After Tennessee lost to the Saints 22-17 in Week 14 last season, several Titans players aired grievances about the Saints crossing the line of fair play.
Wide receiver Nate Washington was one of the loudest and Saints safety Roman Harper was the target of his complaints. Washington called Harper a “dirty player” after Harper facemasked Damian Williams and laid a helmet-to-helmet hit on quarterback Matt Hasselbeck during the game. With Harper now being accused of getting paid for “whacks” in the Saints’ playoff win over the Lions, Terry McCormick of Titan Insider went back to Washington to get his thoughts.
“I don’t know if I could tell that that was something he was trying to do in order to be rewarded for it on a financial end. I’m not gonna say that,” Washington said. “But some of the things I was watching from film, and some of the things he did from our game, it was just downright dirty. It’s already a brutal game, it’s already a gladiator sport. To go out there and give it your all and to have someone there pulling the stuff he was pulling, it makes us look bad as a league as a whole. It’s already something where you can go out there and get paralyzed, and to have someone out there playing like that, it makes it even worse.”
There have been dirty hits from players on every team at one time or another and there will continue to be dirty hits in the post-bounty NFL, so Washington is wise not to connect any dots. With the information we’ve learned about the Saints, though, you can bet Washington isn’t the only person looking back at plays like that and wondering.