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Harrison says he could have played 20 years in today’s NFL

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Retired after the 2008 season, Rodney Harrison would still be playing if he had been playing under today’s rules.

That’s what Rodney told Luke Hughes of NESN.com as Rodney prepares to return to Massachusetts to be honored by Boston Sports Museum at the 11th annual “The Tradition” on Wednesday, at the TD Garden.

“They’ve cut down on a lot of these hits in minicamps, training camps and padded practices and all the physical contact during the season,” Harrison said.  “If I were playing right now in this era, I could probably play 20 years because we wouldn’t have all of those physical contact practices.”
Given that his “era” ended only a few years ago, it demonstrates how quickly the game has changed.  And it invites speculation as to how long the star players of today will be able to play, if they’re now enduring less wear and tear away from games.
“We’re different than basketball, we’re different than baseball,” Harrison said.  “We hit every single day and your body needs a break, your head needs a break.  So I think they’re making steps in the right direction.”
Speaking of basketball and baseball, Harrison will be honored Wednesday along with former Celtic great Robert Parrish and former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez.
“[W]hen they said it I thought it was all but a joke. ‘Like I’m getting honored?  For what?’  But I know that it’s a big deal, and I really appreciate all the respect and love.  I really love the Boston fans and this award and what it means to me and my family and all the hard work I put out on that field.”
The best news is that, under today’s rules, the next Rodney Harrison will be able to spend a lot more time playing the game he loves at a high level.
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22 Responses to “Harrison says he could have played 20 years in today’s NFL”
  1. hutch119 says: Jun 26, 2012 2:38 PM

    And Tyree still would have caught the ball.

  2. sbdt says: Jun 26, 2012 2:42 PM

    Giants fans are still honoring him over that Tyree catch.

  3. napstein says: Jun 26, 2012 2:46 PM

    Actually, Rodney Harrison would have been fined and suspended into oblivion in today’s NFL.

  4. str8cashomie2 says: Jun 26, 2012 2:47 PM

    i actually dont think he could have played 2 in today’s climate…we all know how he made his living

  5. iamhoraceknight says: Jun 26, 2012 2:51 PM

    Makes Sense …..

  6. bspuryear says: Jun 26, 2012 2:51 PM

    Loved watching this guy play

  7. denverdave3 says: Jun 26, 2012 2:53 PM

    what a delightfully positive article

  8. cosmoman11 says: Jun 26, 2012 2:59 PM

    He could play for 20 years because he would be suspended for at least 8 games each season.

  9. rajbais says: Jun 26, 2012 3:01 PM

    With or without HGH???

  10. kattykathy says: Jun 26, 2012 3:15 PM

    heck, even I could play 20 years in this new league of Roger Goodell’s.

    The quarterbacks all have nicer dresses than I do.

  11. blackandbluedivision says: Jun 26, 2012 3:15 PM

    I doubt it. His style of hard-hitting strong safety is all but obsolete. They would have probably cut him and moved a corner to safety.

  12. nebster21 says: Jun 26, 2012 3:26 PM

    Sorry Mrs. Harrison but you would not make it 5 years in the NFL nowadays.

  13. whateverhommie says: Jun 26, 2012 3:31 PM

    napstein says: Jun 26, 2012 2:46 PM

    Actually, Rodney Harrison would have been fined and suspended into oblivion in today’s NFL.
    ————————————————

    No kidding. just imagine how much money he would have lost for all of those hits where he led with the crown of his helmet. Dude could have paid off the National Debt!

  14. returner8685 says: Jun 26, 2012 3:36 PM

    My goodness, so much has changed in the last FOUR years. Buckle your chin strap and put your money where your mouth is punk.

  15. rayguyreturns says: Jun 26, 2012 3:39 PM

    Actually he could have played for thirty years if he backed out all those cheap shots he threw. They take a toll on his body too.

  16. kh693 says: Jun 26, 2012 3:48 PM

    Yeah, and the players from the 70′s could have doubled their careers during his era due to medical advances. So, what’s his point exactly?

  17. andrewproughcfe says: Jun 26, 2012 3:58 PM

    So – he could have been burned by Tyree AND Manningham???

  18. CKL says: Jun 26, 2012 4:09 PM

    Here’s a guy who deserves every bit of the HOF and will never get there because of bias. Just look at some of the unfair comments above for an example.

    1) Tyree was NOT his responsibility, it was Asante the freelancer’s. Fat chance Asante ever admits that though.
    2) The only reason he was caught for HGH is because HE admitted it, there is still no testing, remember? His bad decision doesn’t eradicate his career achievements.
    3) Maybe if Bruschi had listened to Rodney telling him to change the defense on the Plax TD, it wouldn’t have happened.
    4) Yes he was overaggressive sometimes and much as I love the guy, it WAS a negative at times.

    He’s still the only safety EVER to have over 30 sacks and over 30 picks. He could blitz, he allowed BB to play big nickel, and he was the brains and heart of that secondary the entire time he played there. He wasn’t just some “in the box” safety. I really miss him in that secondary. Every. Single.Day. Best BB FA signing ever.

  19. mark0226 says: Jun 26, 2012 5:33 PM

    He could have played 20 years if he didn’t get busted for HGH and was still using it for faster healing.

  20. tubbman27 says: Jun 26, 2012 7:44 PM

    I personally think he meant this in the most snide way. How many team mates does he need to lose before he stops making asinine comments. Football is a tactical game. Comments about how the league is softening up by fans and players is alike are whats driving fans like myself away.

  21. joetoronto says: Jun 27, 2012 5:21 AM

    Love him or hate him, harrison was a hell of a safety.

    Just another great move by the ringless Chargers, letting him go.

  22. dukemarc says: Jun 27, 2012 1:42 PM

    Yeah and you would have been suspended for about 10 of those season Rodney – either for the juice or the cheapshots.

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