|Rodney Harrison on D&C: Despite top offense, Colts have ‘too many inconsistencies’||11.14.14 at 9:20 am ET|
NBC Sports NFL analyst Rodney Harrison made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show on Friday morning to preview the Patriots-Colts game and discuss other NFL news. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
The Patriots are on a roll, winners of four straight, heading into the Sunday night showdown in Indianapolis. The AFC South-leading Colts come in at 6-3, one game behind the AFC-leading Patriots and Broncos.
Harrison said the Colts have yet to prove they belong with the AFC’s elite.
“I think you have the top couple of teams in the AFC, which would be, I would say, New England and Denver,” Harrison said. “And the Indianapolis Colts, right, they’re trying to take that next step. Just too many inconsistencies on the defensive side of the ball. Yes, they have the No. 1-ranked offense, but if you want to win games and playoff games and beat the upper echelon of teams, you have to be able to play defense. And it’s not just at home and playing with a different speed at home, but the consistency when you’re on the road.”
Andrew Luck has been heralded as the next elite QB, and Harrison said his personality has a lot to do with it.
“The kid is so humble, he’s so smart, he works his butt off, he’s got a great arm, he’s smart. He’s got basically all the tangibles and intangibles that you look for in a quarterback, and as you can see he’s really taken that next step to being an elite quarterback,” Harrison said. “And I don’t think anything’s going to change with him. The type of kid that he is now, he was in high school or when he was in college, and now he’s in the pros.”
Another quarterback who might soon join Luck in the NFL is 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Harrison said the Florida State star is not worth the risk.
“I wouldn’t touch him. Just too many issues,” Harrison said. “This kid, it’s amazing how he has a thousand lives. They continually give him opportunity after opportunity, and I just think it’s one of those things where he’s got to really fall on his butt to really appreciate the opportunity that he’s been given. There’s no way I’m touching him. I don’t care about the talent, because when you get to a point where you’ve become this distraction to the team; the coaches, the organization can’t trust you, and you don’t know which guy’s going to show up on Sunday, yes he can do that on the college level, but on the professional level its completely different.”
Randy Moss is back in the news with the debut of an ESPN documentary about him. Harrison said the one-time Patriot never got his due in part because of his off-field issues.
“Randy Moss was spectacular,” Harrison said. “And I’m going to tell you this: As great as Randy Moss is, we still don’t appreciate how great he is because of some of the early distractions, some of the things that he’s gone through. Randy was one of the smartest football players I’ve ever been around — very smart, articulate guy, like you see now on TV. And I just believe that if he would have had maybe a cleaner image that people would have really been able to understand how great Randy Moss is. And Randy’s a good person — just a little bit misunderstood.”
|Rodney Harrison on MFB: Tom Brady ‘doesn’t trust that offensive line’||09.23.14 at 12:41 pm ET|
NBC Sports analyst Rodney Harrison made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Tuesday to talk about the Patriots’ rocky start to the season. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
The Patriots improved to 2-1 with Sunday’s 16-9 victory over the Raiders, but the offense continues to struggle, as evidenced by the single touchdown against a low-ranked Raiders defense. The finger has been pointed at the offensive line as the main culprit.
“It’s a big concern, because I’m sitting there with coach [Tony] Dungy and we’re watching them, and they’re just getting their butt kicked,” Harrison said. “The tackles, the guards, they’re just getting their butts kicked and getting pushed around. They just look so big and stiff, no knee bends, anything. It just looked bad. And Tom [Brady], you could just tell, Tom never felt comfortable, he doesn’t feel comfortable, he doesn’t trust that offensive line.
“They really need to either get that run game going, they need to do something. If it was one guy, like coach Dungy pointed out, then you can shift and you can use the running back and you can run some screens, stuff like that. But unfortunately it’s not just one guy, it’s a multitude of guys. This is a big concern for me, because if Tom gets hurt they’re in trouble.”
Richie Incognito, let go by the Dolphins in the offseason after being suspended for his role in the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal, remains a free agent. The talented but troubled offensive lineman reportedly is talking with the Eagles this week.
“He can play, man. He can play,” Harrison said. “[Bill] Belichick, he’s one of those guys that can bring certain people in — Corey Dillon and Randy Moss and myself — and people said, ‘Hey, these guys are troublemakers and they’re not good people.’ You can bring him in — he’s the one guy I think in the league that can get a guy to come in and fit in.
“A lot of people deserve second chances. Richie, he seems like he paid his dues. We all make mistakes in life. I think he can still play. I think you get a guy like that, you can get him for cheap, he’s hungry. Why not bring him in? If he doesn’t work out, cut him. It’s not like his salary will be guaranteed anyway.”
|Randy Moss takes high school coaching position in North Carolina||06.27.14 at 4:15 pm ET|
Randy Moss is the latest ex-Patriot to try his hand at coaching — the former New England wide receiver is reportedly an associate head coach at Victory Christian Center School in Charlotte, N.C.
Moss, who spent three-plus seasons (2007-2010) with the Patriots, was apparently on the sidelines at Panthers quarterback Cam Newton‘s 7-on-7 tournament Thursday coaching the Kings from the sideline. His son, Thaddeus, is a 6-foot-4, 240-pound prospect who played last year at Rhode Island’s Lincoln High, but joined Victory Christian after the family recently moved from the New England area, Victory Christian head coach Dee Brown told the Observer.
In his 14-year career with the Vikings, Raiders, Patriots, Titans and Niners, Moss finished with 982 receptions for 15,292 yards and 156 touchdowns.
|Wes Welker admits to Randy Moss: ‘I don’t care what it takes, you’re going to be out there in this game’||01.28.14 at 4:57 pm ET|
NEWARK — Who said former athletes and teammates can’t ask hard-hitting questions?
Former superstar receiver Randy Moss, who works now for Fox Sports 1, chatted up former teammate Wes Welker at Tuesday’s Super Bowl media day here and asked him if he would play in the Super Bowl with a concussion.
“What do you think? I mean, you want to be out there,” Welker told Moss, both of whom played in the Super Bowl XLII loss to the Giants. “The Super Bowl, this is what you dream about. You’re going to be there, I don’t care what it takes, you’re going to be out there in this game.”
Welker has dealt with many concussions over the course of his career, including one this season with the Broncos that forced him to miss the last two games of the regular season. When he returned in the playoffs against the Chargers, he wore an oversized helmet with extra padding, a helmet that prompted many comparisons to a cartoon character.
But concussions are certainly no joke and Welker has served as the poster boy for those critical of the NFL’s attitude toward dealing with concussions.
Moss, who retired this season after playing in last year’s Super Bowl, also asked Welker what he thought of playing against Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” secondary, starring of course Richard Sherman.
“I expect to be effective just by doing what I do and going out there and playing hard. Playing tough and making plays over the middle, trying to move the sticks and put us in position to score some points,” Welker told Moss.
|As trade deadline looms, looking back at Patriots’ in-season deals under Bill Belichick||10.29.13 at 8:05 am ET|
With the NFL trade deadline set for Tuesday afternoon, here’s a look at the in-season deals swung by the Patriots since Bill Belichick took over as coach in 2000.
2006: The day after a season-opening win over the Bills in Buffalo, the Patriots put an end to a protracted contract flap with wide receiver Deion Branch when they sent Branch to the Seahawks in exchange for a first-round selection in the 2007 draft.
2009: The Patriots made a couple of interesting moves that summer, including the trade of Richard Seymour to the Raiders for a first-round draft pick in the 2011 draft and a move that saw tight end David Thomas shipped to the Saints for a sixth-round pick in the 2011 draft. But the only in-season deal the Patriots made was a trade with the Ravens that saw them acquire linebacker Prescott Burgess in exchange for a conditional draft pick.
2010: The biggest year for in-season deals, at least from a volume perspective. On Sept. 14, the Patriots sent running back Laurence Maroney and a sixth-round pick to the Broncos for a fourth-round pick in 2011. Less than a month later, New England swung a pair of seismic trades: First, the Patriots dealt wide receiver Randy Moss and a seventh-round pick to the Vikings for a third-rounder in 2011 on Oct. 6. Then, six days later, New England re-acquired Branch in exchange for 2011 fourth-round pick (99th overall).
2012: Another impact in-season deal came that year on Nov. 1, when the Patriots acquired cornerback Aqib Talib and a 2013 seventh-round pick from Tampa Bay in exchange for a 2013 fourth-round draft choice (126th overall).
|Report: Randy Moss close to TV deal with Fox||08.09.13 at 3:14 pm ET|
The 21st overall pick of the 1998 draft by the Vikings, Moss’ most memorable season came in 2007, when he had 1493 receiving yards and set the NFL record for touchdown receptions with 23 as a member of the Patriots. Moss spent parts of four seasons with the Patriots before being traded to the Vikings in a season that saw him play for three teams, as the Titans claimed the troubled receiver after he was waived by the Vikings.
In his career, Moss has played for five teams: the Vikings (twice), the Raiders, the Patriots, the Titans and the 49ers. He was a six-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time All Pro.
|Which Patriots should expect a call from the Hall?||08.03.13 at 11:10 pm ET|
The Pro Football Hall of Fame inducted the class of 2013 on Saturday night, with Bill Parcells, Larry Allen, Cris Carter, Jonathan Ogden, Dave Robinson, Warren Sapp and Curley Culp honored in Canton. The most recent round of inductions got us wondering: What members of the Patriots over the last decade-plus could eventually end up being fitted for a yellow jacket? Here are 13 possibilities, with their Patriots careers in parentheses.
Bill Belichick (head coach, 2000-present): Regardless of how his career ends, whenever Belichick decides to retire the hoodie, five rings (three as head coach, two as a coordinator) are certainly enough to land a spot.
Wes Welker (2007-2012): We wrote this column at the end of the 2012 season, and stand by it: Welker needs another 100 catches and another 1,000 receiving yards, and if he gets it, he’ll be at the center of a great debate when he does decide to hang them up. That would give him almost 900 career receptions and close to 10,000 career receiving yards, which would put him in the heart of a discussion that once included Carter (1,101 catches, 13,899 receiving yards and 130 touchdowns, inducted this year) and now will focus on Andre Reed (951 catches and 13,198 receiving yards and 87 touchdowns, not in) and Tim Brown (1,094 catches, 14,934 yards and 100 touchdowns, not in). One thing that would help his candidacy would be at least one ring.
Randy Moss (2007-2010): Moss drew some flak this past January when he said he was the ‘greatest receiver ever to play,” But he’s not too far off. Moss’s 156 receiving touchdowns are second only to Rice’s 197, and his 15,292 yards are third behind Rice’s 22,895 and Terrell Owens‘ 15,934. (For what it’s worth, if Moss could have hitched his wagon to Brady for more than three-plus seasons, he might have been able to catch Rice.) Like many of the guys on this list, his candidacy would be considered truly ironclad if he came away with a ring, and I’m not sure if that’s possible at this stage of his career. But his stats should be more than enough to get him to the Hall. That induction speech will be an all timer.