Blog Entry

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:49 am
Edited on: December 13, 2011 5:27 pm
Harrison's physical style finally caught up to him. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The NFL announced Tuesday that Steelers linebacker James Harrison has been suspended one game for his hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy last Thursday night,'s Mike Freeman confirms.

Harrison can appeal the NFL's ruling, but based on head coach Mike Tomlin's comments Tuesday afternoon, the team is planning to be without him in San Francisco. 

James Harrison suspended
"We have to prepare as if he is not going to play, of course," Tomlin said, according to the Twitter feed. "We will move forward, James will move forward." 

More Tomlin, via the Rapid Reporter Chuck Finder: "We're disappointed. We're disappointed for James because we know how hard he's worked to play within the rules, [but] he has to be accountable for that so we accept the judgment rendered by the league office." 

While the Steelers are planning to be without their Pro Bowl linebacker, Harrison's agent says he will appeal. 

"James and I will have a discussion and figure out our next step," agent Bill Parise told the Post-Gazette. "The procedure would be to appeal. James and I will work through that and ask for an expedited hearing because we're dealing with a suspension. 

"My job right now is to continue to read this and talk to my client and he and I together will make an intelligent decision and we'll move expediently." 

It was Harrison's first roughing-the-passer penalty of the season. A year ago, he was fined $100,000 for flagrant hits on then-Titans quarterback Vince Young ($5K), Browns' receiver Mohamed Massaquoi ($75K), and Saints quarterback Drew Brees ($20K).

At the time, Harrison said "I don't know. I guess try and be more aware about the placement of my face mask. I don't know how you tackle someone and not use any part of your head, especially if you're trying to see what you're hitting. I mean, your face mask is going to touch them."

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

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

CBS' NFL insider Charley Casserly beaks down James Harrison's hard hit on Colt McCoy.

The NFL determined that the hit was illegal because even though McCoy had tucked the ball to run, and had 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 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."

Sports Illustrated's Peter King thought there might be a chance Harrison would avoid suspension:

“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.

Harrison missed four games earlier this season with an eye injury. Pittsburgh went 4-0 over that stretch with some combination of LaMarr WoodleyLawrence TimmonsJason Worilds and Chris Carter taking snaps at the two outside linebacker positions.  Woodley, who suffered a hamstring injury against the Patriots on October 30 and has been on the field for just a few series since, is set to return against the 49ers

Shortly after the NFL's ruling, Harrison tweeted: "Thank you to all my fans and supporters, I'm just going to move on from here and get ready for my next game." 

In all likelhood, that next game will be on December 24 when the Steelers host the Rams

Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark was fined $40,000 earlier this season for a hit on Baltimore tight end Ed Dickson (head coach Mike Tomlin was said to be furious about the punishment). Troy Polamalu was also fined, once for a horse-collar tackle in Week 1, and again in late October for using a cell phone on the sidelines during a game.

                                                                                                                                                                                          (Getty Images)
This is only the third time NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended a player since replacing Paul Tagliabue in 2006. Albert Haynesworth was suspended five games after stomping on the head of center Andre Gurode. Ndamukong Suh was suspended two games last month for stepping on the arm of a Packers player.

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Since: Sep 12, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 4:58 pm

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

Stlrs forever.


Ngata WAS fined for the hit which broke Big Bendovers nose. The fine was $15,000., So don't post crap you either don't know anything about or are using in an effort  to improve an already shakey defense of a cheap shot artist on record as saying he is trying to hurt someone.

BTW, both of these facts (Ngatas fine and Harrisons remark) are easily found on Google.

Research is a wonderful thing.  I was taught about it in 5th grade or so.

To post something that is altogether false and try to pass it off as a fact is not only stupid but causes you to lose ANY credibilty you might have had. 

Since: Jul 3, 2010
Posted on: December 15, 2011 4:06 am

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

For was a cheap shot and the dude has a reputation for taking cheap shots.  Yes it is the NFL and he is very successful at his job and at taking really good hard impactful cheap shots.  It is a mentality that the people have so get over it and get on with ya lives.  This is an anger that the boy has which is only explainable by his feelings to speak out about Goodell.  It is something that was instilled by his upbringing so we really cannot blame him for being anti Goodell or anti anything, it is his actions and actions speak louder than words.

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: December 14, 2011 6:26 pm

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

He was knocked out!

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: December 14, 2011 6:05 pm

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

McCoy shouldn't run into harrison's helmet with his. This ain't Friday Night Lights kid. you ain't that good yet. Betcha that bell ringer will wake ya up. Out for a minute? Yeah right. more saying wow Harrison really means it when he plays football. Daintily releases the football while off balance and gets crushed. Whooooooo. Jacked him up.

Since: Oct 7, 2006
Posted on: December 14, 2011 5:44 pm

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

Ah BYTE ME the danger of posting on sites like this is having to deal with morons like you. Of course the Steelers have no one to blame but themselves for the position they are in losing two to the ravens. But in case you had not noticed they are tied, and a loss by either team would probably be the final nail in the coffin, especially for the Steelers. So yes, i can be concerned about our team going into SF undermanned partially because of a suspension which is questionable, and that is not whining. But if it makes you sleep better, call it what you want.

Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: December 14, 2011 2:58 pm

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

Have you ever played football?  You can't tackle someone and not make contact with your helmet.  Likewise if they're coming straight at you, it's almost impossible to not make contact with their helmet.  If you take out all head-to-head contact you can't play defense and you don't have much of a game.

Since: Dec 11, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2011 2:16 pm

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

Sorry about the repeat post, I got an error message wheen posting the first time. Then I lost my draft! After posting the second one, I find the first one went through! Again sorry for the double post!

Since: Dec 11, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2011 2:12 pm

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

Will you people stop already! He tried to kill McCoy? Almost ended his career? Give me a break! I have seen Brady, Romo, Peyton, Ben to name afew; take far worst hits then this. If McCoy is that fragile,maybe he should take up golf! I'm not unsympathetic to McCoy, but he's not twelve years old! Ben gets his nose broke and some of you same posters were on here saying he barely got touched. I'm sorry you hate the Steelers because they beat your team in a playoff game or SB. The issue isn't was it an illegal hit, of course it was! The issue here isn'teven that Harrison is a repeat offender he is! The issue isn't he broke a rule he did! All rules are in place to serve the sport, not yo rule over it's participants. There are always circumstances to consider in every rule. If we blindly follow the rules without regard for the circumstances surounding the said rule, we become no more then robots. EXAMPLE#1. A little six year old boy is arrested and handcuffed at his school for breaking a rule. His offense he brough a 1" plastic toy G.I. Joe gun to school. The teacher's knee jerk reaction was to call the police. The police show up hand cuff the six year old and haul him off to jail. Neither of the two put any thought into what they were doing. The result a traumatized child, but the rules were followed! EXAMPLE# 2. A boy is arrested in his kindergarten class for sexual harassment. His crime he kissed a little girl who was his friend. Although the little girl never complained the teacher called the police and emotionally scared the child for life, but hey they were just following the rules. I'm not saying not to fine Harrison, but suspension is over kill! If you agree with GOOFDELL, I have a question for you. If you insist on giving this man this sort of power, don't you think he will want more down the road? What happens when he decides to suspend one of your key players before a big game for a similar infraction? Some of the things I've read on this post are utterly ridiculous! Suspend him for the remainder of the season? Ban him for life? It's one hit people! There are several hits of this nature every Sunday, and by repeat offenders! The Steelers are a dirty team? I suppose the Ravens, Patriots, Lions, and just about every other team never takes liberties with the rules? In the end it's football, should we try to protect players? OF COURSE! That being said we can;t have knee jerk reactions. Looking through rose colored glasses? I don't think so! I find it incredulous that the same people posting that sort of nonsensical drivel,have the gaul to call other posters morons and idiots! My thoughts on that nonsense is look in the mirror!

Since: Dec 11, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2011 1:37 pm

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

For crying out loud people! He could of ended his career? He tried to kill him? Give me a break! I have seen Brady, Peyton, Romo, Vick and Ben take far worst hits! I'm sorry if McCoy is that fragile, maybe he should take up golf! Was the hit illegal? YES! Life threatening, career ending? HELL NO! YOU'RE THE ONE LOOKING THROUGH ROSE COLORED GLASSES! Ben gets his nose broke and you same posters whine he barely got touched! Sorry if the Steelers beat your team in a playoff game or SB, but this abject hatred of Harrison is unfounded. I have seen this sort of hit every Sunday since the beginning of the season without this sort of discipline! Yes he's a repeat offender, but he has cleaned up his act. His stats have trailed off a bit do to excessive holding , which is never called. I suppose being dragged to the ground by your facemask three times this season is okay! Tackled twice from behind but he's the dirty player. Hate the man if you will, but I have a question. If you're intent on supporting GOOFDELL, what happens when he suspends one of your key players before a big game? Will you support his hypocrisy still? I doubt it, one thing about getting your wishes, they seldom are as effective as earning the same through hard work. The Steelers a dirty team? And I suppose the Ravens, Packers, Patriots, Lions ect...never take liberties with the rules. As with all rukes there are exceptions. If we follow rules without considering all the circumstances we become robots. EXAMPLE:#1. A six year old child was arrested and handcuffed at his school, his offense he brough a 1" toy G.I. Joe plastic gun to school. The teacher called the police and the genuis cop arrested the little boy. They followed the rule, no guns at school! Neither of the two could determine that this gun was not lethal. EXAMPLE:#2. A little boy was arrested in his kindergarten class for sexual harassment, his crime he kissed a little girl who was his friend. The little girl didn't complain it was the over zealous teacher who called the police. Now I see the same knee jerk reaction, this is why PC needs to stop. Ban him for life for one hit? Suspend him for the season? Make him play without a helmet? The same people who poster this senseless drival, have the gaul to call other people, moron's and idiots, please! I suggest you look in the mirror!

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: December 14, 2011 1:11 pm

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

James Harrison went for the head.  He's a headhunter.  He's done it before and he thought he could get away with it with McCoy being outside of the pocket...but he was still a passer and RtP was the right call.  I think the suspension is lax though.  This guy will never learn just like Brandon Merriweather last year.   I've seen him intentionally go for the head and then miss.  Epic roid monster.  He needs to be tested while on his suspension.

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