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Rodney Harrison: I had calls from teams asking me to come back and play after I retired

06.27.12 at 8:55 pm ET
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Rodney Harrison said that once he retired, he received inquiries from teams about coming back and playing again. (AP)

Former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison said Wednesday he had plenty of calls about a possible return to the league once he retired following the 2008 season, but he said he “shut those down quick.”

“I’ve been called for the last several years and asked, ‘Hey, you want to think about coming back?’ I’m at a point where I’m really enjoying life. I’m healthy. I don’t miss it,” Harrison said. “I really enjoy watching the guys develop and grow and make mistakes and get better and really just enjoy it from the sidelines. I really don’t miss football in terms of me wanting to be out there. I enjoy it as a fan.”

Harrison, who was being honored Wednesday as part of “The Tradition” at the TD Garden, played the final six seasons of a 15-year career in New England, and clearly developed an affinity for the region and the coaching staff. And the Patriots’ secondary has certainly struggled over the last few seasons. But when he was asked which teams gave him a call, he only smiled.

“I’m not telling. I’m going to keep that under wraps,” said the 39-year-old. “But I had a couple of calls, some inquiries, guys who said, ‘Hey man, are you interested in playing?’ I said, ‘Nah.’ I shut those down quick.”

Maybe one of the reasons he decided against pulling a Brett Favre is that it’s clear Harrison didn’t really care for Favre’s “will he or won’t he?” routine over the last few seasons, going so far as to call the quarterback “classless and immature” for his approach.

But that doesn’t mean Harrison wouldn’t rule out a return to the field as a coach — maybe even in New England.

“You know what? I’ve thought about it,” said Harrison, responding to a question about the possibility of coaching later in life. “I’d love to come back and coach, you know, the Patriots secondary and eventually become a defensive coordinator. But who knows? I’m 39 years old. I have a lot to do. If that job opportunity opens up, you never know what would happen.

“To be able to have this job is just a great opportunity,” said Harrison, who has been working as an NFL analyst for NBC Sports for three years. “Who knows what happens? You do it, you do the best you can, and maybe in two years they get rid of you and you move on. It’s all good. I’ve enjoyed myself. I’m going into my fourth year and we’ll see what happens.”

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