Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will have to face linebacker James Harrison for the first time in the NFL this Monday night when his team takes on the Cincinnati Bengals.
“It’s definitely different seeing him in anything other than black and gold, and it’s going to be different lining up across from him,” the Steelers quarterback told the Associated Press. “I’m just thankful that I’ve had so many years of him on my team so I didn’t have to face him for 10-12 years.”
The two faced off in college when Harrison was with Kent State and Roethlisberger with Miami of Ohio. The result of that game was a 24-20 victory in favor of Kent State.
They share a mutual respect for one another after years as teammates and shared Super Bowl Championships, and discussed the match up ahead of Monday Night Football.
“He’s a lot bigger than he was in college, though. He’s a lot stronger,” Roethlisberger told Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Harrison doesn’t think either side has an advantage just because they played together for so many seasons.
“He’s elusive, he’s a big guy and it’s like he has a third eye, where and when to step and avoid pressure,” Harrison said. “They haven’t got to see your game speed and they haven’t seen yours. I don’t think it’s an advantage either way.”
It will be an intriguing match up indeed for the former teammates in a key AFC North early-season contest — both teams sit at 0-1 and are in need of a win.