Video: James Harrison gets emotional about Dick LeBeau

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday September 16, 2013

James Harrison has spent most of his NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he’ll be playing against them tonight when the Bengals host the Steelers on Monday Night Football.

Harrison sat down with Jon Gruden for an interview and was asked to reflect on some of his coaches while being shown film of them, and it was clear one coach left a lasting relationship with Harrison.

On Bill Cowher: “That’s game day Bill Cowher. That’s the guy you all see. That’s not the real Cowher. He left me with the determination and work ethic."

On Mike Tomlin: "He came in and I felt like he was one of us. He was just so close in age to us."

But when Gruden mentioned that Harrison was one of the best outside linebackers in Steelers history and showed tape of veteran defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, Harrison just stared at the screen and choked up.

“I miss him,” Harrison said softly.

The NFL may be a business featuring grown men, but coaches can still impact players like they do in college or youth football. This was a pretty powerful moment.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to