With Roman Harper's name coming up as part of the latest details to emerge in the Saints bounty scandal this week, a player who accused Harper of dirty play last year doesn't seem surprised by the most recent developments.
Tennessee Titans receiver Nate Washington is still disgusted by the facemask penalty last December by Harper on Titans receiver Damian Williams, and called the Saints safety's antics on that play and others "downright dirty."
Harper was reported by Yahoo Sports to be one of two Saints players paid for "whack" hits in the playoffs against Detroit, and while Washington stopped short of saying any such payout hit might have occurred against Tennessee, it is clear he is still disturbed by Harper's M.O. on the football field.
“I don’t know if I could tell that that was something he was trying to do in order to be rewarded for it on a financial end. I’m not gonna say that,” Washington told TitanInsider.com. “But some of the things I was watching from film, and some of the things he did from our game, it was just downright dirty.
“It’s already a brutal game, it’s already a gladiator sport. To go out there and give it your all and to have someone there pulling the stuff he was pulling, it makes us look bad as a league as a whole. It’s already something where you can go out there and get paralyzed, and to have someone out there playing like that, it makes it even worse.”
Washington said he saw on film and in the game Harper intentionally kneeing opponents and shoving them. In the game against Tennessee, Harper was also flagged for a helmet-to-helmet roughing the passer call against Matt Hasselbeck.
“He was just walking over guys, kneeing them, dirty things like pushing guys in the back while they’re not paying attention,” Washington said. “Those are the types of things I was seeing on film, and then after what happened with Damian, face masks (penalties) are gonna happen, but I saw the picture on the Internet of the exact situation was what happened. Damian’s whole body was parallel to the ground. That’s how hard he grabbed Damian’s facemask, and on top of that you walk over a guy and knee him with your leg, that’s another sign of disrespect. You don’t do that.
“It’s already bad that you grabbed the guy’s facemask. We’ll take the penalty and go on from that, but you walk over a guy and knee him with your leg, that’s a whole other level. You don’t play dirty like that."
It could be that the Titans preseason finale at home against the Saints on Aug. 30 just got a little bit more interesting than it otherwise would have.
Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com
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