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James Harrison impressing during offseason training program

James Harrison joined the Bengals and instantly began impressing everyone.


Let's face it.

When James Harrison played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, we hated him -- not unlike Cartman's relationship with Kyle. A cheap-shot, missile-launching, career-threatening linebacker that's on Roger Goodell's speed dial on the fine-generating vending machine for illegal shots. They're not just illegal shots either. Some have applied enough concussive force to the head that the resulting injuries could reduce a player's career.

Now he's with the Bengals and, well, he's kind of awesome.

Though some wondered how Harrison's transition from a 3-4 base defense would translate to a base 4-3 (or a base 4-2-5 really), the reality is that he's fitting comfortably in Mike Zimmer's scheme and even impressing Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, who has, an albeit indirect, connection with the linebacker.

"James has done great," Lewis told reporters (via "It's been fun. It's what I expected. Obviously I've seen this guy play more football than anybody here. I know the things he was asked to do there (Pittsburgh), the wording and the terminology and how things were created. So I thought it was an easy plug-in here."

Per the mothership, Lewis admits to being the "driving force" that brought Harrison to Cincinnati and now Mike Zimmer is growing to appreciate what Harrison brings.

"I think (defensive coordinator) Mike Zimmer has become more and more comfortable with the versatility that he does have and the ability for him to really do more things that I think even Mike envisioned," he said.