Posted by Andy Benoit
Lost in all the Randy Moss hoopla is what’s happening with Steelers linebacker James Harrison. You may recall that the 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year was flagged for another head shot Sunday night at New Orleans, this time from the back on a defenseless quarterback (Drew Brees). Harrison’s hit did not appear to be especially violent or intentionally malicious, but the NFL does not care about intent – only results.
There is no word yet on whether Harrison has yet been fined for the hit, but Wednesday the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that on Tuesday, the linebacker visited the 14th floor of 280 This meeting with the commissioner was not part of Harrison’s appeal of his $75,000 fine from his October 17 shot on Mohammad Massaquoi (that appeal is schedule for November 9). Rather, according to Bill Praise, Harrison’s agent, the meeting was “an exchange of ideas and an opportunity for both sides to learn and grow”. In other words, Harrison is still questioning the NFL’s policy on illegal hits. (Praise also said, “These types of meeting should have taken place before [players] were fined $75,000.”)
Goodell, who called Harrison when the linebacker was “contemplating retirement” (and those are air quotes), requested the meeting. Harrison was accompanied by Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert. (The Steelers sure like to send their bigwigs to these player-commissioner meetings – president Art Rooney joined Ben Roethlisberger for his sit down back in the summer.)
"It was just for him to hear my side of things and for them to help me understand exactly what the rules are as far as helmet-to-helmet contact," Harrison said Wednesday, according to NFL.com. "So I spoke my mind. They said what they had to say. We had a semi-productive meeting, I guess. ... I came away with a better understanding, and I think they got a better understanding of how I see things."
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