, saying "truth will always come to light" in response to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler following his report saying Harrison was not happy with his role.
Harrison, who remains the Steelers' all-time leader with 80.5 career sacks, was cut by Pittsburgh on Saturday to make room for tackle Marcus Gilbert's return but signed with New England following a visit to Gillette Stadium Tuesday.
It could make for an interesting reunion if the Steelers and Patriots meet in the AFC Championship game, though Roethlisberger is not concerned about potentially shared intel.
"My wife and I were talking about it last night," Roethlisberger said. "She was asking me if he knew our no-huddle stuff. I said I don't think he knows a lot of it. I'm sure he's heard some of the same things for a lot of years now so maybe some of it. But that's a long way off.
"James has to do what James has to do. It's not like he called [and] asked me if he should or not. James was out there as a free agent. He has to do what's best for his family. I wish him the best. I had a lot of good years with him."
The Steelers and Patriots each secured a bye through to the divisional round, though New England can clinch homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win over the New York Jets in their regular-season finale on Sunday.