A final thought on Harrison's comments

This much is clear: Rodney Harrison is not a fan of all the NFL rules that protect quarterbacks.

What may have been less clear to the casual viewer Sunday night is whether Harrison was taking a shot at his old teammate Tom Brady when he suggested Mr. Bundchen invest in a pair of slacks. 

Before the issue gets blown up into some phony grudge match, I can say with authority as a fellow NBC employee that Harrison was just having some fun with his friend Tom Brady. Harrison’s wide grin, which erupts the moment he makes his comment, gives it away.

Like a lot of former players, Harrison genuinely has issue with how the roughing the passer rule has hurt the game.  He clearly thought the refs blew the call in Foxborough Sunday, but  any notion of a personal problem or feud with Brady is phony.

The next time Harrison wants to give one of his buddies the business on-air, though, he may want to make absolutely sure the viewer is in on the joke.

37 responses to “A final thought on Harrison's comments

  1. This is why I visit every day Florio, you give us the “reality” take, not the inflammatory (or uninflammatory in the case of ESPN) take!

  2. refs did blow the call. really funny to see harrison say that on live tv and yes he was jokiinnng around. lol.
    but baltimore had a chance at the end and didnt win so no excuses..

  3. It sure is easy for Rodney to call everyone out while he’s sitting on his ass in a broadcasting booth. :::smirk::

  4. PFT got punked by NBC. Kind of like something ESPN would do to one of its people. And the commercialization begins

  5. The comments were clearly a joke. However, his understand of why the rule is in place is too.
    It’s really easy to dive at a QBs knees and knock him out for the season. It’s a lot harder to do this to other positions. So the NFL made a rule to try and stop accidents from happening. They’ll handle intentional busch league plays on their own.
    I mean, the guy just got out of losing a season of football for tearing his ACL. Is it any wonder why he would react negatively to someone diving at his knees (even if it were accidental). I wouldn’t be surprised if Suggs did it to scare Brady more than hurt him.

  6. I thought it was pretty clear, but I do see the need for an explanation.
    My biggest concern for the NFL (at least as far as officiating goes) is the apparent ability for some players to request a flag. I have seen Brady and Moss do it, I have seen Phillip Rivers do it, I have seen Big Ben do it (I’m a huge Steelers fan so please spare us all comments about my bias) and the worst of all Favre. I think some sort of rule needs to be implemented where the refs have some sort of count to make a call and if they don’t make it very shortly after the play they cannot make the call. The clear problem with this is missed calls that need to be discussed which would lead to refs throwing the flag on any close play and (I wish there was a way to check the numbers on this easily) I think if a flag is thrown on a close call 99% of the time they will call it even if its the wrong call. So I think with this more things need to be “challenge-able.” You may argue this would slow down the game but if the coaches are allowed the same number of challenges (2 each and a third if your first 2 are correct) then the speed of the game would not be hurt severely.
    If you have an real arguments or additions to any of my points please respond but don’t sit there and bitch that I said a player you like has the refs throw flags.

  7. As a Patriots fan, I am also a Rodney Harrison fan and I know he’s going to say whatever is on his mind, regardless of the consequences. But I find it unfortunate that he had to make the ‘take off the skirt’ comparison last night. Surely as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Week, the NFL was acknowledging the fact that women who have survived such ordeals can be just as tough as football players? I feel as though NBC went out of its way to post that Harrison was joking so that people who might have been put off by his comment would not be insulted.
    I will give him props for confusing Dungy, though.

  8. As stated below…you’re all blaming wrong people here….Officials just calling rules which were created.
    Who created this???…The ‘Competiton Committee’…All started w/the 5 yard rule on receivers…and has continued over last 6-7 years to micro mamage like a petty sewing circle.
    Fisher, Dungy, Polian, McKay & friends…equal a petty ‘good ole boy’ network……Dungy???…the biggest hypocrite of them all…And he has the effing berries to criticize?????

  9. refs did blow the call….
    No the refs did not blow the call…any one of the three calls. Ngata hit Brady on the head with a forearm while rushing him; that is supposed to be an automating roughing the passer call, and the refs made the call. Suggs dove at Brady’s knee in a blatant attempt to injure Brady; Brady was able to avoid most of the contact, but diving at a QBs knees is supposed to be an automatic roughing the passer call. Again, the refs got the call right. Mike Wright tried to strip Flacco of the football after Flacco was on the ground at the end of a sack; again, a perfectly good roughing the passer call – that one obviously against the Patriots.
    You can hate how much the QBs are being “protected” by the league, as Rodney Harrison clearly does even when his good friend, Tom Brady, is one of the QBs being protected. But there is no reason to ignorantly suggest the refs are blowing the calls when they are making the calls accurately according the the rule book. A ridiculous situation would be one where the refs only made those calls when the QBs were injured on the play.
    Hate the protection of QBs if you must, but please stop whining about the refs following the rule book.

  10. Dude, the only ones who could possibly get confused about the joke are idiot reporters. Do you think Gregg? There’s a reason people understand reporters usually operate at full retard.
    Here’s a suggestion Gregg – don’t be stupid. Why have final recap which just tells people AGAIN you’re clueless in regards to anything dealing with wit? My head is still shaking at your last sentence.

  11. When the Ravens lost to the Pats in 07 all they did was wine and complain after the game about officiating that time too!!
    The rules are the same for both teams! Pats got called twice for the same penalty and when the game was on the line, your recievers couldnt nut up and catch the ball…
    Baltimores got a GREAT team, but they need to man up and learn how to accept a loss

  12. “The next time Harrison wants to give one of his buddies the business on-air, though, he may want to make absolutely sure the viewer is in on the joke.”
    The only person that needs to make it clear is the person on this site that wrote the article and left out the part about him failing to keep a straight face and breaking into laughter. I don’t know if whoever wrote that actually watched the segment, or just heard it second hand and just wrote down what was said without any context, but the only reason why people on this site (commenters) got it miscontrued was because you guys left it out. You guys need to admit that you should have included it in the first place instead of saying Rodney Harrison needs to make it clear that he was joking, considering you guys thought that Steve Smiteh wasn’t joking when he was talking to Delhomme. You guys are weird: you include humor in your articles, but consistently fail to recognize the simplest forms of it.

  13. …If you have an real arguments or additions to any of my points please respond but don’t sit there and bitch that I said a player you like has the refs throw flags.
    My “addition” to your point, and my bitch, is that every player and coach in the league requests flags in the course of the season. You singling out just a handful of players, whether you like them or not, appears to be absurd and irrational. OTOH, it may just be that you do not watch much NFL football. Some times players and coaches get the flag they are requesting, more often they are ignored by the refs.

  14. Rodney Harrison: Titans, Kevin Mawae are ‘Classless’
    “That’s a very classless group of guys, starting with Kevin Mawae, who is definitely one of the dirtiest players I’ve ever dealt with. I remember when he took Richard Seymour out,” Harrison said. “He intentionally tries to hurt people. A guy with that much talent, it’s terrible that he has to do things like that, and it rubs off on other guys. It’s disappointing because I don’t think [coach Jeff] Fisher encourages that. I’ve played Tennessee before and it wasn’t like that.”
    Harrison is angry about the knee injury he suffered in the season finale against the Titans, which forced him to miss the playoffs. Harrison says on that play, Titans receiver Bobby Wade intentionally dove into his knees while blocking him even though they were nowhere near the ball at the time. Harrison says he will be back in 2007.
    Oh, Come on Rodney! Toughen up!

  15. This isn’t complicated. The NFL should just legalize intentional grounding inside the tackles- that way it’s up to the QB to protect themselves and the game can go on the way it should be, without ref interference except when necessary. The QB would have to decide whether the coming hit is worth burning a down and risking the INT from trying to throw it away.
    As much as I agree that the rules are going too far, it does bug me how disingenuous these defensive players are since they don’t have to stand still, looking downfield, while people fly towards them, trying to kill and maim them- it’s not the QB is “any old player.” The problem is these guys are paid to go all out and often treated like bums and thrown away when they don’t perform- so now we’re asking them to slow down and think before they make a hit?

  16. # this class sucks says: October 5, 2009 6:25 AM
    So I think with this more things need to be “challenge-able.”
    Getting back to the the basics of football. It is a GAME played by real people. In the interpretation of rules made by any human there will be error when a decision is made.
    Now I was a proponent of instant replay when it first came out. The technology was available and reduced the possibility of human error in referee’s interpretations.
    Where do we draw the line? Should we stop and review each play to make sure the right decision was made? You can see from the replays that you can not always see what really happens as informative camera angles are not always available or players are in the way as they pile on each other etc. Heck, how any times do you see the announcers differing on their interpretations of the replays or what you thought was fact from a replay was interpreted differently by the judges upstairs?
    Football is an wonderful game played by imperfect people and wrong calls will be made randomly regardless of the level of technology available.
    To protect the integrity and fluidity of the game, I strongly suggest we keep the limited use of replays as it is, sit back and enjoy the game within the 3-hour time-frame, and accept the game as did the fans during the 50’s and 60’s as the game became more popular.
    Has anyone watched how much more use of the instant replay is being used in college this year? Do you want the pro game to become as annoying?

  17. FYI : Harrison TEXTED Brady ahead of time and told him what he was gonna say…again..as I said last night….he was making a point to the NFL…..and just playing around with Brady.
    …the Patriots were flagged questionably in earlier games (specifically the Jets game) on the very same call…..it’s in the rules now….and every player in the NFL should understand…if you even attempt to tackle by driving or diving at the QB’s knees…you are gonna get flagged…whether intentional, pushed…or by accident…… Again..it’s only an issue when it happens in the Patriots’ favor……,then the haters and jealous ones have to chime in yelling that the Patriots get preferential treatment….you are ridiculous

  18. was he joking when he intentionally dove at Trent Green’s knee before the 99 season. The league doesn’t even know who Kurt Warner is if Rodney Harrison doesn’t take the cheap shot on Green’s knee.

  19. What was really pathetic was watching Mr. Bundchen jumping around and begging the refs for the call. That was such an incredible pussy act. Yeah, put a skirt on him.

  20. Maybe you missed Mike Wright getting flagged for hitting the QB when it was an obvious sack? When crap like that happens you will be willing to take whatever calls come your way.
    Oh and isnt it funny how the Ravens cant control themselves? Thats twice they’ve played the Pats and LOST at least in part due to not being able to control themselves. LOSERS.

  21. Dude… Gaither was beat and was HOLDING on the play. No flag. Anyone can see that.
    Whether the DE can stop himself from hitting the QB at that point is pretty debatable.
    You try pulling up at that point. Try seeing the whole game and stop moaning. Ravens have a real problem with mental breakdowns. I’d be worried if I was a fan. At crunch time, they implode and start blaming the ref.
    Mike Wright was called for a ticky tack foul at 2:37 left in Q4. Fifteen yards there.
    Mr. Budchen whined enough to get a flag on Suggs. I didn’t see anyone around Suggs… not sure why he was that low to begin with.

  22. FLORIO! You do realize that if this was from another network you would be saying something to the effect of “Harrison has since said that he was just joking, but we remain sceptical. Look for this to continue to grow into something bigger.”

  23. “The next time Harrison wants to give one of his buddies the business on-air, though, he may want to make absolutely sure the viewer is in on the joke.”
    …and the PFT reporters as well.

  24. A couple of years ago, Vince Wilfork was pushed from behind, and fell in the direction of JP Losman’s knees. Wilfork took advantage of his positioning, and extended his elbow to take a shot at Losman’s knee. Everyone got all up in arms, saying Wilfork is dirty, blah blah blah…….
    Now, Terrell Suggs takes a shot at Brady’s knees, and all of a sudden it is a blown call????? I dont get it. It was a legit call on Wilfork 3 years ago, and it was a legit call on Suggs yesterday.
    I, like Harrison, and apparently Ray Lewis, dont like the rules, but the rules were enforced correctly. I dont agree with the rules, but it was enforced the right way, get over it

  25. Two of the calls were pretty petty, one to each side. Suggs was a good call, as Suggs was going for Brady’s knees. He should have been flagged, fined, and even suspended. The poor attitude on the part of the Ravens was sad to see. It all flows from the head coach, who couldn’t control himself all game. You could see how the game was going to go penalty and whining-wise right from him. He got a penalty after saying some obviously nasty things to a ref. You can’t do that and expect them to change calls for you. Refs don’t intimidate or retaliate, but if you insult them, it is human nature to not want to help you.
    Lewis is crying about refs. Like a politician complaining about drugs or infidelity, you can believe that is because he is guilty. He was playing dirty all game, at one point trying to spear a quarterback who was sliding. He went in low after the slide started, and tried to spear Brady’s back. Nasty play. After this game I can’t help but believe that Suggs and Lewis (the two biggest whiners after the game) are nothing but dirty players.
    Hey guys, try being at least a bit classy after a game. Admit that your “great” offense was held to 14 points by the Patriots D. Admit that your “elite” defense couldn’t stop the Pats offense all game, and couldn’t keep them out of the end zone.
    I guess you guys don’t “do” class.

  26. I don’t care for the ticky tack fouls either, but it is not the reason why the Ravens lost.
    This happened to the Pats twice in the Bills game, which extended drives that the Bills scored points on, but who ended up winning?
    Point is that the Ravens received the very same call against Mike Wright with under 3 minutes in the game and the Ravens had their drive extended. The big difference is the Pats D overcame it, with a little help from Clayton.
    That’s why the Ravens lost. Get over it, you lost, learn from it…Now I know why Steelers fans can’t stand the Ravens. They whine after every loss…

  27. He could barely finish what he was saying with a straight face. Huge grin right after gave it away. Chuckled right after that for icing on the cake.
    Rodney’s been fined more than any player in the history of the NFL so I can understand why he’s sensitive to cheaps shots on the quarterback.
    Ziiiing. Harrison can’t let this one go unanswered. I kinda look forward to mini-grudge matches, I thought that is why former players were picked up to comment?
    They suck trying to analyze anything.

  28. There are numerous ways to tell someone to get tough than by denigrating women. Regardless of his intention, whether joking or whether the calls were bad, he insulted a huge audience on national television. My jaw literally dropped open when I heard him say that. And, as another commenter stated, during the month the NFL is honoring breast cancer victims and survivors! Rodney needs to apologize to his audience not Tom Brady!

  29. I agree just a joke. But its funny Florio you think this is a joke but when Steve Smith tells Jake Delhomme he’s ugly and he never liked him as a QB he’s being serious. But because it had nothing to do with you you tried to make it into this huge grudge match. You tear ESPN apart for how they do special treatment but your doing to same thing. If this wasn’t on NBC or about Brady you would be on the front line of turning this thing into a conflict. Hopefully NBC’s ombudsman will comment on PFT seeing that your part of the family.

  30. Rosenthal, nice job. You deliberately take the comments out of context and run it to get web hits. Then you remember that you may run into Harrison at work sometime and scramble to cover your yellow ass. Nice try trying to have it both ways. YOU need to get a dress.

  31. As I watched the Texans dismantle the Raiders yesterday I was left to wonder how come some rules seemed to be enforced so sporadically. Tom Brady barely gets touched by Suggs on the way by and gets 15…Russell gets a hard shot to his head right in front of the ref and no call. The Raiders got called for celebration after a pick in the endzone because the player got on his knees and lifted both arms torwards the sky, by himself, for less than 3 seconds…yet the Texans celebrate a TD with a full on dance and don’t get called. As a fan of the game, I don’t mind ridiculous calls as much as the lack of consistency in making them. Its like the strike zone in baseball…as long as the players have a chance to adpat to a particular ump’s zone, then I have no problem with it…if that ump is calling the same pitch a ball for one team and a strike for another then there is a big issue.

  32. I’m a Colts fan but, I’d like to add this-Ray Lewis and all his crying buddies need to stfu and take their beating like men. You lost-get over it, move on and hope you see them again.
    Heck, blame Mason or Clayton, whoever dropped that 4th down pass, you could’ve won the game on that drive.

  33. @whywerule
    Your a moron, of course every player and coach asks for a flag my point was that it appears high profile players (and coaches) seem to get the flags when they want them.
    I see your point about replay making the game to slow. It is certainly a fine line because you don’t want the game to take 4 hours but you also want to get the maximum number of correct calls. I think making more penalties “challenge-able” would help get more calls right, and would slow down the game if the coaches were allowed only 3 challenges at the most (if they got the first 2 correct).

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