FOXBORO, Mass. — Most Patriots fans only got to see Rodney Harrison use his loud brand of football to make other teams worse.

But in between gamedays, the Pro Bowl safety was busy making his own team better.

“Best practice player — probably ever,” Bill Belichick once said of Harrison, who this week was named a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist. “Ruffled a few feathers. Not in a dirty way, just in a highly competitive way. He made everybody else better.”

New England’s head coach reiterated that point Friday when asked about Harrison’s Hall of Fame candidacy. He also said the two-time Super Bowl champion is the “best” safety he’s ever coached and a member of his personal “all-time team” — even though he’s slotted behind Lawrence Taylor.

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All of this got us thinking: Who’s the best practice player on the current version of the Patriots?

Of course, current Patriots don’t have the luxury of making names for themselves by constantly trash-talking Tom Brady and an all-world offense, as Harrison did for six years in New England. Plus, current NFL rules don’t allow for nearly as much in-practice contact as Harrison leveraged during his 15-year career.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Nevertheless, we asked multiple Patriots veterans whom they believe are New England’s standout practice performers. Some of their answers might surprise you.

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LB Jahlani Tavai: “I would probably say Mack (Wilson). Mack’s been doing a really good job on everything lately. Every rep that he’s been getting, takes full accountability. Balls to the wall on whatever he does. … Definitely would give it to Mack Wilson. … And (practice squad linebacker Joe Giles-Harris) for the same reasons.”

DB Myles Bryant: “I would say Matt Judon. Judon comes off as a guy that’s real chill, even-keeled. But I think when he practices, he practices deliberately with intent. He tries to run after the ball carrier every play to try to get his wind up. He tries to be deliberate with each rep. If there’s somebody, I would say Judon.”

Bryant also agreed with Tavai’s assessment of Wilson.

“Mack goes out there and he makes tons of plays. Like, splash plays. Plays that you would see guys make in games and stuff. Whether he’s jumping routes, as an inside-hook player, or rushing the passer, I think he definitely fits under (the description of a great practice player).”

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DT Lawrence Guy: “I think everybody does the same. … I wasn’t here to see (Harrison). I feel like nowadays in this league, you see every player given an opportunity take full advantage of it. … So, I can’t say there’s one person that stands out. Everybody tries to do their job on scout team and practice squad, because you never know where life might take you.”

S Kyle Dugger: “Offensively, there’s a couple guys. (Practice squad tight end) Matt Sokol practices really well. He definitely makes me better, going against him. I think Ja’Whaun Bentley’s really good. Myles practices very well. There’s a couple guys. I could really go on, but those are a few guys that come to mind.”

LB Josh Uche: “I feel like we all practice hard. That’s the standard that we’re held to here. … Myles Bryant. I’d have to say Myles Bryant on defense. And on offense, I’d have to say the offensive line as a whole. They definitely do a great job of finishing their blocks, giving guys like Keion (White) and me a good look.”

Uche expanded on what makes Bryant such a good practice player.

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“Just day in and day out, regardless of how he feels, if he’s injured or whatever the case is. Everyone knows he’s doing his best to be out there. Whether it be on scout team, or on kickoff, or punt return — whatever the case is. Whatever the team needs him to do, he does it with 110%.”

DL Deatrich Wise: “It’s multiple. Like (defensive tackle) Jeremiah Pharms. Like (practice squad defensive lineman) Trysten Hill. Really good practice players. (Offensive lineman) James Ferentz, I would say, the ultimate — like, every day he comes with the same energy — practice player. … I’ll say the most energized would be Jabrill Peppers — the most energy coming in, ‘Bam.’ “

Wise, smashing his fists together to describe Ferentz and Peppers, offered a bit more on Peppers, who was a standout last summer during joint practices with the Green Bay Packers.

“He’s the same person, no matter what. If it’s a cold day, a hot day, a joint practice — he’s the same hotness. The same energy. The same impactfulness, passion.”

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S Adrian Phillips: “I think we’ve got a number of guys that take it seriously. (Bentley), (Jalen) Mills, Wise. It’s hard to just pick one. There’s a number of guys. (Peppers), (Dugger). I didn’t play with (Harrison), so maybe he was at a different level than everybody else. But the guys that I see that really work hard, besides myself, I would have to pick those guys.”

As you can see, Bryant, Bentley and Peppers were some of the more popular picks. But the overarching — and unsurprising — takeaway is that the Patriots demand, and receive, high practice effort from each corner of the roster.

What the future holds for New England is anyone’s guess. But Belichick’s commitment to instilling good practice habits, particularly during a lost season, could go a long way toward ensuring the Patriots’ stay in the NFL basement isn’t a long one.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images