Rodney Harrison responds to Steve Smith smack talk with olive branch
Rodney Harrison attempted to clarify remarks made earlier this season about Steve Smith after the Baltimore Ravens wide receiver called him out over them after Thursday’s victory over the Cleveland Browns.
“I’ve said in the past that Steve should be a Hall of Famer,” Harrison said on Friday via text message to Pro Football Talk. “I’ve also said he was one of the toughest receivers I ever played against. What he is doing at age 37 is remarkable. However, coming off a major injury and having played in my late 30s, I know how the body can break down, so I stand by my comments. I understand the importance of having balance on offense and defense. That’s my perspective.”
Before Harrison’s attempt at extending an olive branch on Friday, Smith, , who caught five passes for 60 yards and a touchdown in Baltimore’s win,made it clear he was aware of Harrison’s original critical comments and wasn’t about to let him off the hook.
“He knows how hard it is to play this game,” Smith said in part after the game. “He’s gonna take it away, and say ‘If they depend on him at 37.’ I respect the heck out of Rodney Harrison, but don’t take digs at me, ’cause I dig back and dig deeper.
“My shovel’s bigger than your shovel.”
The quasi-feud all started when Harrison, when discussing an ankle injury Smith suffered earlier in the season, opined in October that the Ravens faced serious issues if they had to rely upon the 37-year-old Smith to carry the offense, especially after Smith only appeared in only seven games last season.
Harrison, it warrants noting, also on Friday pointed out his original criticism was directed at the Ravens, not Smith, which arguably helps matters.
Smith without question is one of the fieriest, talkative and ultra-competitive players to ever wear an NFL uniform. His tendency to respond strongly to any perceived slight reaches legendary status. With that in mind, Smith’s response to Harrison’s initial comments aren’t surprising in the least.
At the same time, perhaps Harrison’s attempt to clarify his remarks will help extinguish any smoldering feud.