“One thing I love about Rodney, he is honest, and what you see is what you get”
– Tony Dungy, 2016
Just like anyone who’s ever worn a Patriots jersey to an away game can tell you, if par for the course is everybody already hates your guts and everything you stand for anyway, might as well own it and have some fun with it, and everything else is just gravy.
That’s more or less the advice that former scourge of the NFL and Patriots legend Rodney Harrison had for Julian Edelman, who’s currently appealing his suspension for…something that’s currently unrecognizable. As you may recall, Rodney got popped for using HGH at the ripe old age of 34, right before the 2007 season, and his words of wisdom for Jules are basically what you’d expect your dad to tell you in this situation.
I mean, if your dad was a borderline Hall of Fame safety and a card-carrying member of the very exclusive 30-picks-and-30-sacks club that idolized Ronnie Lott and lived to blast anyone coming over the middle so hard that they’d be checking under their bed for Rodney at night for 15 years, of course.
“Ultimately, people are going to think what they want to think. If you’re a part of the Patriots, and something like this happens, people from the outside, they think you’re a cheater anyway,” Harrison said. “Ultimately, I’d tell him, ‘It doesn’t matter what other people think. You know what type of person you are. You just have to bounce back from this. You can’t allow it to affect you, you have to use your time wisely.’
“I just think a lot of times, we put a lot of guilt and pressure on ourselves, because we’re trying to do the right things. When you make a mistake like that, you apologize, you remain humble, you apologize to the people it hurt and move on.”
Rod also doesn’t see anyone looking down on Edelman too much even in light of a potential/probable PED suspension, mostly cause of the rep he’s earned around the league by now:
“People respect his game. People respect the way he approaches the game, his toughness, his mentality, everything he’s established over the years, so I don’t think guys (in the league) are going to lose respect for him,” Harrison said of Edelman, who had ACL surgery in September. “He’s tough as nails, the way he works, the way he prepares. He’s very meticulous. Trust me, if Julian Edelman was a free agent, you have more than half these teams knocking down his door. You want guys like him. Mentally tough, physically tough, guys who are leaders, guys who do everything they can for their teammates, guys who are unselfish. He shouldn’t worry about what other people think, because the people that know him, the people that respect him, the people that love him will always be there to support him.”
“He’s not the biggest, strongest or fastest guy, but he plays hard and he plays the game the right way. He does the dirty work. He’s blue collar, and he’s tough as nails.
You just don’t see a lot of wide receivers bring that kind of toughness to their game, especially at his size. And as a defensive player, that’s something that I definitely respect.”
Yup, checks out.
We’ll be sure to keep you posted on what happens with Edelman’s appeal, because A) as the aforementioned Richard Sherman can attest, stranger things have happened than skating on a PED suspension, and B) it’s the dog days of summer, what else are we going to do besides skip work for the World Cup games?