Rodney Harrison readily admits he is rooting for the Patriots, with whom he won two Super Bowls, to defeat the Giants, even though he now is an NBC analyst.
But Harrison is anything but shy about criticizing his old team, and he doesn’t care whether former teammates are offended by him doing his job bluntly and honestly.
One bombshell during the fortnight leading up to the game: He trusts Eli Manning more than Tom Brady.
“That’s not based on history or what Tom’s done in the past,’’ he said. “I think it is fair to say that over the past four to six weeks Eli has been absolutely fantastic, being fair and objective.''
Brady, on the other hand, “came out on the podium [after the AFC Championship Game] and said he stunk. That’s what Tom said. So I’m not taking a quarterback that just played bad in the AFC. I’m taking Eli Manning, because Eli’s been fantastic.’’
Harrison said the Pats did not think nearly as highly of Manning before the teams’ previous Super Bowl meeting four years ago. “To come out and see Eli mature and grow the way he’s grown, I’m very proud of him,’’ Harrison said.