Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Patriots Defenders Are Still Riled Up; Mitchell's Comments Taken Personally by McGinest, Harrison

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Patriots Defenders Are Still Riled Up; Mitchell's Comments Taken Personally by McGinest, Harrison

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael DiRocco, The Times-Union

ST. AUGUSTINE -- The New England Patriots don't talk trash themselves, but they sure do react when they hear what they consider garbage.

Even though it had been three days since Philadelphia receiver Freddie Mitchell made some critical comments about New England's no-name secondary -- and safety Rodney Harrison in particular -- several players were still miffed on Sunday.

Harrison, obviously, and linebacker Willie McGinest, who took the comments about Harrison just as personally as Harrison did, were angry.

"We're all one," McGinest said at an interview session outside the team's hotel at the World Golf Village. "He called out our offense, and our special teams, too. He called out everybody. What he doesn't get is Rodney is me, is [linebacker Tedy] Bruschi, is [linebacker Mike] Vrabel, is [defensive end Richard] Seymour, is everybody on our team. If you call out one guy, you're calling out the whole team.

"It upset us, but we're not going to keep going back and forth wasting time commenting on a guy like that who's been unproductive in his career."

Mitchell, in a live interview with ESPN on Thursday, said he only knew the numbers of the Patriots' cornerbacks, and also said he, "has something" for Harrison. Harrison responded the following day by calling Mitchell immature, then fired up an insult he used successfully before the playoff game against Indianapolis.

"You're always going to find one jerk out of the bunch, just like Vanderjerk -- Adam, what's his name, Mike -- [Colts kicker] Mike Vanderjerk," Harrison said. "You're always going to find one guy like that who wants some attention and who wants to do something to try and stir up the emotions of the game."

Mitchell, who is starting only because Terrell Owens has been out with an ankle injury, was a first-round draft pick in 2001, but has been a disappointment. …

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