Patriots

Rodney Harrison says he took Tom Brady for granted: 'He's like the Michael Jordan of football'

Rodney Harrison says he took Tom Brady for granted: 'He's like the Michael Jordan of football'

Rodney Harrison still has the utmost respect for his former teammate, Tom Brady.

Harrison joined The Mike Tirico Podcast, discussing his relationship with Brady and how the Pats quarterback maintains the same level of work ethic he's had since day one.

"I took Tom for granted," Harrison said. "I took him for granted because I played with Tom Brady and he's just a normal guy. He's a guy I could talk to, I could text... We forget - and I think I forget - that Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback. He's like the Michael Jordan of football. It really didn't dawn on me until I was sitting there and I'm looking at him and saying 'Dude, you're the greatest ever.' And he was like 'I don't view myself like that.'

I asked him about if he had to change his leadership style to relate to the younger players. And he said no, he's basically the same and the players respect him because he loves his teammates so much. And it just had me so fired up because a guy that takes an extra hour or two or three hours to work on his body before and after practice, the level of sacrifice that he makes on a daily basis to get out there and play football - it had me inspired. It had me inspired to do my broadcasting job a little better. It had me wanting to go watch a little bit more tape. That's the type of inspiration that Tom Brady is. And people don't know he's so humble. The same guy that I saw in 2003 that I met, I came in here and gave him a hard time when we practiced is the same guy that I see to this very day. But the fire burns even more in him right now because he understands it. He's been through so many years of ups and downs and now Tom - the thing that I took from him - is Tom is at a place where he's peaceful in his life. There's no more chasing anything. He's just having fun, playing football and doing the things that he loves."

Harrison also talked about how Brady's motivation came from being on a winless team in high school.

"He told me, I remember when I was a freshman in high school, I was on an 0-8 team and we didn't win a game, but he said I was at a point where I couldn't even get on the football field on an 0-8 team," said Harrison. "And he said people don't realize how much that truly motivated me to want to work hard. And I thought that was pretty cool, because he never told me that story. He told me that back in 2003, he was really motivated because of him getting drafted so late. And I thought that was really the source of his motivation. But he was like, I couldn't get on the field on an 0-8 team and I felt so bad - so he said he went to work and that motivated him and really propelled him to always seek the greatness he has. And it was just really amazing to me, because something like that in high school motivated him to the point where he wanted to be the greatest of all time. It's pretty special."

You can listen to Rodney Harrison's full interview with Mike Tirico below:

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Tom Brady was surprised by Bill Belichick's 'very kind' gesture after win

Tom Brady was surprised by Bill Belichick's 'very kind' gesture after win

Tom Brady has garnered every accolade under the sun. But even he didn't see this one coming.

After the New England Patriots quarterback passed Peyton Manning into second place on the NFL's all-time passing list in Thursday's win over the New York Giants, head coach Bill Belichick showed Brady some love by giving him the game ball in the locker room.

In an interview Monday on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show," Brady expressed his appreciation for his coach's gesture.

"I don't remember (the last time I got a game ball)," Brady said. "But that was very nice. That was very kind. That was, I would say, unexpected but certainly appreciated. It's pretty cool."

Belichick probably could give Brady the game ball every week if he wanted to, but the Patriots like to spread praise across the entire roster. A milestone like this provided an exception, though.

"I never imagined playing 20 years in the NFL," Brady added. "Peyton was a guy that I looked up to because he was so spectacular in every way. Brett Favre is the same."

Brady also added two rushing touchdowns Thursday, breaking Doug Flutie's record to become the oldest quarterback in NFL history with multiple rushing TDs in the same game.

Brady said he actually got a text from Flutie, a former Patriot and a "good friend," and responded with a little self-effacing humor.

"I (told him), 'I think they should delineate quarterback sneak touchdowns and actually where you have to run for a touchdown. Because I don't know if you'd classify mine as 'rushing' touchdowns, because there's not much rushing. It's more like sneaking."

Those sneaks add up, though: Brady now has 1,006 career rushing yards, only 628 behind the fleet-of-foot Flutie.

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Belichick: N'Keal Harry good to go mentally, Patriots need to see if he's physically ready

Belichick: N'Keal Harry good to go mentally, Patriots need to see if he's physically ready

N'Keal Harry has had to wait... and wait... and wait to make his NFL debut, but he's getting closer to getting on the field.

The Patriots first-round pick out of Arizona State suffered an injury in their preseason opener back in August that eventually landed him on injured reserve. By NFL rule, Harry had to wait at least six weeks before practicing and at least eight weeks before playing in a game.

That six-week wait is now up, and he's eligible to practice, though the Patriots can wait to get him back on the practice field at any time.

Bill Belichick said in a conference call on Monday that Harry -- who has been in the facility, in meetings, and taking reps with fellow rookie wideouts in the team's "virtual room" -- is mentally ready to go. The question is whether he's physically ready. 

If he is, Belichick said he'll practice.  

"We hope," Belichick said, "he'll be ready to go . . . Physically he needs to be able to show he can go out there and participate competitively at the practice level that we're at. Hopefully that's where he'll be, but we'll make our final evaluations on that before we put him out there."

Before Harry actually practices, the team will have to inform the NFL that he has been "designated to return." That would designate him as one of two players that the Patriots are allowed to bring back off of IR (or the non-football injury list).

Once Harry gets on the practice field, the Patriots will have 21 days to activate him to the active roster or shut him down for the season. The first game he'll be eligible to play will be a Week 9 matchup with the Ravens.

Harry impressed at times in training camp, flashing an ability to make acrobatic contested catches. But after he was injured in Detroit, he missed valuable on-the-field time that inevitably stunted his development to a certain extent.

"I think the fairest thing to do for any young player . . . is we have to get him back on the practice field," Josh McDaniels said. "We have to make smart decisions about when he's ready to do what."

McDaniels explained that it wouldn't be wise to say to Harry, "Do everything. Do it all well. Do it all well under pressure."

Instead, they'll look at his practice reps and figure out what he can handle and what he can't for the time being. 

"There's things that hopefully we can build into and do quicker than others," McDaniels said. "I think the practice field and the results we get on the practice field will tell us what the right time is to use him in different roles."

If Harry is out at practice this week, as the Patriots hope, his performance on the fields behind Gillette Stadium should quickly provide the team with answers on his readiness.

Perry's Patriots Mailbag: Do Pats still believe in N'Keal Harry?>>>

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