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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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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 ‘€œshut those down quick.’€

‘€œI’€™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. ‘€œI 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 ‘€œThe 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.

‘€œI’€™m not telling. I’€™m going to keep that under wraps,’€ said the 39-year-old. ‘€œBut 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 ‘€œwill he or won’€™t he?’€ routine over the last few seasons, going so far as to call the quarterback ‘€œclassless 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.

‘€œYou know what? I’€™ve thought about it,’€ said Harrison, responding to a question about the possibility of coaching later in life. ‘€œI’€™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.

‘€œTo 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. ‘€œWho 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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