EARTH CITY, Mo. -- St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher had barely been asked the question before he blurted out a long answer for which he had clearly done his homework.
After Rams cornerback Lamarcus Joyner's hit on Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on Sunday left the quarterback concussed and forced him to leave the game, Fisher's Rams received plenty of accusations about how they play the game. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer called the hit a "cheap shot" and blew past Fisher without saying a word in the postgame "hand shake."
But NBC football analyst Rodney Harrison went a step further on the broadcast Sunday night, relaying a story from his playing days about playing against Fisher teams.
"That's a dirty hit," Harrison said. "It's a cheap shot right to the helmet.
"I wasn't surprised because it happened to me in 2006. Bobby Wade came and chopped my knees and tore my knee up. I'm lying on the ground, and I look at Jeff Fisher and he's smiling and laughing. So this is typical of Jeff Fisher type teams."
Fisher happened to be watching the Sunday night telecast on the team's flight home from Minnesota when Harrison said what he said. As you'd expect when such an accusation is thrown out there, Fisher vehemently defended himself.
"I don't want to say I took things personal, but it was kind of a personal attack on me," Fisher said. "But, again, I think you have to consider the source. You're talking about a guy that had a great career. I mean, the guy played a long time. He was hard to defend. He was a really active defensive player."
With the niceties out of the way, Fisher looked down at his clearly prepared notes and rattled off a laundry list of Harrison's history as a player.
"This is coming from a guy that had 18 unnecessary roughness penalties, seven personal fouls, four roughing the passer penalties, a total of 77 penalties in his career and was voted three times the dirtiest player in the National Football League and was suspended for a hit, a helmet-to-helmet hit on Jerry Rice in 2002," Fisher said. "OK? This is where these comments are coming from. I'll just say this: Since 2000, it's been a privilege and honor for me to be on the competition committee. Our main focus, as you guys have followed this league for a long time know, our main focus is player safety. So, for Rodney to come out and say that I did something like that is absolutely absurd. So, that's all I have to say on that."
Harrison, of course, isn't exactly loved in St. Louis after hitting Rams quarterback Trent Green low during the preseason in 1999. That was the hit that tore Green's ACL and paved the way for Kurt Warner's rise to stardom as well as the Rams' win in Super Bowl XXXIV against Fisher's Tennessee Titans.
When Fisher was done saying his piece, he made it clear he didn't want to discuss it further when asked about that hit.
"I just ... look, Rodney's Rodney and we move on," Fisher said.