FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Rodney Harrison’s commentary about St. Louis Rams defensive back Lamarcus Joyner's hit on Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, which he called dirty and “typical of Jeff Fisher type teams,” sparked a strong reaction from Fisher on Monday.
Harrison’s remarks came during NBC’s Football Night in America broadcast on Sunday night. His history of playing Fisher’s teams was a central part of his remarks, as he reflected on playing in the 2006 season finale with the New England Patriots, against Fisher’s Tennessee Titans, when receiver Bobby Wade blocked him low and injured his knee.
So the story has a Patriots tie-in, and it was the first thing Harrison was asked about during his weekly appearance on Boston-based sports radio WEEI on Tuesday.
“I would love to really go in, like I really want to do in my heart and soul, but the guys at NBC, the higher-ups, told me, ‘please don’t respond.’ I will say this, if anybody knows about a dirty hit, it’s me. That’s all it was. It was about addressing the issue. It was a dirty hit. That’s what I said, and I referenced it back to what I experienced with his teams and what other players have told me, coming from his team and other people.
“People around the league know the truth. Bottom line. I’m not going to get into any details, because I’m just not going there. I was asked not to go there. But the bottom line is that if you’ve been in the league, you know the truth.”
Harrison was asked by host Glenn Ordway if it was frustrating for him to be called out by a head coach and not being given the opening to respond.
“It’s not frustrating to me,” Harrison answered. “On Sunday, my responsibility and people look at me and will point out one or two things I’m critical of, but 80 percent of the time I’m very, very positive and enlightening when it comes to players and things they’re doing, and teams and things like that. People don’t want to pay attention to the positive, they always want to bring out the negative.
“But it’s not, because I didn’t do it to personally attack him. I didn’t do it to provoke a response. I said it because it was in my soul, it was in my spirit, it was something that happened to me and it was something I experienced first-hand. I knew that it was a dirty hit, what Bobby Wade did to me. And I looked up and saw on the sideline, that’s fact, guys laughing and joking.
“He can point out all the dirty things I’ve done, or the penalties, but the bottom line is this: You can’t take away what I accomplished in my career. The funny thing about it, when you play against those types of teams, afterwards, coaches are coming up to you, ‘Man, I wish I had you on my team. Man, I wish you could bring that physicality with us. We need a guy like you.’ It’s the same coaches on the staff coming to me as a player wishing that I was on their team.
“So moving on.”