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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Patriots sign linebacker Ramon Humber to 53-man roster

Patriots sign linebacker Ramon Humber to 53-man roster

The New England Patriots bolstered their linebacker depth Wednesday with the signing of 10-year veteran Ramon Humber to the 53-man roster.

The details of Humber's contract were not released by the team. 

This isn't Humber's first stint with the Patriots. New England signed him in March of 2016, but he was released in August of that year before playing a regular-season game for the Pats. 

The 31-year-old veteran was cut by the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. He tallied nine tackles in nine games with the Bills this season. Humber has posted 234 tackles, 4.5 sacks and five passes defensed over 130 career NFL games. Humber has plenty of experience on special teams, so he could find a role in that phase for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

Humber wore No. 50 at Patriots practice Wednesday.

The Patriots are on a bye in Week 11 and resume their regular-season schedule in Week 12 at the New York Jets. 

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Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski in danger of missing several contract incentives

Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski in danger of missing several contract incentives

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are team players, and their goal (as always) is to win the Super Bowl. But they also have serious personal motivation to perform well down the stretch.

The New England Patriots quarterback and tight end, like many of their teammates, are on incentive-laden contracts, meaning they get bonuses if they hit various statistical benchmarks in a season.

With just seven games remaining in the regular season, however, both Brady and Gronkowski are on pace to fall short on several of those benchmarks. How far short, you ask?

As the Patriots enter their bye week, let's break down the reported incentives in both players' contracts, and where they stand after Week 10:

Tom Brady

Incentive: Top five in the NFL in passer rating ($1 million)

Current Pace: 94.7 passer rating -- 16th

Incentive: Top five in the NFL in completion percentage ($1 million)

Current Pace: 65.2 percent -- 18th

Incentive: Top five in the NFL in yards per attempt ($1 million)

Current Pace: 7.41 Y/A -- 17th

Incentive: Top five in the NFL in touchdown passes ($1 million)

Current Pace: 17 TDs -- T-11th

Incentive: Top five in the NFL in passing yards ($1 million)

Current Pace: 2,748 yards -- 5th

As it stands now, Brady is barely on pace to unlock just one of his four incentives and likely will leave $4 million in incentives on the table. His tight end isn't faring much better.

Rob Gronkowski

Incentive: 70 or more catches ($1.1 million)

Current Pace: 29 catches

Incentive: 80 percent or more of total offensive snaps ($1.1 million)

Current Pace: 64.3 percent of snaps

Incentive: Nine or more touchdown catches ($1.1 million)

Current Pace: One touchdown catch

Incentive: 1,085 or more receiving yards ($1.1 million)

Current Pace: 448 receiving yards

Gronkowski's contract stipulates he can earn a maximum of $3.3 million, but after missing three of the Patriots' last four games with back and ankle ailments, it'd be a surprise if he sees any of that money.

Both Brady and Gronkowski have been the subjects of retirement rumors, so if they don't meet these benchmarks by Week 17, it will be interesting to see whether they attempt to renegotiate their contracts or seriously ponder stepping away from the game.

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