Tag Archives: Rodney Harrison

VIDEO: Rodney Harrison’s Top Patriots Plays

Robert Alvarez
May 18, 2019 at 1:58 pm ET

On May 6th, safety Rodney Harrison was selected to be the 29th member of the New England Patriots Hall of Fame.

On Twitter, the team paid tribute to Harrison with a highlight reel of top plays from his Foxborough tenure.

Check out some of the best below.

Harrison will join offensive tackle Leon Gray in an induction ceremony outside The Hall at Patriot Place on July 29th.

Patriots Fourth And Two: What Can Jamie Collins Offer The Patriots This Time Around?

Russ Goldman
May 16, 2019 at 2:28 pm ET

In this episode of Patriots Fourth And Two, we debated the signing of Jamie Collins, and what his arrival could mean for the team. We also discussed the other recent signings for the team which include Ben Watson. We finished up the show by talking about Rodney Harrison, who will be inducted into the Patriots Hall Of Fame.

Rodney Harrison Is the People’s Choice for the Patriots Hall of Fame

Steve Balestrieri
May 7, 2019 at 6:30 am ET

The voters have spoken for the Patriots team Hall of Fame and Rodney Harrison has garnered the most votes, having bested both Richard Seymour and Mike Vrabel. He’ll be getting his red jacket at a ceremony later this summer.

Harrison, on a teleconference call with the media, said he was surprised by the vote. “I was kind of like frozen because I’m telling you, I had it in my mind that I wasn’t going to be the guy,” Harrison said. “You just kind of get used to that, whether it’s Pro Bowls or things like that. Once they told me, I just thanked God and gave Him all this praise. And I just started receiving all these text messages from (Patriots LB Tedy) Bruschi and a whole bunch of people, so it was just a really, really proud moment for me and my family.”

Rodney Harrison finished Super Bowl XXXVIII with a broken arm but refused to leave the field

Harrison was often overlooked at how good he was because of his reputation as a dirty player. He only garnered two Pro Bowl nods but between 2003 and 2008, he was one of the most valuable players on the Patriots defense. Bill Belichick has said that Harrison was the best practice player he ever coached.

“That’s why it meant so much to me, so much more to me because it’s not going by reputation. You don’t have to have a certain reputation — good, bad or indifferent. The fans knew that I loved football. I gave everything for the organization, for my teammates, and for the fans and my family.”

Harrison had seven interceptions in nine playoff games for the Patriots, including two in Super Bowl XXXIX against Philadelphia. He also came to the Patriots with a reputation for tough, physical play and in his first two seasons (both Super Bowl wins) he led the Patriots in tackles with 140 (a career high) and 138.

Harrison is the only defensive back in NFL history with 30 sacks (30.5) and 30 interceptions. He was a team captain for all six of his Patriots seasons. He will be inducted with Leon Gray at a ceremony to be determined later this summer.

All three nominees are very deserving but Harrison has been the most visible with his hosting of Sunday Night Football telecasts with Tony Dungy. That certainly didn’t hurt his candidacy. Both Harrison and Seymour belong in Canton.

Of those Patriots’ teams that won three Super Bowls in four years, Harrison becomes the seventh player to be inducted into the team’s HOF. He’ll join Troy Brown (2012), Tedy Bruschi (2013), Ty Law (2014), Willie McGinest (2015), Kevin Faulk (2016) and Matt Light (2018).

VIDEO: Finalists Announced For 2019 Patriots Hall of Fame

Robert Alvarez
April 17, 2019 at 9:55 pm ET

On Tuesday the three finalists were announced for the New England Patriots Hall of Fame class of 2019.

Safety Rodney Harrison, defensive lineman Richard Seymour and linebacker Mike Vrabel all made the final cut.

All three players were integral pieces to a Patriots defense that earned multiple Super Bowl championships in the early 2000s.

Vrabel has been a finalist each of the last four years, while Seymour has been a finalist in each of his three years of his Patriots Hall of Fame eligibility. Harrison is a first-time finalist. It is also the second straight year that three teammates have been selected as finalists. 

Fans can vote at Patriots.com/hof through May 3, and the team will announce the 2019 Patriots Hall of Fame selection the following week.

The 2019 inductee will join the senior committee’s 2019 selection Leon Gray in an induction ceremony on the NRG Plaza outside the Patriots Hall of Fame later this summer.

Check out the video profiles on each nominee below.

Best Of Social Media: The Patriots Celebrate Christmas

Robert Alvarez
December 26, 2018 at 4:59 pm ET

On Tuesday, current and former members of the New England Patriots took time to share Christmas messages and photographs over their social media accounts.

Check out some of the best below.

https://twitter.com/camillekostek/status/1077733400176455682
https://www.instagram.com/p/BrydWjLF_Xv/
View this post on Instagram

‘Twas the night before Christmas. Happy Holidays!

A post shared by Jonathan Jones (@getitonjones31) on

View this post on Instagram

Merry Christmas fam

A post shared by David Andrews (@bear_6060) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/Brv16IIHxnG/
View this post on Instagram

Merry Christmas Everyone

A post shared by Jeremy Hill (@jeremyhill) on

View this post on Instagram

Merry Christmas from the squad!

A post shared by Duron Harmon (@dharm21) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/Br2_ErwDkAC/
https://www.instagram.com/p/Br1L210gDpn/

VIDEO: Tom Brady’s Sunday Night Football Interview With Rodney Harrison

Robert Alvarez
November 8, 2018 at 3:41 pm ET

Before the Patriots squared off with the Green Bay Packers this past weekend, quarterback Tom Brady sat down with former teammate Rodney Harrison for a one on one interview that discussed the quarterbacks he emulated as a kid, the traits Aaron Rodgers possesses, and why he doesn’t like the label of being called the best ever.

NBC Sports released the full 17 minute interview with Harrison that you can check out below.

Monday Daily Rundown 8/29: New England Patriots News and Notes

Ian Logue
August 29, 2016 at 5:00 am ET

Good morning, and here’s a look at this morning’s top stories.

Looking at Where the Patriots Rank After Three Weeks – Now that we’re three weeks through the exhibition season, it was interesting take a few minutes and looking at where some players sit in terms of overall statistics after three games.  Granted these numbers are a little useless given the fact the league doesn’t take into account playing time and quality of opponent (whether or not players are facing first or third string defenses, but nonetheless, there are a few Patriots who are in the top 10 in a few different categories.

Jimmy Garoppolo is second in the NFL in passing yards with 406, trailing Dallas’ Dak Prescott, who has 454.  Prescott has the edge in terms of touchdown passes having thrown 5 compared to Garoppolo’s one, which is probably the bigger area of concern thus far as he struggled Friday night as he continues gaining experience in the offense.  He only had three pass attempts down in the red area against the Panthers but did have two completions for 6-yards.

Meanwhile Tyler Gaffney checks in at #5 for rushing yards with 153, trailing DeMarco Murray’s (TEN) 153, Derrick Henry’s (TEN) 154, Malcolm Brown’s (LA) 155, and Christine Michael’s (SEA) 157.  LeGarrette Blount is close behind at #7 with 115 behind Dallas’ Darius Jackson (120).

The leading receivers are tight end A.J. Derby, who comes in at #7 overall with 10 catches for 138 yards, followed by Chris Hogan, who shot up and comes in at #11 after his big performance Friday night.  He now has 9 receptions for 115-yards through three games.  The overall leaders right now starting at the top are the Jets’ Robby Anderson (11 catches, 203 yards), Atlanta’s Aldrick Robinson (7 catches, 202 yards), Buffalo’s Walter Powell (12 catches, 189 yards), Tennessee’s Tajae Sharpe (9 catches 163 yards), Houston’s Will Fuller (8 catches for 144 yards) and Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans (8 catches, 143-yards).

Defensively, just one player for the Patriots made the list and that was Trey Flowers, who has 13 tackles, which has him tied with 10 other players for 6th most in the NFL.  He’s also currently 4th in sacks this preseason with 2.5 trailing Minnesota’s Justin Trattou (4.5), Denver’s Dekoda Watson and San Francisco’s Marcus Rush (both tied with 4), Miami’s Julius Warmsley, as well as Baltimore’s Matt Judon and Tampa Bay’s Jacquies Smith (all three tied with 3).

One other name that stood out was defensive back Cre’von LeBlanc, who was tied for the 4th most passes defensed with 3, which is a crowded group that has him joined by 15 other players.

These numbers don’t include the results from Sunday night’s battle between the Jaguars and Bengals, which as of the writing of this isn’t quite over yet.  But it gives you a glimpse at a few players who have had a productive preseason, and it’s going to be interesting to see how a couple of them end up when the team begins thinning out their roster.

Jones in the mix to return punts in 2016 – Cyrus Jones has had a good preseason returning punts, finishing with three returns for 85-yards, including a 60 yard return Friday night against the Panthers.  Overall this preseason he’s returned six for 109 yards and one fair catch, with the rookie having more or less exclusively handled that role.  D.J. Foster, Chris Harper, and V’Angelo Bentley are the only other players to have returned a punt, with each having one at this point in the preseason.

Bill Belichick was asked if he would consider giving Jones that responsibility to begin the season, and the Patriots head coach surprisingly gave Jones a pretty good endorsement.

“I think that’s a consideration,” said Belichick in a conference call on Saturday.  “Obviously, Danny [Amendola] and Julian [Edelman] have a lot of experience returning punts for us as well as kickoffs in the past. We’ll see how it goes, but we have good depth at that position and that’s always a good thing to have.”

It makes sense for Jones to start the year and take over those responsibilities, especially since Amendola and Edelman are both still trying to get fully healthy heading into the season.  Jones has also flashed in the secondary, including having made a pretty good play on an interception the previous week against Chicago.

For now Belichick said he has a lot of confidence in not just Jones, but in several of the guys who have gotten work in and he’ll wait and see how things play out heading into the regular season.

“We have confidence in all of those guys back there,” said Belichick.  “Last night we even had D.J. [Foster] who got a chance to handle the ball. We’ll see how it goes going forward, but I think we have good competition and good depth at that position.”

Belichick Pleased With Brissett – Jacoby Brissett’s performance Friday night was noteworthy, especially given his perfect 9-of-9 passing performance along with a touchdown.  Despite the fact Brissett saw most of his action late in the second half against lower tier players, Belichick was quick to dismiss that notion because in his mind, it was what he felt to be a pretty level playing field.

“I think particularly in this game, the competition was pretty level throughout the game in terms of when both teams substituted and who was out there, so it was a relatively level competitive playing field,” said Belichick Saturday.   “I think Jacoby continued to do some really good things. His passing stats last night we’re good which is always a good thing; 9-9, no turnovers, that’s a good place to start. There are a number of things he could have done better, like every player that played. He’s certainly learning and getting better at things every week, but there are new things that happen every week; different situations, different matchups against different defenses, so it’s a process.”

The biggest thing Belichick has been pleased with so far is the fact that Brissett’s been working hard and paying attention, which he believes is obviously one of the most important attributes a player can have.  So far for Brissett, it seems to be paying off.

“I think that’s the most important thing for any young player, to continue to improve, continue to make progress, to correct some of the things from the week before, or maybe from things that come up in practice,” said Belichick.  “They’re going to experience new things; they’re not all going to go right. They’re going to have to correct those and build on those while progressing in other areas that have previously been addressed and just continue to keep improving on a daily basis and then when they get a chance to play, show progress.”

“That’s the most important thing, really for all players, but especially for young players, that we see that improvement. That’s a good thing if players are working hard and paying attention to the instruction that they’re being given and they improve. Then we’re on the right track and hopefully we can continue to build on that.”


New England’s pass rush has been terrific during the preseason. (USA TODAY Images)

Pass Rush Off to a Good Start For the Patriots – The Patriots have been making some noise on defense during the preseason and they made Cam Newton pretty miserable during their win Friday night.

So far through three games they have six interceptions, two fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns and were all over Newton, picking him off twice while holding him to a dismal 13-of-29 passing and a paltry QB rating of 25.1.

They’ve looked good for much of the preseason, and that’s definitely a good sign considering how they finished last season.  As Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald pointed out on Sunday, the Patriots finished with 21 takeaways last season, which was their second-lowest total in 16 seasons under Belichick.

Logan Ryan was one of the players who picked off Newton, making a perfect read and a terrific leaping grab against receiver Kelvin Benjamin.  Ryan said they’ve been working hard in drills during practice, which obviously paid off against Carolina.

“We’re continuing to get the ball, which is something that we’ve harped on. Turnovers are contagious,” Ryan said Sunday via Patriots.com. “We’re going to keep sticking to the drills in practice.”

“We always try to be a confident group. We put a lot of work in… I just know we’re having a lot of fun, taking it one week at a time.”

No Rift Between Belichick and Brady – One of the more annoying sports takes over the past two weeks has been the notion of frustration in the lack of playing time for Tom Brady creating a rift between he and Belichick.

Former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, who faced a 4-game suspension of his own during his career when he admitted in 2007 about his use of HGH while he was recovering from a significant injury, said that the two have too much respect to let anything come between them.

 

“First, it’s a very respectful relationship,” Harrison told the Boston Herald. “And knowing Tom, he wants to be out there. He’s a very competitive guy. He feels like the more reps you get, the better prepared you are, and even though he’s not playing those first four games, and even though he’s accomplished so much in his career, he still wants those reps to feel comfortable.”

“But it still comes down to Belichick. He’s the head coach and he has to make some tough decisions, and that’s giving Jimmy Garoppolo as many reps as possible. Tom’s had 15, 16, 17 years of reps. It’s time to give the young kid reps, build his confidence, and see what the team’s capable of doing with him.”

Former teammate Heath Evans, who is now with the NFL Network, also dismissed the notion, telling the Herald that the ‘stupid’ speculation is just nonsense.

“No one knows anything,” Evans said.  “People are just speculating stupid stuff that never takes place in that building. Period. The end. That’s where I stand on it.”

But given the fact there will be four weeks where Jimmy Garoppolo’s development will likely fuel even more discussion, you can bet some of the topics that will arise between now and October should continue to be just as nauseating until Brady returns.

Kearse Heads off to Injured Reserve – Defensive lineman Frank Kearse never got much of a chance to get going in training camp and after battling an undisclosed injury, Kearse landed on injured reserve on Saturday.

The veteran was originally signed by New England as a free agent back on March 11th and is a former 7th round selection by the Dolphins.

Chris Long, Another Patriots Redemption Project on Defense

Steve Balestrieri
May 12, 2016 at 9:25 am ET

Pats DE-A Big Under the Radar Signing This Spring

The Patriots signed DE Chris Long just hours after trading Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals for G Jonathan Cooper and a 2nd round draft pick. Coincidence? Hardly. It was a smart decision signing a formerly dominant edge rusher looking to reignite his game after suffering two serious injuries in 2014-15.

Long missed 14 games those two lost seasons and was able to generate just four sacks, suffering an ankle injury and later a knee issue. Prior to that, Long, who turned 31 in March had an impressive run from 2010-13 where he generated 41.5 sacks and was one of the more dominant edge rushers in the game.

Long, if he can stay healthy in 2016 is a perfect fit for the Patriots defense in that he is the quintessential Bill Belichick-type player. Smart, competitive, comes from a football background and family, passionate about the game and with an unquenched thirst for winning. That’s one thing Long hasn’t experienced in his NFL career…winning. He’s never tasted the postseason and part of the draw for New England, why he took only a $2.375 million-dollar contract to come here was the opportunity to win.


The Patriots are looking for DE Chris Long to return to health and his dominant form in 2016. (USA TODAY Images)

Long can look to other players who came to New England in the latter stages of their careers and found success with the Patriots. Roman Phifer, Ted Washington, Andre Carter, Mark Anderson, and of course Rodney Harrison were all important cogs on the Patriots defense in years that the team went to the Super Bowl.

Long fits right in with what the Patriots and most importantly Bill Belichick likes in his players. Just ask one of his closest confidantes and fellow coaches has to say.

“The structure of the Patriots is based on players who are passionate about football and competition and winning,” Long’s former college coach and Belichick friend Al Groh said to WEEI’s Chris Price. “They are intense about preparation, and at the same time, they value guys who are good teammates.

“He’s passionate about football and winning, and he loves competition. He prepares relentlessly. Everybody who has ever played with or coached Chris said that they have never had a better teammate,” added Groh.

“He’s an excellent fit for the Patriots, and the Patriots are an excellent fit for him.”

The Patriots have been stockpiling big, physical players on the interior of the defensive line this spring. With Alan Branch and Malcom Brown already on the roster, the team added Terrance Knighton, Markus Kuhn, Frank Kearse and drafted Vincent Valentine in the 3rd round of the draft. They’re big, immovable objects but aren’t the most dynamic of pass rushers. That’s where the edge rushers come in.

Long is part of half a dozen Patriots defensive ends that the team will carry into OTAs and later into training camp. With Rob Ninkovich and Jabaal Sheard returning, Long won’t be expected to play an inordinate amount of snaps and wear himself down. Rather, he may be tasked with being a sub-package, third down pass rusher.

He could stay fresh, come in on passing situations and play with fire that marked his career that we’ve come to expect since he was the 2nd overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft from the University of Virginia.

The Patriots also have last year’s draft picks in Geneo Grissom and Trey Flowers as well as Rufus Johnson who played well last summer before ending on IR early last season. With a slew of good edge rushers, the Patriots could also opt with sliding an edge rusher inside on obvious passing downs in a NASCAR package. We’ve seen them do that with Jones and Sheard in the past and with Grissom and Flowers last preseason.

Sheard-with-Grissom-inside-
The Patriots have used their edge rushers inside, in a NASCAR-type package here rookie Geneo Grissom lines up inside Jabaal Sheard. (SBalestrieri image)

Long at 6’4, 275 could do that, but would probably be best served lining up on the edge. Ninkovich and Sheard should enter training camp as the team’s starters but by adding Long as a pure pass rusher just sounds like a success waiting to happen. And just what is the best news to come out of Long and the Pats since his signing? Silence.

Nary a word has been spoken from Long nor about him since he’s signed on. I am sure that’s fine with Belichick. But for Long, it is just a sign that he’s putting in the work and getting ready to fill a role for the Patriots that will hopefully take him thru 16 games and beyond this season.

Uncharted waters for the veteran, but he can look to those other vets who came to New England and found success as well. He’s taken over Jones’ old number, #95 on the Pats roster. He’ll be a clear player to focus on once training camp begins in earnest come late July.

Then you’ll be hearing his name quite a bit…

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcast on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

 

 

New England Patriots Players Celebrate Mothers Day On Social Media

Robert Alvarez
May 8, 2016 at 6:07 pm ET

Both former and current New England Patriot players took to their social media accounts on Sunday to celebrate Mother’s Day. Check out some of the best messages and photos below.

Happy Mothers Day! We love you!

Posted by Tom Brady on Sunday, May 8, 2016

Always by my side. You're the best. I love you, mom!

Posted by Tom Brady on Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day mama love you!

A post shared by Julian Edelman (@edelman11) on

Thank you for everything mom, I love you!! Happy Mothers Day!!

A post shared by Robert Ninkovich (@nink50) on

Happy Mothers Day Mothers….#Iloveyoumom

A post shared by Malcolm CB Butler (@mac_bz) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BFJ3DooRR1t/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BFKMQiEqwcO/

Happy Mothers Day everyone!

A post shared by Martellus Bennett (@martellusb) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BFJuZP4gtKg/

https://twitter.com/j_collins91/status/729322373602750466

New England Patriots Playbook – Sean Glennon, A Great Look at Pats History

Steve Balestrieri
October 17, 2015 at 9:50 am ET

Inside the Huddle for the Greatest Plays in Patriots History should be required reading

Patriots playbook

There are a couple of super new books that will be of great interest for Patriots fans out there and as we get a chance we’ll review them, we will get the word out for some of the best and entertaining reads.

One of the books we’ve been waiting for is Sean Glennon’s newest work, “The New England Patriots Playbook: Inside the Huddle for the Greatest Plays in Patriots History” put out by Triumph Books.

Glennon should be well known to Patriots fans; this is his fourth book on the Patriots and his last one, Tom Brady vs the NFL, The Case for Football’s Greatest Quarterback was an outstanding effort. Glennon is also very active on Twitter and has been quite visible during the latest Brady vs the NFL goings on with the Deflategate fiasco.

Glennon’s latest work takes one on journey back to some of the most memorable plays, both good and bad in Patriots history. It is started off with a forward from Patriots Hall of Fame linebacker Steve Nelson. Nellie recounts some of his biggest memories including the infamous phantom roughing the passer penalty in the 1976 playoff game against the Oakland Raiders, the “Ben Dreith Game”.

Of course everyone knows the Malcolm Butler interception against the Seahawks in last season’s Super Bowl but more youthful Pats fans may not remember Jim Nance’s 65-yard touchdown run against the Bills in 1966 or when the Patriots shocked the back-to-back Super Bowl Champion Dolphins on the opening weekend of 1974 behind 5’5, 170 pound Mack, “Mini-Mack” Herron.

Of course there are numerous plays that take place in the Patriots dynasty of the Bill Belichick era including perhaps the most clutch kick in NFL history, Adam Vinatieri’s 45 yard field goal in a blizzard in the old stadium in January 2002 that tied the game and sent it into overtime. Of course Vinatieri had his memorable kick in the Super Bowl against the Rams that upset the “Greatest Show on Turf”.

Tom Brady’s overtime pass to Troy Brown for an 82-yard touchdown in 2003 put the Patriots in the divisional driver’s seat that they haven’t  vacated over a decade later.  Brown also had the fumble strip of Marlon McCree after McCree’s interception of Tom Brady that led to an improbable Patriots playoff victory over the San Diego Chargers in 2006.

That game led to a wild Patriots celebration at midfield that incensed Bolts running back LaDanian Tomlinson. The Patriots mimicked Shawne Merriman’s “Lights Out” sack dance following the victory. Tomlinson took great exception saying the Patriots “showed no class…maybe it comes from their head coach.” It is fitting that he bandied about the class word…since the Patriots taunted the Bolts with a dance, that San Diego taunted its opponents with all season….hello pot, meet kettle.

Rodney Harrison’s interception to seal the Super Bowl against the Eagles in the Patriots third championship in three years is a personal favorite. Harrison was an integral part of the Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX and brought a level of toughness to the Patriots secondary.

Of course no book on the Patriots successes is complete without a bunch of references to destroying the Colts Super Bowl dreams time after time. The Tom Brady – Peyton Manning rivalry has been notoriously one-sided, even after his move to Denver. But the Colts stories have a nice lead-in to this week’s game in Indy.

There’s even a chapter at the end of the book with all of the heartbreakers that the team has suffered in its 55-year history….and there are many. David Tyree’s Velcro helmet catch, the blowout in the 1985 Super Bowl to the Bears, the infamous 4th & 2 call against the Colts….they’re all here.

There are just too many stories here to list all of them, but die-hard Patriots fans will love this book, it is a guaranteed great gift for the football fan and one that will be thumbed through every time a discussion begins on, “Hey, do you remember when…”

Glennon’s latest book is another touchdown for him as he sets the bar even higher for his next work…it can be found in major bookstores or ordered on-line from Amazon.com here:

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcast on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.