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James Harrison on debuting with Patriots: 'This is God’s plan and God’s doing'

Ryan Hannable
December 31, 2017 - 6:42 pm

FOXBORO -- Two weeks ago, James Harrison was standing on the sidelines watching the Patriots beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh as he was a member of the black and gold. Last week he was a free agent after he was released by the Steelers, and now this week he sacked Bryce Petty twice in his first game as a member of the Patriots -- a 26-6 win.

“It felt good,” Harrison said after the game about making his Patriots debut. “It’s like any other team. It’s like [the media] going and reporting for a different news channel or different newspaper. This is God’s plan and God’s doing. I’m just a receiver of what he has planned. I’m 39 years old and I’m still playing, so I’m extremely blessed.”

Added Harrison: “I get nervous before every game. I’ve been doing it for 16 years. The day I don’t get nervous before a game, I might go ahead and walk away.”

The 39-year-old said in a statement last week he asked for his release from Pittsburgh multiple times because he wasn't getting the playing time he thought he deserved.

“I always wonder why I’m not playing,” he said. “Like they say, it’s never early and it’s never late. It’s just timing. It might not happen when you want it to happen, but it’ll happen when it’s meant to [happen].”

Harrison totaled just one sack in 40 snaps as a member of the Steelers this year, but recorded two in 28 snaps in his first game as a Patriot against the Jets.

So, what is his focus now that the Patriots have earned the No. 1 seed?

“My focus right now? It’s Sunday, right? Monday, it’s legs,” Harrison said referring to working out. "I’ll be excited for [the playoffs] when it gets here.”