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Nate Washington calls Roman Harper 'downright dirty'

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Nate Washington wasn't surprised to hear New Orleans safety Roman Harper's name mentioned in connection with the Saints' "bounty" scandal.

Washington last season called Harper a dirty player after Tennessee's Week 14 loss to New Orleans. He echoed that claim this week after Yahoo! Sports reported that the infamous Gregg Williams audio included a segment in which Harper and former Saints linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar were offered $200 handouts for "whack" hits following a January playoff win over the Detroit Lions.

That report spurned Washington to rethink Harper's play from last December.

"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 Terry McCormick of Titan Insider. "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."

Washington pointed to two plays: Harper's intentional yank on wideout Damian Williams' facemask and his helmet-to-helmet collision with Titans signal-caller 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 gone 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."

This isn't the first Saints player to be called out and it won't be the last. We have no proof that Harper's play against the Titans was motivated by anything other than the violent nature of the sport. We saw aggressive -- sometimes illegal -- hits league-wide last season. Recent rule changes, especially on helmet-to-helmet hits, have to do with the play of all 32 teams, not just the New Orleans Saints. Washington, of course, might see it differently.

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