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: May 12, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 7:57 am

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

I think flag football, or perhaps two-hand touch football would be more appropriate. Dick Butkus and Chuck Bednarik are looking at this and laughing.

Since: Nov 11, 2010
Posted on: December 13, 2011 7:51 am

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

Anybody with 20/20 vision can see that Harrison indeed lead with head and most notably McCoy didn't even have the ball; in which he was defenseless....Harrison is what is wrong with PRO Football.  He hasn't changed and won't change. 

I know...I know...Steeler Nation does not think this to be true but they have on their black and gold colored glasses on....

Big Ben is a serial rapist or in the very least; takes advantage of totally trashed women...

Harrison is a loud mouth; THUG!

He should be fined and so should the Cleveland Browns for putting McCoy back out there with a concussion.



Since: Nov 15, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 7:47 am

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

I think the argument about McCoy being a runner or passer is a moot point. Harrison clearly leads with his head into McCoys facemask, in an attempt to injure him. This isn't "hardnose football" as some see it. It is a blatently dirty play and he needs to pay for it. Since Harrison is too stupid to understand this, and fines don't seem to matter to him, he needs to be suspended.

Since: Oct 13, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 7:46 am

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

I agree the NFL has become overly sensitive to hits in general, and I call them HITS and not TACKLES, because rarely do flagged players make TACKLES> I played Pop Warner, Jr. High School and  High School football and we were taught to wrap your arms around a player with the ball and put him on the ground. If an additional tackler stripped the ball, all the better. I know that was in the 60's and 70's but using forearms, helmets and launching at a ball carrier almost every play is not tackling, IMO. Everyone is looking for stats...FF, FL, FR,SACK. I get today's NFL but I miss tackling.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 7:40 am

Old TIme Football

I sure miss the good ol days of football. Where nobody got fined, nobody got suspended, nobody complained. You just went out there and played your heart out, and if you got hit by someone, you just tipped your cap to them and went on your way. What has happened to this game that i love so much?

Since: Nov 21, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 7:40 am

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

typical steeler fans when they dont have an arguement they call names or JUST HEAD HUNT WITH THE CROWN OF THEIR HELMET!

you people are unbelievable, step outside your own team and take a look at the rules and the rest of the league!


Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 7:20 am

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

you'r a PUSSY>...

Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 7:19 am

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

that makes no sense at all... Troy leads with his head all the time that is why he gets his own concussion.    Harrison gets in trouble because he hits too hard, and the league wants to stop big hits.   It's sad that football has come to this

Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2011 7:17 am

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

Anyone who watched that play and thinks Harrison should be suspended needs to really just stop talking about football.  Because anyone who knows football knows that this is not a suspendable action.  Its not a question of knowing the rules, its a question of interpreting the rules.  After five full strides with the ball tucked as a runner, why is it expected that Harrison to view McCoy as a passer?  When does McCoy becomes a runner?  When he crosses the line of scrimmage?  If that is the rule then every time you hit a running back behind the line of scrimmage the QB rules should apply.  But they don't.  So is it after 6 strides with the ball do you view the QB as a runner?  Its stupid to try to justify this at all.    Anyone who thinks that Harrison had enough time to hit McCoy has a passer as oppose to a runner doesn't know physics and doesn't know or never played football. It was impossible for Harrison to change what he was doing.  McCoy became a runner when he exited the pocket and tucked the ball an ran, from then on you can hit him however you wish.  But the split second before the hit and right at the line of scrimmage he decides to throw the ball.  There is no way physically possible a man who is 6 foot 260 pounds running at 4.5/ 4.6 40 speed can stop on the dime and change direction in the instance it took for McCoy to raise his arm back up and toss the ball to his receiver.  You can't win this argument.  So if you think Harrison should be suspended then tell me when does the QB become a runner?

go watch the play where Suh was given a fine for SHOVING Cutler too hard while he was 5 yards past the line of scrimmage running for a first down.   if the NFL is going to levy a fine for a play lik that -- what do you think they are going to do to a guy who has 3 or 4 H2H hits already??  fact is -- harrison can't seem to grasp the fact you cannot lead with your head at the helmet of players.  if he wanted to tackle mccoy -- why in god's green earth would he put the crown of his helmet into his facemask???  that is pure stupidity on his part.

you can sit here and talk about physics or talk about how a guy his size can't stop on a dime, blah, blah. blah.  the simple fact is -- if harrison believed he was running the ball, he could have put his shoulder into chest, gut, etc. -- instead he went for the QBs head.  no amount of trying to justify the play will change that fact.  if harrison wants to stay out of the cross fire of the NFL -- STOP LEADING WITH THE CROWN OF YOUR HELMET AT OTHER PLAYERS HEADS!!!!!!!

as far as your question about when does a QB become a runner?  that is about as simple as possible.  when he crosses the line of scrimmage -- period.  hence the fact -- if he is tackled before the line of scrimmage -- it is a sack.  with your logic -- any time a QB scrambles out of the pocket -- defensive players should be allowed to go after the head of the QB.

why don't you answer me this gdtann -- why is it that every other player in the NFL has no problem with the nfl rules of H2H hits, yet Harrison continues to be fined for these hits???  are you just saying harrison is the only player in the NFL who has to make judgement calls when hitting a player???  or maybe harrison is going for the head of the player??? 

Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 7:13 am

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

cleveland fan... hahhahhaahhahhahhhah   he hit a player that decided to run the ball.  if you going to run expect to be hit like you are running the ball.  I don't care what the league says...  "at no time" was he running the ball... Whatever, he went out of the pocket and tuck the ball and started running at the last second he saw someone open and dump the ball, oh well your bad... boom, you got knocked out.

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