Jeff Fisher and Rodney Harrison are locked in one of the more entertaining war of words in the NFL.
On Sunday, St. Louis Rams safety Lamarcus Joyner created quite the wave of controversy when he knocked Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater out cold during a play. Joyner utilized his elbow and caused a big blow to the helmet of Bridgewater, who happened to be sliding to avoid contact. Both the mainstream media and social media were in an uproar over the violent act.
After laying blame to Joyner, Harrison pointed the finger towards Fisher. The former New England Patriots safety stated that the incident was something that was typically seen from teams coached by Fisher. Harrison also mentioned a moment during his playing career where an offensive lineman coached by Fisher attempted to take out his legs. Harrison claims that Fisher was smiling and laughing on the sidelines when that particular incident happened.
Public relations is a big part of the job when you are a head coach in the NFL. As reported by Fox Sports, Fisher decided to retaliate by pointing out the hypocrisy of Harrison, who works as an analyst for NBC nowadays. The Rams head coach opened up the history books, grabbed some stats, and revealed that Harrison was quite the dirty player himself.
Fisher noted that Harrison had 18 unnecessary roughness penalties during his NFL career. Harrison also had seven personal fouls and four penalties for roughing the passer. In a knockout blow that would make Mike Tyson proud, Fisher also noted that Harrison was voted the dirtiest player in the league three separate times by his peers on the field. Fisher also mentioned that Harrison was suspended once for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Jerry Rice, the beloved San Francisco 49ers wide receiver. Though not addressed by Fisher, Harrison was also the person that took out former Rams quarterback Trent Green with a low hit to the knees.
After responding to the personal attack from Harrison, Fisher turned the attention to himself. The former Tennessee Titans head coach noted that he has been on the competition committee for a decade and a half now. The goal of that group is to ensure the safety of the players. Fisher stated that he would be a hypocrite if the allegations against him were true.
Many believe that Fisher responded to Harrison because he was also under attack from Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, who was fuming when he saw his starting quarterback laying motionless on the field. During the press conference after the game, a visibly upset Zimmer specifically called out Fisher and Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who caused controversy with the New Orleans Saints when it was revealed that he had placed bounties on opposing players. Zimmer felt that it was obviously an intentional act by Joyner under the command of Fisher and Williams.
For what it’s worth, Fisher has a direct link to the always controversial Buddy Ryan, who put out bounties on various Dallas Cowboys players when he was head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. Fisher, a former safety in the NFL, played for Ryan when he was a member of the Chicago Bears, including the 1985 team that won the Super Bowl and were known for being very rough on defense.
Jeff Fisher and Rodney Harrison may be done with their verbal feud. If not, though, we are in for some more entertainment.
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