If Steelers fans are looking for someone to blame for all the drama that went down in Pittsburgh this offseason, Broncos defensive lineman Shelby Harris doesn’t have any problem if you want to pin some of it on him.
During an interview with the NFL Network this week, Harris was more than happy to take some of the credit after he was asked if he single-handedly caused the Steelers’ offseason drama that led to the trade of Antonio Brown.
“Low key? Yea, kind of. It kind of feels nice,” Harris said.
If you’re wondering how Harris ties into all of this, he was the Broncos player who picked off Ben Roethlisberger in the end zone on a third-and-goal play with just 1:03 left in the fourth quarter of a Week 12 game the Broncos ended up winning 24-17.
Harris picked off a pass that was intended for Antonio Brown on a play that basically ended up being the beginning of the end of Brown’s time in Pittsburgh.
For the Steelers, things got kind of awkward in the locker room after the game. Not only did Roethlisberger insinuate the Brown didn’t run the correct route on the play, but he also threw in another dagger: The quarterback said he wished he had thrown the ball to JuJu Smith-Schuster.
“I told AB, ‘You have to come in flat. You can’t drift in the end zone,'” Roethlisberger said, via Triblive.com. “I thought I was doing the safest thing by throwing it where AB was really going to have to make a play for it. Like I said, I wish we would have gone back to JuJu for four straight plays.”
Harris definitely noticed that the Steelers started getting chippy with each other after that game.
“You have to think of it like this: After that game, they started taking shots at each other and it started going downhill,” Harris said, while also crediting his teammates for his pick. “Obviously, even on [the interception], it was an 11-man effort. It was something that made him hold the ball, it was something that made him kind of hesitate for a second. That’s not all just one person. But, you know, I had to catch it.”
Instead of apologizing to Brown for publicly calling him out, Roethlisberger doubled down on his radio show later that week. Two days after the loss, Roethlisberger said he had earned the right to “call out” his receivers if they did something wrong.
Although Brown didn’t complain about Big Ben’s criticism during the season, he did rip his former quarterback during an interview that was.
“The type of guy [Ben] is. He feels like he’s the owner,” Brown said on “The Shop,” LeBron James’ HBO show. “Bro, you threw the s–t to the D-lineman! What the f—? I’m over here wide open! You need to give me a better ball!, but it’s like in the league, you’re going to have a guy from the team that’ll be like, boy, you can’t say nothing. I need you to get out there like, but it’s like why I got to be acting? At least ask a … ask a [expletive] how he feels first. Right or wrong. Right? Then if it don’t matter how I feel, then f— it then, why am I here, you know what I’m saying?”
Less than two weeks after those comments aired, Brown Raiders.to the
On a somewhat related note, you’ll notice that Harris got a casual shout out during Brown’s interview: He was the “D-lineman” that Brown mentioned.
Harris doesn’t want all the credit for causing the Steelers’ meltdown, but he would like some of it.
“After that [game], you see all these shows and everything talking about how that was kind of the boiling point for them,” Harris said. “You’re not going to necessarily take credit. You just kind of laugh and enjoy it, especially after you hear all of these little quotes coming out from Antonio Brown and people. It’s cool, but I’m not going to take all of the credit.”
If Harris’ interception is eventually what led to Brown being traded out of Pittsburgh, the receiver will be able to thank him later this year, and that’s because the Raiders and Broncos will be playing each other twice in 2019.