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Rodney Harrison on Pre-Super Bowl Aaron Donald Interview: ‘I Was Stunned’

“I would like to see him come back and play because once you walk away, there’s no coming back.”

Ricky Keeler

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NBC Sports

Before Super Bowl LVI last Sunday in Los Angeles, viewers tuned in for NBC’s pregame coverage and watched Rodney Harrison’s interview with Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald. Fans did get the interview, but they also heard Harrison reveal surprising news about what Donald might do if the Rams won the game (which they eventually did):

“If he wins a Super Bowl,” Harrison told Jac Collinsworth, “there’s a strong possibility that he could walk away from the game and retire.”

Harrison appeared on The Dan Patrick Show Thursday and even he was stunned when Donald told him about that possibility in the interview:

“When I had a chance to speak with Aaron, we spent 15-20 minutes. I asked him how many more years do you want to play?” Harrison explained. “You’re at eight. I’m thinking, ‘Hey man, you’re going to play another seven years to get at least 15.'”

“He looked at me and he was like, ‘I tell my teammates all the time but they don’t believe me that if I win this Super Bowl because of how I prepare and how hard I work on my body year-round’ and he mentions his family, he’s accomplished everything so it’s very believable. He said there’s a chance I could walk away. I was stunned.”

At the Rams’ championship celebration parade, Donald talked about possibly coming back next year. Even though Harrison could be the one that breaks the news if Donald did announce his retirement, he would like to see Donald come back for another year:

“I saw him at the parade and he was emotional,” said Harrison. “There’s a lot of emotional type things before you initially win that Super Bowl. Your mind is playing tricks on you. After you win that Super Bowl, your mind is playing tricks on you.

“I would like to see him come back and play because once you walk away, there’s no coming back. You don’t want to sit at home and wish you could’ve done this, could’ve done that. He’s got plenty of time this offseason. We will see what happens.”

As the interview progressed, Patrick asked Harrison if Donald was the best defensive player he had seen, which would be great accolades from a former player of Harrison’s caliber. He said that Donald was someone he ended up having a strong connection to because of the way the pass rusher plays the game: 

“I used to say Lawrence Taylor, then I was really, really high on J.J. Watt when he was at the top of his career,” Harrison said. “When I saw Aaron Donald, I saw something different. I saw a guy I could connect with, a guy that I absolutely fell in love with how hard he plays the game, how tough, how passionate he is.”

Maybe that connection could have led to Donald revealing to Harrison that retirement was a possibility. Either way, it led to one of the more talked-about moments that people will remember about Super Bowl LVI. 

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Craig Carton: Adam Schefter Was Used By the Broncos

“Based on other stories that have come out — that we now know as a fact — he’s willing to be a mouthpiece for a team.”

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Tuesday was a frenzy for NFL insiders as the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans nearly simultaneously announced the hiring of new head coaches, and WFAN host Craig Carton believes one NFL insider was used.

Reporting from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport at 4:44 PM ET claimed the Broncos tried to hire DeMeco Ryans — who was hired by the Texans — at the last minute, but was rebuffed, and Denver hired Sean Payton instead.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter — in no uncertain terms — refuted the validity of that report at 4:55 PM ET.

Carton believes Schefter was used by the franchise to help with damage control.

“So here’s the deal: Adam Schefter — many, many years ago — used to write for The Denver Post, and he covered the Denver Broncos,” Carton said. “He is clearly — to his credit – getting his information directly from the Denver Broncos who figure that that story from Ian Rapoport — and it is — is somewhat embarrassing…the fact that it’s out there is a bad look.

“So they go to Schefter who, along with Rapoport — the two voices of record as insiders — and they say ‘Nonsense. Put out there that that’s nonsense’. Rapoport’s getting his information DeMeco or his agent, saying “Naw, naw, no. He had choices. He could have gone to Houston, he could have gone to Denver. Obviously, the Texans sweetened the deal’.”

“Schefter’s getting his info from the Broncos, who are doing damage control,” co-host Evan Roberts concurred.

“Schefter’s great at what he does, I’m not saying that he’s not,” Carton continued. “But based on other stories that have come out — that we now know as a fact — he’s willing to be a mouthpiece for a team — namely Washington — and again, he’s great at what he does. I wanna be clear at how I state this, he’s great at what he does, but it’s obvious that the Broncos are trying to spin this, and they’re using Schefter to spin it.”

Roberts added that the situation was similar to that of NBA Insiders Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania, where Wojnarowski “speaks for front offices, where Shams gets his info from players and agents”.

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Sports Radio News

K&C Masterpiece: Cowboys Could Add 30 Million More Viewers To Super Bowl

“The Cowboys in the Super Bowl against the Chiefs would’ve shattered all viewership ratings.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The matchup in this year’s Super Bowl is set, and the game will undoubtedly be the most-viewed program on TV this year. But if the Dallas Cowboys were taking part in the game, it’s safe to say the ratings would be astronomical.

The Cowboys divisional playoff game against San Francisco drew 45.7 million viewers. It was the second-most watched divisional round contest on record.

The NFC championship between San Francisco and Philadelphia drew 47.5 million.

On 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, K&C Masterpiece host Kevin Hageland said had the Cowboys made it to Philly, the viewership would’ve been even better.

“I know the game sucked, but that just shows you, because the Cowboys were like almost 8 million above every other divisional game, this could’ve gotten to 58 (million),” Hageland said.

Kevin added that if Dallas had gone all the way, the audience tuning in would’ve easily eclipsed some of the highest-rated programs of all-time.

“The Cowboys in the Super Bowl against the Chiefs would’ve shattered all viewership ratings,” he said. “Even with the new system and so many people streaming and everything like that.”

Usually the Super Bowl averages around 100 million viewers. Hageland said a Cowboys Super Bowl appearance in this day and age would’ve set the new top ratings mark for years to come.

“My estimation would be you would add approximately an extra 30 million people,” he said.

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Sports Radio News

Patrick McCarthy To Join Mets Radio Crew

“Patrick, the son of Phillies broadcaster Tom McCarthy, had been calling games for Philly’s Triple-A team in Lehigh Valley.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Cheryl Pursell

The New York Mets have called on Patrick McCarthy to join the team’s radio broadcasts this season.

According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, McCarthy will host pregame and postgame coverage on WCBS and fill in for Howie Rose when he takes time off.

Patrick, the son of Phillies broadcaster Tom McCarthy, had been calling games for Philly’s Triple-A team in Lehigh Valley.

Keith Raad will be added to the booth for Mets games on the radio this season as well.

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