It's been an unsettling past few days for famed NFL defenders known for intimidating mean streaks.
Now, we read in a report on ESPN.com that Steelers linebacker James Harrison -- named in a Sports Illustrated player poll last month as the meanest man in the NFL -- is attempting to soften his image through the use of social media.
"I'm known as the guy that I am on the field," Harrison said. "That's not really the person that I am -- mean, crazy, blah, blah, blah, you know. I play a game that is a violent game, and you can't go out there with a smile on your face and do your job. It's just not possible. I've never seen somebody tackle somebody with a smile on their face. That's just part of the game. Outside of the game, I'm me. I'm laid back. I joke. I laugh. I play with my kids."
Jeff Weiner, Harrison's social media strategist -- (extended groan) -- is proud of his client and what he's accomplished.
"What I've really been impressed with is how James has really bought into video and pictures," Weiner said. "It really has helped strengthen the bond between him and his fans. Fans get to see a side of him they don't see often in the media. I think it really humanizes him."
Do you want to know what would happen if you introduced a social media strategist to Lawrence Taylor? Or Deacon Jones? Or Jack Lambert? We'll tell you what would happen: They'd ask what the hell social media was (understandable), then clothesline said strategist into Concussionland.
No wonder offenses are breaking records this season.