The often-fined former Pro Bowl safety and two-time Super Bowl champ delivers his share of shots as a broadcaster for NBC
DAN PATRICK:You were with the Patriots under Bill Belichick for six years. Are you guys taught to be boring?
January 21, 2013
RODNEY HARRISON:[Laughs.] You take the tone of your head coach. [Reporters] don't get to see the other side of Bill that we see. He's a really fun coach to play for. He's not going to give the media anything. He's trying to dictate how you guys perceive [things].
DP:As a player, how do you know Belichick is really that smart?
RH: Everything he tells you, you do it and it works. Just like we saw this weekend: situational football. If you're Denver's Rahim Moore, how do you let [Jacoby Jones] get behind you in that situation?
DP:How did the Broncos allow that late touchdown against the Ravens?
RH: [Moore] wanted to be the guy who made an interception and won the game. Everyone wants to be the hero.
DP:Does New England's Wes Welker get his due?
RH: I played with Wes. I had to defend Wes. We don't give him enough props. Do you see the type of licks he takes? He's a little, 5'9" guy. If there's no Wes Welker, the Patriots don't go to their last couple of Super Bowls.
DP:Take me back to Super Bowl XLII. After David Tyree caught the ball over you, what happened on the Giants' game-winning touchdown?
RH: Our defensive coordinator called an all-out blitz. I look to my right and see 5'9" Ellis Hobbs against 6'5" Plaxico Burress. I'm screaming to [linebacker] Junior Seau, Check the call! Junior being Junior, he just wants to blitz. Eli [Manning] lobbed it up to Plaxico.... Not even a chance.
DP:How tough is it to lose when you're expected to win?
RH: It sucks. These three or four next months for Peyton Manning will be miserable. He knew he put them in a situation where they should have won [but they didn't]. Because of one play by a safety.
DP:But Peyton didn't seem to have a lot of zip on the ball against the Ravens.
RH: It was cold, brother. Peyton doesn't have the same zip, and he'll never be the old Peyton. But he still will be effective. You'll see the same thing next year because he's spent time with the receivers. They have a lot of great stuff to build on.
DP:You live in Atlanta but have been critical of the Falcons. How's that going?
RH: They're killing me out here on the radio stations. Who's afraid to go to Atlanta? I don't think anyone is. It's not good enough for the Falcons to go to the NFC Championship Game. For them to have a successful season they have to get to the Super Bowl.
DP:Who do you have in the Super Bowl?
RH: The Patriots and the Falcons.
DP:Now you're a believer in the Falcons?
RH: They're going to lose when they get to the Super Bowl, but they're going to get there.
Guys should have the chance to check out their options. The hard part is speculation. I went through this for so many years at USC. It's hard on you when you're in the college recruiting season and the rumors are going around and 90 percent of what's out there is not the truth."
—PETE CARROLL, Seahawks coach, on high-profile college coaches talking to NFL teams
Alabama coach Nick Saban told me that his QB, AJ McCarron, is capable of bigger numbers. "[This year] we had a really good offensive line, running backs," Saban said. "We trust AJ. We feel we can have a really good passing game. Maybe next year." ... Ravens QB Joe Flacco told me the Ray Lewis we see on Sunday isn't the same person during the week. "He's a pretty relaxed guy," Flacco said. "That's who I've gotten to know. He has the ability to turn it up on the game field." ... Fox's Troy Aikman is concerned about Robert Griffin III's long-term health. "I think it's naive if we all point to Adrian Peterson and say [Griffin will] be fine," Aikman told me. "We don't know that." ... MLB Network's Peter Gammons thinks Hall of Fame voters should wait if they plan to vote for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens because the induction ceremony would be so negative. "I don't think it's a bad thing if we step back," Gammons told me. "It could be embarrassing. The majority of Hall of Famers would not show up. It would be extremely divisive."