June 5, 2009

NFL Now 25% More Safe

With the news of Rodney Harrison's retirement a lot of opposing WR can't help but breath a sigh of relief. Granted Rodney was often injured over the past few seasons you can't help but feel the NFL will be 25% more safe for opposing pass catchers and quarterbacks this year. Just ask Vince Young who hasn't been the same since this hit, which took place in a preseason game.
As a fan of the Pats the acquisition of Rodney was a bitter sweet moment, but it has been a blessing from the start. Rodney replaced arguably one of the best safeties in the Patriots short history in Lawyer Milloy. Milloy was also Brady's closest friend on the team. While it hurt to lose Milloy, Rodney soon made us forget about him and brought a new edge to the Pats legendary defenses of the 2004-05 Superbowl winning Patriots teams. He could cover deep or jam the line of scrimmage and deliver a game changing hit on the opposing QB. He was basically one of the first hybrid strong safeties in the league. A short list that included most notably Rodney Lott. Rodney was every bit as tough playing in the 2004 Superbowl with a broken forearm for a couple of plays before being pulled out of the game. He always had a knack for making the big play in big moments. Evidence being the 2005 Superbowl where he intercepted McNabbs pass on the Eagles final drive and immediately went into flapping his wings. Injuries however had diminished his speed and coverage ability over the past few years. But he still gave it all on every play. Just take the David Tyree miracle catch in the 2008 Superbowl. Rodney did everything legal and illegal to keep that pass from being a completion. There was only so much he could do in the end to stop the luckiest catch in history. Hopefully he'll be remembered for more than that catch. I like to remember his crazy suplex of an opposing player in his Chargers days.

After a great career there are many titles that describe Rodney: Dirtiest player in the league, most fined in NFL history, gritty veteran, and most doubted player in NFL history. But, ultimately his place in the books is written and he'll go down as one of the greatest strong safeties to ever suite up in the history of the game. He's one of the last throw back safeties a gritty, hard nosed, and lethal weapon he played the game the right way. Dirty player? I say the game was meant to be played DIRTY!

Thank you Rodney!

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Teddy Ballgame

Teddy Ballgame
#9 on the field #1 in our hearts.