Blog Entry

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

Posted on: December 12, 2011 4:31 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 9:25 am
Will Harrison's hit on McCoy lead to a suspension? (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Linebacker James Harrison, who was fined $100,000 for illegal hits a year ago, is again in the league's crosshairs after leveling Colt McCoy with a helmet-to-helmet hit during Thursday night's Browns-Steelers game. The play left McCoy with a concussion, and the NFL could consider suspending Harrison even though it was his first roughing-the-passer penalty of this season.

On Monday, Harrison said he shouldn't be suspended or fined.

"I don't think it's suspension-worthy," he said after practice, according to the Rapid Reporter Chuck Finder. "I don't think it's worthy of anything, but that's just my own personal thoughts."

On Monday evening, ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted that the sense in Pittsburgh and around the league is that Harrison will be suspended. The ruling is expected Tuesday morning.

Charley Casserly beaks down James Harrison's hard hit on Colt McCoy on Thursday night, which may lead to a possible suspension.

The NFL considered the hit illegal because even though McCoy had tucked the ball to run, and taken five steps before deciding at the last second to throw the ball, he's still considered a quarterback and afforded the rules that protect them. At no time during the play in question was McCoy, in the league's eyes (and according to the rules), considered a runner.

"They didn't even call helmet-to-helmet; they called roughing the passer," Harrison said. "He took off running with it and, at the last second, he like chuck-and-ducked. He tucked the ball and made like he was about to run. So I was going to tackle him."

CBS Sports' Charley Casserly said Sunday that ignorance of the rules wasn't an excuse.

"The league office told [Harrison]: next infraction, escalating discipline, including a possible suspension," Casserly said on The NFL Today. "Head coach Mike Tomlin went to the league office this year to do what I call 'a review of the rules.' From the league's point of view, there's no excuse for any Steeler not knowing the rules."

And then there's this, from Sports Illustrated's Peter King:

“A league source tells me there will be one major mitigating factor in deciding whether to suspend or fine Harrison and that is this: Colt McCoy took five full strides with the ball as a runner, leading Harrison to believe that he could hit him as if he were a running back. I believe he should be only fined and not suspended.”

So would Harrison change anything on the play that left McCoy with a concussion?

"Knowing I got a penalty, yeah I would have did it differently," he said.

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Since: Apr 7, 2010
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:32 am

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

If Roethlisberger got a hit like that, it probably wouldn't even be flagged. Nearly every game he takes at least two instances of the following:

* hit to the head
* someone coming in low at his legs while he's in the pocket
* hand or arm to the face while he's in the pocket

He gets abused unlike any other QB in the NFL (the other extreme is Tom Brady...breathe on him and it's roughing the passer).
Harrison is well within the legal limits of what other teams do to his team's QB, so I don't see why there should be any fine.

Since: Sep 4, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:30 am

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

He would be right if this was any where near his first offense. If Goodell ever gets the balls to actually suspend him (can't make money off him if he anit playing to get fined), Harrison will keep it up.

Since: Dec 18, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:13 am

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

If you want to avoid head to head get rid of face masks and wear hockey type helmets instead.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:02 am

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

Zaber, thats football dipsh*t.

Since: Mar 25, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:59 am

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!  You can on a running back.  Please watch more football and STFU about things you don't know about
maybe you need to watch more football, since when is colt mccoy a running back??  i dont care if he was running outside the pocket, he isnt a running back, thus, YOU CANT HIT HIM IN THE HEAD, so STFU about things you obviously dont know about, idiot

Since: Aug 14, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:58 am

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

the BEST linebacker in the league,  Brian Urlacher

Since: Nov 21, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:48 am

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

sorry but all these post pointing fingers at others and condoning harrison behaviour are a joke and so are the steeler fans posting them. the BEST linebacker in the league has changed his game and you never see Brian Urlacher lead with the crown of his helmet. He understands that the big hit is great but making the tackle(thats right looking at the tackle the way everyone is taught at a young age)and stooping the play is whats best for the team not whats best for his own personal highlight reel and self gratification. anyone that blames mcCoy is so delusional and lacking in common sense, needs to have hemselves checked for a concussion. Learn the rules that all others are playing by!
And by the way i hate chicago, but urlacher is a stud who plays the game well and with integrity! 

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:47 am

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

Like most NFL fans, I hate the way they seem to be going overboard in trying to protect players.  Players understand the risks and get paid well to take those risks.

That said, Harrison is completely wrong.  Most the time the helmet to helmet hits are inadvertant.  This was not.  He launched himself right up into McCoy's head with his.

The first  time or even 2... fine, benfit of the doubt.  But now it is getting pretty stupid with Harrison.  It is the same thing with him all the time.

He should be suspended for a couple games or maybe the league should put in a rule where you are suspended for 1-2 games OR the same number that the opposing player misses due to injury.

THAT would be a deterrent. 

Since: Jan 29, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:37 am

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

I'm a guy who loves big hits. However, he will be fined and suspended due to the fact that right before contact he lowered his head to use the crown of his helmet. This is probably a natural tackling reaction for Harrison, but this is what the league is cracking down on. He's always going to say he didn't do anything wrong because he has been tackling like this his whole life and has been awarded for doing so. Now, he is being told to tackle a different way and has to go against his natural instincts.

Since: Feb 11, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:34 am

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

I'm not a Steelers fan and I think that Harrison's a thug, but in this case he's right.


Colt McCoy has a concussion, because the Browns coaching staff hasn't taught him how to play in the NFL.
If you tuck and run, the you are treated like a RB once you leave the pocket...
Colt tried to extend the play, and in the process put himself at risk...    &nbs

Three things that McCoy could have done.

1. Throw the ball away. (the play was breaking down, get rid of the ball and kill the play)

2. Slide instead of taking the hit...

3. Take the sac     

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