BATTLE TO WATCH

TE Randy McMichael

The Dolphins-Patriots battle will feature a lot of interesting matchups this Sunday, but none will be more noteworthy than the one involving tight end Randy McMichael against Patriots safety Rodney Harrison.

To say those two don't like each other is a major understatement.

McMichael called Harrison a dirty player after the teams' October meeting, charging that Harrison hit him in the back of the helmet with a forearm on more than one occasion.

This week, McMichael has declined to lash out at Harrison, although he did say Harrison tries to intimidate opponents and he will not be intimidated.

For his part, Harrison suggested the Dolphins tight end, while talented, would do well to "basically just shut up and play."

Dolphins players were asked this week whether they thought Harrison was a dirty player, and the response usually was that he is very aggressive and sometimes border on dirty.

Junior Seau knows Harrison very well, having spent a lot of years together in San Diego, and he called Harrison the type of player every guy would want on his team.

But all those words actually won't mean much on Sunday.

McMichael can get great revenge on Harrison by just making himself a major factor down the middle of the field.

The truth is Harrison indeed is a very physical player, and he occasionally will take a cheap shot.

But the Patriots would do well to give Harrison some help if they have him covering McMichael because Harrison doesn't have the speed to stay with the Dolphins tight end.

In the end, though, it will be interesting to see what happens when McMichael and Harrison get tangled, either after a McMichael catch or during a running play.

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