ShareThis Page
Broncos’ Shelby Harris takes credit for Steelers’ late-season meltdown | TribLIVE.com
Steelers/NFL

Broncos’ Shelby Harris takes credit for Steelers’ late-season meltdown

Joe Rutter
1145935_web1_ShelbyHarris-051119
AP
Denver Broncos defensive lineman Shelby Harris intercepts Ben Roethlisberger’s pass in final minute of the Broncos’ 24-17 win on Nov. 25, 2018

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ late-season collapse and offseason drama wasn’t Antonio Brown’s fault. Don’t blame Ben Roethlisberger, either.

The real culprit was Shelby Harris.

Who?

Harris was the Broncos defensive lineman who intercepted Roethlisberger on a third-and-goal pass with 1 minute, 3 seconds left in a Week 12 game in Denver. The pick blunted the Steelers comeback and sealed a 24-17 win for the Broncos.

The loss started the Steelers on a 2-4 spiral that led to their 9-6-1 record and absence from the playoffs for the first time in five seasons.

Harris recently was asked by NFL Network if he deserves any credit for the Steelers’ slide.

“Yea, kind of,” he said. “It kind of feels nice.”

The Roethlisberger-Brown relationship was strained from that point through the rest of the season. Roethlisberger blamed Brown for not running a “flat” route on the play and lamented not throwing the ball to JuJu Smith-Schuster. Brown didn’t respond initially, but he lobbed his share of shots at the quarterback after he bailed on his teammates for practice the week of the season finale and was inactive for a must-win game against Cincinnati.

Harris believes he is the impetus of the turmoil. If he doesn’t get his hands on Roethlisberger’s pass, perhaps the Steelers win in Denver, the collapse doesn’t happen and Brown is still with the Steelers.

“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. “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.”

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Steelers
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.