Column: Harrington Still Doesn't Get It
Joey Harrington
Lions Insider
Posted May 16, 2006


It's clear from Joey Harrington's comments in the Detroit Free Press that he doesn't understand what being a quarterback in the National Football League is all about.

The Great Debate: Read publisher Nate Caminata's opinion on Harrington's comments to Mitch Albom.

ALLEN PARK - It's clear from Joey Harrington's comments in the Detroit Free Press that he doesn't understand what being a quarterback in the National Football League is all about. He didn't get it in Detroit and he isn't likely to get it in Miami either.

In a wide-ranging interview with columnist Mitch Albom, Harrington commented on everything from his relationships with coaches Marty Mornhinweg and Steve Mariucci to how he was perceived by the fans and the media.

Harrington blamed everyone but himself for the team's failures. He singled out Coach Mariucci, corner Dre' Bly and receiver Charles Rogers, but never once turned and looked in the mirror at his own performance.

Harrington said Mariucci let discipline slip and the team became mediocre. He said Rogers needed to "buy into the idea of sacrificing things that [he] personally may find important" and the Bly betrayed him by speaking about his poor performance to the media instead of him directly.

But Harrington seemingly absolved himself of any and all criticism simply because in his mind, he never did anything wrong. He showed up everyday, worked as hard or harder than anyone else and did everything the coaches asked of him. He even faulted Mariucci for not allowing him to take shots downfield instead of playing it so close to the vest.

Joey needs a reality check. Being a quarterback in the NFL is about making plays. Can you name three plays that Harrington made during his entire four-year tender as the Lions starting quarterback?

That frozen rope over the middle at Lambeau Field to knock off Brett Favre and the Packers? The scramble up the middle to keep a drive alive to upset the Vikings? How about the improvised throw on the run across the field to Roy Williams to beat the Bears?

Brett Favre may have done that, Daunte Culpepper could have done that, Rex Grossman MIGHT have done that, but Joey Harrington? No way.

Harrington said the worst mistake was trying to please everyone. Wrong! His worst mistake was not making any plays. If Mariucci, Mornhinweg or Marinelli could point to even one instance where Joey made a play like those we described, he might still be a Lion.

Instead, he's Nick Saban's stopgap until Daunte Culpepper gets healthy.

He'll get his shot to be the starter when the Dolphins start organized team activity pointing towards training camp and the preseason opener. He and his new fiancee' can buy a nice condo right off Ocean Drive and watch the sunset over Biscayne Bay with the millions he collected here in Detroit. There's no doubting he'll jump right in and do everything Saban and his staff ask. He'll work harder than anyone on the roster.

But if he doesn't make anymore plays than he did in Detroit, Harrington will find his stay on South Beach will be even shorter than his tenure in Motown.



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