Colts’ Harrison as elusive as ever
NFL defensive backs have a hard time covering seven-time Pro Bowl receiver Marvin Harrison. So what chance did camera crews and reporters have yesterday at Aloha Stadium after the AFC practice?
None, since the speedy Indianapolis Colt apparently didn't want to be interviewed.
Harrison smiled, signed autographs and chatted as he worked his way down a long row of adoring fans. When he was done, he ran toward a group of ill children, participants in the Make-A-Wish program.
"I'll catch you on the way out," Harrison told reporters. After some time with the children, he went into the locker room.
A few minutes later, Harrison sped his way out of the stadium, again successfully avoiding reporters.
The reluctance of Harrison to talk might have to do with an incident a couple of days before last year's Pro Bowl, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. He was accused of assaulting a young autograph seeker. Harrison cooperated with police and claimed that he was trying to break up a fight.
The allegation had those who know Harrison befuddled because he is widely known as one of the NFL's most well-mannered and accommodating players.
A lawsuit was filed against Harrison and two other men in Circuit Court last March, claiming Harrison put a "violent and potentially deadly choke hold" on one of the plaintiffs. But court records indicate no further action by attorneys of the plaintiffs.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said yesterday he had heard nothing more about the incident since relaying a statement from Harrison last March in which Harrison denied the charges.
Multi-tasking: Bengals receiver Chad Johnson has had mixed success practicing as a cornerback for the AFC this week. In one two-play sequence, he dropped an easy interception and then looked bad after being juked by Broncos receiver Rod Smith.
Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was impressed anyway.
"He looked great. It's a scary thing how athletic that guy is," Polamalu said of Johnson on defense.
Did Johnson ever play on the other side in college?
"No," he answered.
In high school?
"No. But I will in the NFL. On Sunday."
Distinguished guest: Damien Memorial High students were treated to a visit by retired Eagles, Rams and Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil yesterday.
A gathering of 530 students attended the talk by Vermeil, who coached the Rams to victory in Super Bowl XXXIV.
They got skills: The football action didn't stop when practice ended for a group of Pro Bowl players yesterday.
The made-for-TV Pro Bowl Skills Challenge was taped yesterday at the Ihilani Resort and will air today at 1 p.m. on ESPN.
The event began with the Alumni Air-It-Out flag football game featuring teams of former NFL stars captained by John Elway and Steve Young. The skills competitions included Innovative Kicker, Strongest Man, Best Hands (receivers), On The Mark (quarterbacks), Fastest Man and Open Field running.
Star-Bulletin reporters Dave Reardon and Jason Kaneshiro contributed to this report.