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: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2012 4:40 pm
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

Too many calls missed, facemasks on the Steelers and a ton of holding on the Broncs.....the hit on Wallace was bad and yet no one even held a discussion on the field about it.  They seemed to have conversations about everything else........do these officials have camps to attend in the offseason or do they start every season cold in the preseason........?



Since: Sep 10, 2007
Posted on: January 10, 2012 4:38 pm
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

All of a sunden the NFL sucks and we are not aloud to hit and Harrisons hit was clean BS the hit was gutless going for a guys legs,how about tackle the way MOST players do from the shoulders to the waist real gutless harrison,man the team from Pittsburgh must have lost you think!



Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2012 4:32 pm
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

think the helmet to helmet hit on Mike Wallace across the middle of the field was dirty....Why doesnt Elway talk about that?

Uhh, becase he wasn't asked about it in this forum, an interview.  What a complete dumba$$.







Since: Oct 31, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2012 4:19 pm
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

I agree 100%, I'm more confused as to why it isn't a penalty. The Safety launched himself exactly like Harrison did to McCoy. Overall, the officiating in the game seem very poor. Yes, I'm a Steeler fan, let me make this perfectly clear, the officiating didn't cost the Steelers the game. However, picking up flags and saying no foul occurred, trying to talk Fox out of challenge on what truely was a lateral regardless of what the dopes in the zebra shirts said and the play you mentioned showed this group of refs just didn't know what they were doing.

Hey Goofdell, the calls have to go against the teams other than the Steelers and Lions. Hit on Wallace was very dirty! No fine, shows the justice being handed down from your group is hardly justifiable!!!



Since: Oct 17, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:47 pm
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

that is actually a very good point.  I agre with that.  If he hits him in stride that coward wouldnt have reacted quick enough to hit him low



Since: Sep 13, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:45 pm
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

I blame Tebow for the injury, his throw put him in the worst position



Since: Aug 25, 2009
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:45 pm
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

I think the helmet to helmet hit on Mike Wallace across the middle of the field was dirty....Why doesnt Elway talk about that?



Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:41 pm
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

i think elway and his little pal, the coach, should not bad mouth tebow to the media. they should try to give him the confidence to do his thing. which is to take advantage of the other team's mistakes or lack of good coverage. they should not be stupid and keep telling him. dont make an interception. thry probably keep saying that. i think elway as he gets experience in his job, will learn tomdeflect the media and not let them goad him into making his player lose confidence.



Since: Jul 21, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:33 pm
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

Fairly easy explanation.  The Steeler D did not rack up any legal hits on the QB.  Roughing the Passer does not count toward the statistic of hitting the QB.  Just like Ben's interception was erased by penalty. 

I do agree if you cannot hit high you have to hit low and knee injuries will result.  High hits came from the fact that no players wanted to hit low and risk ending another player's season or career. 

I do not like Harrison because he always goes for the big hit and rarely tries to text book tackle.  But in this case he did absolutely nothing wrong and if he is fined there should be huge outcry from the NFLPA.



Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:30 pm
 

Elway says Harrison's low hit on Decker not dirty

That's right. According to the satisticians, no Steelers defender touched Tebow all day. So, someone will have to explain to me how Harrison got flagged for roughing the passer. Just throwing it out there (heh, heh).

Seems like a statistical error.  He did hit Tebow, I saw the replay.  I'm not saying it deserved a roughing, but he did lay his hands on him.  Perhaps they don't count late hits as hits on the QB.  With your (he he) are you trying to insinuate that the refs blew a call in that game?  Really?  After all the breaks the Steelers got in that game, you're going to sit here and cry foul over a late hit on a QB? 

When they threw that flag, the first thing that occurred to me, was make-up call for Eric Decker's knee.  Though his cowardly cheapshot is now deemed legal, any football player will tell you that was dirty.  I can't really blame him though, considering all the fines he's gotten and considering he's a dirty MF to begin with.   Thanks a lot NFL.  Now you're flirting with ending careers with your BS rules.



 







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