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Rodney Harrison Press Transcript

Posted Jan 28, 2004

S RODNEY HARRISON(On if he would be like former Giants LB Lawrence Taylor if he were to play linebacker)“No way would I be Lawrence Taylor. He’s the best linebacker to ever play the game.

S RODNEY HARRISON

(On if he would be like former Giants LB Lawrence Taylor if he were to play linebacker)
“No way would I be Lawrence Taylor. He’s the best linebacker to ever play the game. I’m just a guy that goes out there and plays as hard as he can. I don’t take the game for granted, and I just play at 100 miles-per-hour every chance I get. I could never be Lawrence Taylor. I’m not gifted like him, and I couldn’t compare myself to him. I’m just a guy who’s trying to make it.”

(on if he could compare to Ronnie Lott)
“I like to try to play like Ronnie Lott, but again, I could never compare to him. As far as my heart and desire, I feel like I have similar characteristics like him. I love and respect the game like him.”

(on being named captain)
“I was only here for three or four weeks and to have those guys name me captain, it meant the world to me. It showed me that my hard work and preparation through training camp was respected by the team. The guys just embraced me here. When you come into a situation like I did, you never want to step on anyone’s toes, and you never want to wear out your welcome too soon. I was just trying to fit in.

(on Coach Bill Belichick and team veterans)
“I think he’s done a good job of keeping things in perspective for us and not allowing us to get a big head or to start thinking we’re doing something really special. He has an uncanny way of getting his point across to his players. The veteran leadership here helps that. With guys who have been in this situation before, playing in big games and that have been through adversity, really help to keep the rookies humble.”

(on the defense’s success)
“Coach Belichick understands our strengths and our weaknesses and he puts us in a great position to make plays and be ourselves to just go out there and play football. People really don’t understand that teams are great and defensive plans are great, but it’s the players that go out there and take care of business. If Ty Law doesn’t get an interception or Tedy Bruschi doesn’t score a touchdown on an interception or Willie McGinest doesn’t get the sacks, then the plays don’t work.”

(on facing strong running backs)
“We’ve dealt with a strong running game just about every week. We’ve stopped Ricky Williams and only one guy, Clinton Portis, ran 100 yards on us. We’ve gone against Fred Taylor, Edgerrin James and Eddie George. Time and time again, there’s been a challenge for us. It’s just a matter of whether or not we are going to stop him with seven or eight men. We cannot allow a guy to run crazy on us. We can’t allow him to run for 120 yards. It will make the day crazy for us. That’s definitely a goal of ours.”

(on first arriving with the Patriots)
“When I first came in, I really didn’t make any friends, I made enemies. No one really wanted to talk to me once I got in the locker room. I didn’t care about that. It wasn’t about me making friends. It was about me proving to people that I still had gas in my tank and that I can still play. As I spent some time with the guys, I realized they respected me and wanted me here. After that, I calmed myself down.”

(on people doubting his ability)
“Once again it was about people not believing that I was able to do it. I was too small, I wasn’t good enough to play in the Big 10 or any of the other schools I wanted to go to. I think that’s why I play with such rage. No one has ever given me credit or any sense that I was able to play at this level or even the college level. They always doubted me and that’s just driven me to prove people wrong.”

(on playing football in college)
“I think I was a better basketball player than football player in high school. West Illinois promised me a scholarship and to have an opportunity to go to college and get away from the streets. I just wanted to make my mom proud by getting way from that situation, go to college and play football.”

(on the Carolina Panthers)
“I look at their front guys, their quarterback and the offensive line. I try to see if they are sitting light or sitting heavy if it’s going to be run or pass. They have weapons. I think people don’t understand they are very underrated even though they are here at the Super Bowl. People don’t give them credit. They have guys like Steve Smith, who is the heart and soul of their team, Stephen Davis, who runs hard, DeShaun Foster, who is running guys over and breaking tackles, and (Muhsin) Muhammad, who is a big physical receiver. They have a great offensive line and they are a well-coached team. They are going to game plan you, they are going to pound you and play physical.”

(on Tom Brady being successful as a late-round draft pick)
“Who really cares? It doesn’t matter if you’re a first round draft pick. A bunch of people say this guy has the height and size for a first rounder, it doesn’t matter. That’s just paper work. This guy has intangibles. He has the heart, the determination. He’s tough, he’s gritty and he wants to win. Look at the road he took. It doesn’t matter that he wasn’t a first rounder. Look at me, I wasn’t a first rounder, this is my tenth year. It’s about what you have inside. You can’t judge a person’s heart.”