Blog Entry

James Harrison clarifies comments on new rules

Posted on: May 30, 2011 8:00 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 8:26 pm
 
Posted by Ryan Wilson

James Harrison is known for a lot of things, almost all of them related to punishing poor souls who happened to be in possession of a football while in his vicinity. He's made a handsome living out of tackling people, although to his credit he does it better than just about anybody on the planet. Harrison's style of play has also caught the attention of NFL rule makers who, depending on your perspective, made an example of him to the tune of $100,000 in fines last season (small victory: the league returned $25,000, so there's that).

Turns out, Harrison is also thoughtful. He may disagree (vehemently) with the recent rule changes, but it's not because his intent is to injure and maim opponents and the NFL is now making that more difficult. It's that the rule changes don't make sense in his mind and he tweeted as much last week.

"I'm absolutely sure now after this last rule change that the people making the rules at the NFL are idiots."

Presumably, Harrison felt like he needed more than 140 characters to make his case so, like teammate Rashard Mendenhall (for completely different reasons), he started a blog.

"I want to make it clear that I am all for player safety. I don’t disagree with all of the rule changes," Harrison begins. "But come on…REALLY? Now you have to wait until a guy catches, or even worse, you have to let them catch the ball before you can even attempt to tackle him. Along with that, you cannot let any part of your helmet or facemask touch any part of them basically from the chest up. If you are following the letter of the rules exactly, now most tackles, if not ALL tackles can be flagged, fined and/or result in ejection from that game, or future game(s)."
Safety Rules

If you're able to separate Harrison the football player from Harrison the author, the man makes a good point. He was just getting warmed up.

"I understand the intent behind making the rules, but in their attempt to make the game safer, they are actually clouding what is allowable. Even the referees are confused. A close look will show you that the referees were calling things that were not even supposed to be called, and NOT calling things that were actually illegal."

Harrison also suspects that the name on the back of the jersey has something to do with how often a player is penalized. And he fleshes out his "people making the rules at the NFL are idiots" tweet with the following observation: "After my meeting this past fall with Roger Goodell, Ray Anderson, and Merton Hanks and some others, who I now have absolutely no respect for (to keep it PG), I definitely believe there is no equality in their enforcement of these rules."

Leaves little room for interpretation. Then again, as Shutdown Corner's Doug Farrar notes, "Harrison's point of view [is] quite a bit deeper than, 'The rules guys are idiots,' though it doesn't exclude that point from being correct as well."

Finally, Harrison acknowledges that the quarterback clarification rule (Rule 12, Section 2, Article 13) "is a great change," but closes with one more parting shot. "I wonder why the NFL is suddenly coming down so hard on player’s safety issues. I can’t help but think it’s not actually for the safety of the players."

Conspiracy theorists might tell you that the NFL is laying it on thick with the rule changes to not only show they care about player safety, but to say at some point in the near future, "See, thanks to our foresight, there are fewer concussions and serious head injuries … which clearly means we should expand the season to 18 games!" Even though, you know, fans emphatically oppose expanding the schedule.

“When it comes down to it, it’s an assumption of risk that you take when you play the game,” Harrison said during a recent appearance on ESPN's NFL Live. “If it’s not worth it to you, then you get out of it."

Makes sense to us. Coal miners face inherent risks associated with mining coal. You take precautions, make it as safe as possible, but at the end of the day, people in that line of work face danger every time they clock in. Some have long, injury-free careers, and some aren't as lucky. Some decide that the hazards aren't worth it and find other means of employment. That's all Harrison's saying.

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Comments

Since: Feb 10, 2011
Posted on: May 31, 2011 1:45 pm
 

James Harrison clarifies comments on new rules

It's funny of all people James Harrison is whining about “Why is everyone always picking on me”! Go back and look at all the things he hasn't gotten called for. He is a hell of a player but he gets away with a ton, especially if you include all the Steelers. As a player you’re going to be scrutinized no matter what you say, so why say anything it’s a waste of time. I don’t like where this is taking us as far as it improving the game or not but let’s concentrate on having a season and not if there is a certain name on the back of your jersey and  you’re being singled out, that’s BS!!!!




Since: May 31, 2011
Posted on: May 31, 2011 1:31 pm
 

James Harrison clarifies comments on new rules

WOW get a life stop hating on the Steelers.Tongue out   It is full contact
football.  Laughing  Not touch football, worst commissioner of all time.Yell




Since: Oct 21, 2007
Posted on: May 31, 2011 1:20 pm
 

James Harrison clarifies comments on new rules

I have to say, if the game keeps going in this direction, I think more and more it will lose its flavor in the eyes of the fans.  Even with the rules the way they were, too much was being determined by penalties that are inconsistent.  Every time a player makes a hit, the immediate thought is, "Was it a penalty?"  Now offensive players will be playing into these new rules, just begging for flags, very much like the NBA player who makes it look like he was shooting to get the foul while in the act of shooting, even though he really was not. This is NOT an improvement. 



Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: May 31, 2011 1:13 pm
 

James Harrison clarifies comments on new rules

irregardless,  You are nothing but a Steeler hater who has nothing to add to these discussions.  The last thing that Harrison is is a crybaby.  Many players, including Ravens players, have come to the defense of Harrison in agreeing with him that these rules are not fair.  When the NFL highlights the big hits and even puts out DVDs glorifying them so they can make millions of dollars, they are obviously saying that they want big hits in the game.  For them to change the rules to make it so you can't even hit a guy when he is catching a ball is merely done because there attorneys are telling them to.

I wish people like you would just get a life and try to post about something that you believe in or approve of rather than continue to come on these boards and only put the Steelers down.  It speaks volumes about how pathetic you must be in real life.



Since: May 31, 2011
Posted on: May 31, 2011 1:09 pm
 

James Harrison clarifies comments on new rules

Wow, these new rules changes are a terrible. These guys have been playing hard nose, instinctual football their whole lives and now Roger God thinks he's making the game better/safer? Absolutely ridiculous. I hope the NFL remains in a lockout, I'm not interested in watching this flag football crap. The hard hits, snot bubblers, and unexpected collisions are the best part of this game. The Steelers D and Harrison specifically makes for a great viewing experience. These new rules will negatively change the game. Roger Goddell and the NFL suck! No longer a fan of this crappy game and the worst commissioner of all time.



Since: Oct 21, 2007
Posted on: May 31, 2011 1:05 pm
 

James Harrison clarifies comments on new rules

Sorry about that.   Messaging does not accomodate anything except paragraphs.  Pitch and Catch yards   400    Penalties against defense for trying to stop the offense  200   Rushing yards from scrambling QB   10.   RBs will be for blocking and receiving catches. 



Since: Oct 21, 2007
Posted on: May 31, 2011 1:00 pm
 

James Harrison clarifies comments on new rules

The game stats might look something like this....

Pitch and Catch yards     
      Defensive Penalties for trying to stop the offense     Rushing yards from scrambling QB

    400     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;     
      
;     &nbs
p;       
;     &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;  200  &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;     
      
;     &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;     
     10

 

 




Since: Oct 21, 2007
Posted on: May 31, 2011 12:47 pm
 

James Harrison clarifies comments on new rules

So if you follow the rule of what determines a catch, the defense will have to wait until the receiver catches the ball and established possession before hitting him, which means he can only limit his yardage, not stop it unless he can actually deflect the ball before it gets there. Watch the passing yardage go wild.  Records will tumble.  Why run the ball at all?  




Since: Feb 13, 2008
Posted on: May 31, 2011 12:33 pm
 

James Harrison clarifies comments on new rules

What a total lack of intelligence by you.  The things Harrison is stating are 100% true.  QB's and Recievers need to wear bubble wrap or maybe we can just switch to flags.  Just because a guy hits hard doesn't make it dirty.  This must be another bitter AFC North fan.  Check out the Colts VS Eagles game last year.  I saw Trent Cole tap Manning in the head and got a personal foul.  I also saw Vick get mauled in the very same game and there was no flag to be seen.  Whats with everyone thinking they are Jim Rome.  Whats the next thing that is going to happen? College rules if you hit the ground your down?



Since: Dec 11, 2007
Posted on: May 31, 2011 12:26 pm
 

James Harrison clarifies comments on new rules

Just because Steeler players are willing to lay it all on the line to make a play or win a game, does not make them dirty. They all play by the same rules toolbag!!! If Steeler fans are ignorant because we appreciate this dedication and willingness to go all out for us, so be it! Other fan bases have no way to understand or appreciate what it means and what it takes to wear the Black and Gold, I certainly dont expect them to either. Call us homers, ignorant or foolish all you want, but Steeler fans are very knowledgeable with how the game is played and should be played!! The new rules are comical, "waiting for a receiver to catch or be allowed to catch the ball" ....are you serious?? How is a defense supposed to stop an offense if the reciever is "entitled" to or be "allowed" to catch the ball?? That rule is foolish and the game will suffer because of it and James Harrison, who does play this game, certainly has a better understanding of this game than you do! 


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