James Harrison regrets ripping Goodell

Updated: July 30, 2011, 1:32 AM ET
By James Walker | ESPN.com

LATROBE, Pa. -- Upon reflection, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison decided it was best to publicly apologize to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

In an explosive interview that appears in August's Men's Journal, Harrison called Goodell a "crook" and a "puppet," among other things.

Harrison The interview that I did and the comments that I made about Roger Goodell were inappropriate, at the least. They were way out of line, and I was speaking out of anger and frustration at the time.

-- Steelers' James Harrison

Following the Steelers' walk-through Friday morning, Harrison said candidly that he should not have made those controversial statements.

"The interview that I did and the comments that I made about Roger Goodell were inappropriate, at the least," Harrison said. "They were way out of line, and I was speaking out of anger and frustration at the time. Any comments that I made that offended anyone, I apologize."

Last year, Harrison was the most-fined player in the NFL, as the league began cracking down on hits to the head and defenseless players. Harrison became highly upset at Goodell after his fines totaled $100,000, leading to several controversial statements and, eventually, the tirade that appeared in Men's Journal.

Harrison said he hasn't spoken to the NFL or to Goodell about his statements, and he's not sure if it will result in any type of fine or suspension. But Harrison has talked with teammates, coach Mike Tomlin and Steelers president Art Rooney II about the interview, in which he also criticized teammates Ben Roethlisberger and running back Rashard Mendenhall.

Harrison did not seem nearly as concerned about those comments and said that situation has been handled in-house.

"That's all behind us," he said Friday. "Those comments [toward teammates] were taken out of context with a long conversation. It's not anything I haven't talked to those guys about or my teammates about."

Rooney told ESPN's Rachel Nichols on Thursday that he has had a conversation with Harrison about the comments, and that any disciplinary action the team takes will be internal and will not result in any suspensions or the disruption of Harrison's on-field activities.

Meanwhile, receiver Hines Ward addressed his recent arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence, saying he doesn't believe his situation will cause a distraction.

"My teammates haven't said anything about it," Ward said Friday. "We're moving on. We're trying to win Super Bowls. I don't think my teammates are worried about my incident. They care for me as a brother, but I don't think this is going to be a distraction."

Ward is currently on the physically unable to perform list due to a thumb injury. The 35-year-old veteran is expected to miss a couple of weeks of training camp.

The receiver didn't want to give any specifics about his case but said he will have his say in court.

"I just got to leave it into my attorney's hands," Ward said, "but I'm confident in the end everything will work out, everything will be fine."

The Steelers continued a flurry of activity Friday by releasing veteran offensive tackle Flozell Adams early Friday morning. The 36-year-old Adams became expendable after free agent linemen Willie Colon and Jonathan Scott were re-signed.

Colon and Scott, along with the cornerback Ike Taylor and kicker Shaun Suisham, can't practice until next week, though the Steelers received a boost on Friday when first-round pick Cameron Heyward signed and participated in a rain-shortened practice.

The team's third-round pick, cornerback Curtis Brown, signed late Friday, meaning all seven draft picks will be in camp this weekend.

James Walker covers the AFC North for ESPN.com. You can follow him on Twitter at espnafc_north. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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