Some reporters are known for asking very direct, intimate questions, but sometimes, there's an invisible line that gets crossed.
Like, say, when a player's fiancée has a baby and one of the first questions to the player is, "How did it happen?"
"I think we all know…" the player jokes in response, and laughter erupts all around.
That's how Friday's media session with Duron Harmon started out. The reporter who asked the awkwardly worded question was trying to find out how and when Harmon found out that his fiancée was going into labor. The Patriots safety missed practice a day earlier to be with her and their other son, Chris.
"Actually, it's a funny story," Harmon began with a smile. "Me and my fiancée, we were literally both up at, like 5 o'clock, just lying there, and she was like, 'I don't know, my stomach feels a little weird.' And I'm just like – it's 5 in the morning, I'm not going to lie – I'm like, 'Well, maybe it's just your stomach is a little upset. Because my stomach is a little upset, too.' And she was like, 'Naaaahh, I think it's time!'
"And I'm like, 'How about you make sure that you're right before I have to call Bill [Belichick] and let him know that I won't be coming in today?' Because I didn't want to go [to the hospital] and then come back. So she goes, and I'm literally about to pull into Foxborough, and I get a phone call."
It was the fiancée, telling Harmon he needed to turn his car around and hurry up to the hospital.
"Stuck in traffic, of course, on 95 North for about an hour," Harmon continued, "but I got there and about two hours later, he came out looking beautiful as ever. Just gave me a bunch of joy."
Heretofore, Harmon, in his third season with New England, had never missed a practice.
"Oh, yeah, definitely. I try to pride myself on being there every day, trying to be dependable, practice hard each and every day. I guess missing one for my baby, I guess that's not too bad," he said with an ear-to-ear grin.
Had the child been born just a few weeks earlier, when the Patriots faced the Cowboys, his name might have raised a few eyebrows. The couple settled on the first name Dallas for their new baby boy.
"My fiancée picked it," Harmon explained. "She was like, 'I like Dallas,' and I'm kind of… 'Ehhh'… and she said, 'I like Dallas!' So, 'Okay, Dallas it is!"
The way Harmon was beaming Friday, she could have picked almost any name and he would have been thrilled.
"Can't stop smiling," he added. "I'm excited. Everybody's healthy. So, I'm blessed."
And while Harmon is at work this Sunday against the Washington Redskins, his clan and its newest member will be at home, cheering him on.
"They'll watch on TV. He'll have his little Patriots uniform on," said a delighted Harmon. "I had to make sure he had that set up."
Harmon was back with his teammates on the practice field Friday, as was wide receiver Julian Edelman, who incurred a knee injury this week and has been limited in his workout participation.
Afterward, Edelman entertained reporters' questions for several minutes, the first of which was about his injury. The question was prefaced by the fact that Patriots players are typically discouraged from discussing their health statuses with the media, but that many fans might be wondering if Edelman will be fit enough to suit up Sunday versus Washington.
"Tell them to ask Bill," Edelman stated matter-of-factly. "It's a team policy. I'm not going to go down that road.
"I practiced today," was as far as he was willing to acknowledge.
DE Jabaal Sheard (ankle), OL Marcus Cannon (toe), and rookie OL Tre Jackson (left knee) did not, however. They've been out all week and will likely not be available for Sunday's game.