Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Harrison: Meriweather not a dirty player
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, who now serves as an analyst for NBC Sports, reached out to Brandon Meriweather after Meriweather’s helmet-to-helmet hits on Ravens tight end Todd Heap.
Harrison relayed the conversation Wednesday while being interviewed on Sirius NFL Radio by Peter King and Ross Tucker.
“I asked Brandon point blank, ‘If the NFL fines you a great deal of money or if they suspend you, will this change the way you play?’ He told me absolutely,” Harrison said on Sirius. “That’s the message the NFL is sending and I think a lot of players will echo that same sentiment.”
Harrison was then asked a follow-up question by King on if he believes Meriweather will truly change the way he plays.
“No question,” Harrison responded. “Because Brandon Meriweather is not a dirty player. He is a guy that plays hard.
“I told him specifically ‘Brandon, I’m calling you today because I don’t want you to make the same mistake I made -- hitting guys and being known as a dirty player and having that reputation.’ I said I made only two Pro Bowls, and I compare my career up to all the best safeties. I made two Pro Bowls because everyone considered me a dirty player and didn’t appreciate what I actually did on the field.
“[I told him] ‘you’re too good of a player, you’re a hard-hitting guy, a playmaker, I don’t want you to fall into the trap I did.’ I told him to take your medicine and come back and play. He said ‘Rodney, I will lower my hitting area. I will have to lower my hitting area.’"