Monday, October 5, 2009
Harrison doesn't skirt Brady criticism
Rodney Harrison doesn't play favorites.
The blunt-talking former New England Patriots safety sided with Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis when it came to calls that went the other way in a 27-21 Patriots victory in Gillette Stadium.
Lewis was incensed that Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was called for roughing the passer for brushing past Tom Brady's legs in the second quarter. A third-and-10 situation from the Baltimore 42-yard line turned into a first down at the 27-yard line. The Patriots scored a touchdown two plays later to take a 17-7 lead.
Brady essentially benefited from the so-called "Brady rule" that protects quarterbacks from being hit from the waist to below the knees.
Mike Freeman from CBSSports.com wrote a column on Lewis' postgame eruption.
"That's not football," Lewis said in the visitors locker room. "And that's the embarrassing part about it. Two great teams going at it, let them go at it. But you can't stop drives like that, you can't throw flags and say 'Oh, you touched the quarterback.' Put flags on them. Put a red buzzer on them so if we touch them, they're down."
Lewis said Brady gleefully remarked on the field that the call was "a cheap one."
"You do a double take," Lewis said. "It's embarrassing that [the Patriots] even know it. They even know, 'If you get close to me, guess what? I can look for a penalty.' Did that win or lose the game? No, but it damn sure helped them get 14 points. People work too hard for that. And the embarrassing part about it is you see it constantly, constantly every week: emphasis on protecting the quarterback. We're men, we put our pants on the same way. I got kids just like Brady got kids. Every man has kids. Treat them with that same respect.
"It's embarrassing for us to even keep a game going like that, give them momentum, after they go three-and-out. We stop them, see a flag for a personal foul and Brady's laughing? That ain't no personal foul if you're still smiling. Bottom line."
Harrison agreed with Lewis.
"Horrible call," Harrison said. "You can't make this call.
"Tom Brady, if you're listening, take off the skirt and put on some slacks. Toughen up."
Harrison triggered a feud with Terrell Owens after calling the Buffalo Bills receiver "a clown" last week on "Football Night in America."