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Rodney Harrison recalls defending David Tyree and 'the catch'

Rodney Harrison had the perfect vantage point for

Rodney Harrison had the perfect vantage point for one of the greatest catches in Super Bowl history. Photo Credit: AP

Rodney Harrison had the closest possible view for one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history - as the guy covering David Tyree when he made his helmet catch to help the Giants win Super Bowl XLII.

Seven years later, Harrison will return to the scene at University of Phoenix Stadium, this time as an NBC analyst for Super Bowl XLIX rather than a Patriots safety.

"I thought about that for seven months after the play, as well as pretty much the rest of my life since '07," said Harrison, who had tight coverage on Tyree but still was unable to break up the pass that led to the Giants' winning touchdown in a 17-14 victory.

"The one thing that stands out for me outside of that David Tyree catch was the fact that my good old buddy [the late] Junior Seau, who I played 12 years with, nine years in San Diego and three with the New England Patriots, I felt like I let him down," Harrison said. "I'm sitting here with two Super Bowl rings and I'm very proud of them. But I was hurt and disappointed because I felt like I couldn't make that play so my buddy, who should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, that he wouldn't get a ring like this. It's very disappointing.

"It's just ironic how here we are in Arizona and he might have a chance to go into the Hall of Fame right here, as Dan [Patrick] said, at the scene of the crime. So as I look at it, I keep things in perspective. My spiritual side has kept me grounded and really humbled me and put things in perspective.

"I understand it wasn't my fault, but I still, that competitive side, makes me feel like I should have made that play."

Was there anything more Harrison could have done?

"It's funny, because we had a lot of lost opportunities," he said, speaking Wednesday on a conference call with reporters. "We dropped three interceptions. We had a fumble toward the sideline. Ahmad Bradshaw, we slipped past that. We had two 300-pound guys and basically had Eli Manning, and I couldn't make the play.

"So some things in life you have to chalk it up to: It's not meant to be."

New York Sports