Rodney Harrison elected to Patriots Hall of Fame

  • By Adam Maya
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Rodney Harrison has been elected to a hall of fame.

Fans voted the hard-hitting safety into the Patriots Hall of Fame, the team announced Monday. Harrison was a team captain for all of his six seasons (2003-08) in New England and helped the franchise win consecutive Super Bowls.

Following a nine-year career with the San Diego Chargers, Harrison was an All-Pro and the Patriots' leading tackler in each of his first two seasons with the Patriots. He also had some of his biggest games in the postseason. He recorded seven interceptions in nine playoff games, including two in Super Bowl XXXIX against the Philadelphia Eagles. The latter pick clinched the New England victory.

"When I came over here to the Patriots, the thing that I loved about Coach [Bill] Belichick was we had purpose," Harrison said on a conference call. "Everything that we were doing, it had a purpose. It was just really good to get around a bunch of other people that really loved football."

Harrison was the Patriots' leading tackler in their '03 and '04 title runs as well, while recording two sacks, six interceptions, seven passes defensed and two forced fumbles over six postseason games.

Harrison holds the NFL record for sacks by a defensive back (30.5) and is one of only two players in league history with 30 sacks and 30 interceptions (Ray Lewis) in his career.

New England instituted a new tradition in 2007, inducting one player or coach each year into the team's hall of fame. The nomination process involves a panel of media, alumni and staff and is voted on by the fans, making the Patriots the lone NFL team to allows their fans to decide who's selected for the club's highest honor. This year's finalists included defensive lineman Richard Seymour and linebacker Mike Vrabel.

Patriots offensive tackle Leon Gray, who was selected for enshrinement by a 10-person senior selection committee in April, will also be inducted with Harrison. The date for the ceremony has yet to be determined.