Blog Entry

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

Posted on: January 10, 2012 12:11 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 2:47 pm
 
Some players might argue that the rules change led to Decker's knee injury. (US PRESSWIRE/AP)

By Ryan Wilson

On the first play of the second quarter of Sunday's Steelers-Broncos game, Tim Tebow completed a 21-yard pass to then-favorite target Eric Decker. It was a nice throw, and an easy catch for Decker right up to the moment when Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison tackled him low, collapsing Decker's knee in the process.

The Denver wide receiver ended up on the turf writhing in pain. He was helped off the field and didn't return. Literally adding insult to injury: the Steelers challenged the call, which was overturned to an incompletion. Of course, a play later, Tebow threw the first of many 30-plus-yard passes to Damaryius Thomas, and two plays after that, Denver led 7-6.

The hit by Harrison -- which is perfectly legal in the eyes of the league -- was the realization of fears many players voiced after NFL rules prohibited hitting players high. The players' thinking: it's a lot easier to come back from a high-impact collision when it doesn't involve torn knee ligaments or broken legs.

Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway knows this, and he doesn't think that Harrison's intentions were dirty. It's just the nature of today's NFL. (And we discussed it on Tuesday's Pick-6 Podcast embedded below for your listening pleasure)


"The (tackling) target is now lower," Elway said on his weekly Denver radio show on 102.3 FM Monday night according to The Huddle.

"Harrison yesterday, because of the fact that he's been fined so often, really had no other option. ... I don't think he intended to hurt Eric. But obviously because of the situations he's been in, he had to go low and stay away from the head. And it ended up costing an MCL sprain for Eric."

It's the unintended consequences of actions not thought through entirely. Yes, the NFL should thrive for making the game as safe as possible, but drastic changes don't come without ramifications. And the league can't argue that knee injuries were unforeseen because players lamented the possibly as soon as the new rules were announced.

The NFL could point out, however, that the prevalence of knee injuries haven't increased in light of the rules changes. (We write this anecdotally; Decker is the first time we remember a player suffering a below-the-waist injury on a play that, in previous seasons, might've resulted in a hit to the shoulders or head area.) The NFL could also show that even chronic offenders can change the way they play.

Harrison was suspended in Week 15 for taking off Colt McCoy's head in the previous game. 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."

And now the league has what it wants. It's just that, depending on player backlash, they might not want it very long.

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Comments

Since: Jan 9, 2012
Posted on: January 11, 2012 5:01 am
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

thomassails:  Ah Fendon, Reading your post was like...well it was like licking a dirty butthole.

Please stop sharing your personal experiences and fantasies on these boards.  It's clear there are children on these boards.  That's sick, plain and simplle.  Just go away.



Since: Jan 31, 2008
Posted on: January 11, 2012 1:52 am
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

He IS the Broncos team president, that probably makes him relevant retard.



Since: Mar 14, 2011
Posted on: January 11, 2012 1:38 am
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

I'm certainly no expert with how to tackle, but just from observation it seemed like he targeted the knees.  Decker didn't duke him and force him to get him wherever he could.  It was a straightforward tackle opportunity.  He could have wrapped him up with his arms and taken him down.  Legal or not, it looked like it could have easily been avoided.
Harrison's tackles and Polamolu's tackles are worlds apart.  In that game, even though Polamolu wasn't at 100%, he's stinking fast.  He comes out of nowhere and takes you down.  But it seems like his take downs are both legal and are not intended to injure.  Just from my eyes, it seems like Polamolu is careful and Harrison doesn't give a hoot if you get hurt or not. 



Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: January 11, 2012 1:09 am
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

When I learned to play football, we were taught to tackle at the waist and wrap up with our arms. Granted that was many many years ago, but concussions and knee injuries were also rare back then.



Since: Sep 21, 2010
Posted on: January 11, 2012 12:52 am
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

Does anybody care what Ellway has to say? Really?  Can't he just go away already and worry about buying his girls' dresses for next year's prom?



Since: Aug 6, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 9:19 pm
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

Gtshark 
  


The Lions  right now are where The Broncos will be next week  !!



Remember Tebow may be Jesus's Favorite , But Tom Brady Is God's Favorite   hahaha



Since: Aug 6, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 9:16 pm
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

I agree with you that the hit was not dirty , But disagree that Elway is one of the Greatest Players of all time , he was good no doubt but there have been Many better, and his opinion means no more than Tony Dungy , Terry Bradshaw  or even Yours !



Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2012 8:09 pm
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

Ah Fendon, Reading your post was like...well it was like licking a dirty butthole. I immediately thought...gotta be a Steeler fan....crying about a very subjective call that he thinks would have altered the outcome. I suppose as a Bronco fan I could wax poetic about the early whistle on what was an obvious lateral deep in Steeler territory that was recovered by the Broncos.....but I won't. I'll just continue to read these posts, and when I come upon another cry me a river post like yours, I'll respond. Seems to me though that the REAL football fans that follow the Steelers, recognize the fact that your vaunted "D" just didn't have it.....whether it was because Denver outplayed them, or they just didn't think they had to show up, or both, those REAL fans understand that this is the nature of sports.......blaming it on referees is so moronic. And futile. And....CHILDISH. GO Tebow.



Since: Sep 5, 2009
Posted on: January 10, 2012 8:00 pm
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

     I agree with Elway- it was a clean, legal hit.



Since: Apr 26, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2012 7:28 pm
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

"Though his cowardly cheapshot is now deemed legal, any football player will tell you that was dirty."


Uhh, last time I checked Elway is one of the greatest football players of all time.  He said the hit was not dirty.


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