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Rodney Harrison on stopping Cam Newton: 'I would try to hurt him'

Former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison had a reputation among his peers that he was the dirtiest player in the NFL. On Wednesday's episode of The Dan Patrick Show, Harrison showed that some of that reputation still lingers in him, when he told Patrick that, if he was playing against Cam Newton today, he would "try to take him out."

In a response to a question about having a problem with Newton's celebration dances in the end zone, Harrison said he doesn't have a problem with it, but he likely would if he played against him:

"The defense is different from when I came in the league back in '94, the mentality is different. You let a quarterback score, you let him dance, and you see it time and time again on film. If I was playing against Cam Newton, I would try to take him out. I would try to take him out."

Patrick: "What do you mean?"

"I would try to hurt him. I would go right to his knees. That's the goal. You want to knock him out -- that might be the difference between winning and losing the Super Bowl."

Harrison further explained that conversations about taking a player out would happen all the time back in the day, although the operative phrase there is "back in the day." If that happened today, arguably most people would look down upon that type of play, and it would likely throw gas on the fire that is the NFL's handling of concussions and CTE.

As for the Panthers, cornerback Josh Norman, who knows all too well about getting into it with an opponent, definitely had a problem with what Harrison had to say about Newton, per Newsday:

"It’s something I don’t think this game would want," Norman said during the Panthers’ media availability on Wednesday at the San Jose Convention Center. "I don’t think it’s something the Panthers would want, and I know it’s nothing that me, as his teammate, would want. I don’t want it to happen, period."

Panthers tight end Greg Olsen shared similar feelings:

Later that day, Harrison clarified that he didn't mean he'd take out Newton while he's in the pocket, but rather when he "becomes a running back" outside the pocket:

(h/t Fox Sports)