“About time! About time!” Rodney Harrison said. “For the last six years, I’ve been very disappointed, quite frankly. I take pride in this Patriots team and what Bill Belichick believes in. To see the type of guys that were on that stage [Friday night] and not see that same type of production [on the field currently]. . . . It hurt my heart to have to criticize this secondary on Sunday nights. It hurt my heart. But at the same time there has to be a certain level of accountability. You get to a point where you realize, ‘Yes, it’s nice to score points on offense, but you need a defense.'”
Harrison was speaking to the media, following the induction of Ty Law, into the Patriots Hall of Fame.
The comments, harsh, but true, resonate with most Patriots fans. Watching Tom Brady over the last decade, put a team on his shoulders, bring them into the playoffs, then fall short at the end. Making Patriots fans wonder: What about the defense?
This season appears to be different, with the offseason focus on the defense, paying off right now at training camp. Harrison knows this is the best defense the Patriots have assembled since he left the team. With that comes expectations, its championship or bust for the Patriots, according to Harrison. He went so far as to issue a challenge to the current players on the roster.
“You have an opportunity to play for the greatest organization on the planet,” via Tom Curran of CSN New England. “How can you not come out here and get it done? It’s not good enough to win a playoff game. It’s not good enough to make it to the AFC Championship game. It’s time to win a Super Bowl and everybody has to be held accountable.”
It might only be August, with plenty of time to go before the season, but Harrison approached the speech he gave, the way he played on the football field, bold and confident.