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James Harrison and Brandon Meriweather's comments won't help them

Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather and Steelers linebacker James Harrison figured to be fined at the very least for their hits on Sunday.

The question, in the wake of the NFL’s statements on helmet-to-helmet hits on Monday, is whether they will be suspended.  Meriweather and Harrison’s comments indicate that may be the only way to change their behavior.

“I was playing aggressive and something happened,” Meriweather said on WEEI Monday via the Boston Herald. “I’m going to be aggressive. Point blank. I won’t change my game, period. I’m sorry it happened.”

Meriweather went on to say he’s friends with Ravens tight end Todd Heap, the player he hit.  They spoke after the game.

“It’s football. You’ve got a lot of good players, where you think one
thing, and another thing can happen in a split-second,” Meriweather said.  “My split-second decision
was to be aggressive and not wait for it.”

Harrison, meanwhile, is taking heat for knocking out Browns wideout Mohammad Massaquoi.  The NFL confirmed to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Harrison’s hit that knocked out Josh Cribbs was legal, but they are reviewing the Massaquoi hit.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said the hits were clean after the game.  So did Harrison.

“I’m
not worried about getting fined on that. Not at all,” Harrison said via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “If I
get fined on that, it’s got to be a travesty. They didn’t call
[penalties on] that. There’s no way I can be fined.”

Harrison was unapologetic in comments distributed by the Associated Press.

“I don’t want to injure anybody,” Harrison said.  “There’s a big difference between being hurt and being
injured. You get hurt, you shake it off and come back the next series or
the next game. I try to hurt people.”

This isn’t a black and white issue.  Steelers safety Ryan Clark hits upon some of the gray matter.

“I
think sometimes people react to the highlights of the hit instead of
the actual way the hit was applied,” Clark said. “They look at the
after-effects, ‘Oh, this guy’s knocked out, it must be dirty.’ That’s
not necessarily true.”

We agree that the result of the play often dictates the attention it gets.  Some “dirty” hits are never noticed because everyone turns out fine.  But that doesn’t mean the NFL should ignore the issue. The league has to attempt to take care of the players, because players have demonstrated they won’t take care of themselves. 

They will play through concussions.  They will attack with their helmets and worry about the consequences later.  Harrison was asked if he ever fears for his own noggin, considering his playing style.

“Nah,
I’m not worried about it,” he said.  “That’s part of the risk
that you take.”

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119 Responses to “James Harrison and Brandon Meriweather's comments won't help them”
  1. steelersmichele says: Oct 18, 2010 4:33 PM

    “The first hit (on Cribbs, who was a runner) was legal,” Greg Aiello told the Post-Gazette in an email this afternoon. “The second will be reviewed.”
    Interesting. I thought sooo many people from other posts said that hit was illegal…

  2. purplepride says: Oct 18, 2010 4:35 PM

    Do you really think Tomlin would NOT defend his players in regards to a dirty hit? Harrison’s statement that “hurting other players is my objective and I wont apologize for it” shows hes dirty,period.

  3. FredB says: Oct 18, 2010 4:36 PM

    Maybe they should just turn it into tag football. I’m all for players safety, and don’t want to see anyone get seriously injured, but every one of the players in football knows there is a risk. Because of the obscene amount of money they make, they still are willing to play the game. They make the choice to take the risk, let them play.

  4. 1mge says: Oct 18, 2010 4:36 PM

    No worries if they hit A. Rodgers on the field, the helmit to helmit doesn’t apply to him. Swing away!!

  5. BennyBoy says: Oct 18, 2010 4:42 PM

    Gregg,
    I know you get hazed for being a closeted “Steelers fan” but do you have to turn to instigating stupid arguments in order to prove that you’re not?
    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10291/1096089-87.stm
    A little context:
    “I don’t want to see anyone injured,” Harrison said, “but I’m not opposed to hurting anyone.”
    “There’s a difference,” Harrison said. “When you’re injured, you can’t play. But when you’re hurt, you can shake it off and come back. I try to hurt people.”
    You make it sound as though Harrison is an unapologetic head hunter. Not the case. But I’m sure it will generate lots of page views.

  6. jrhsd says: Oct 18, 2010 4:42 PM

    quick question: why the heck was the hit on Cribbs legal? I know that would be a legal hit on a running back, but I believe Cribbs was playing QB.
    Had Harrison hit Colt McCoy like that would it have been legal? I’m not sayin’ I’m just sayin’. And you know what I’m sayin’.

  7. ETL says: Oct 18, 2010 4:47 PM

    Florio, do you want these guys to play 2 hand touch? Getting tackled hurts. I don’t see anything wrong wiu what Harrison said. If you don’t want him to hurt anyone then please ask the officials to call the play the call dead once he touches the offensive player.

  8. ninjapleazee says: Oct 18, 2010 4:48 PM

    wasn’t merriweather the same tool that kicked another player on the ground during a game in college?

  9. Rev. Dr. HollywoodWags says: Oct 18, 2010 4:48 PM

    At least some of these guys were wearing breast cancer awareness armbands, so it shows how much the NFL cares about some people’s well being.
    The crippled guy working third shift assembling ladders in Peoria, well, that affects the integrity of the game and their well being can’t be considered.

  10. Chiggs says: Oct 18, 2010 4:49 PM

    Don’t know much about Meriweather, but James Harrison is nothing more than a thug. The guy is certainly an absolute beast and one helluva defensive football player, but his demeanor is pretty awful. He should have been ejected in the Superbowl for his behavior and he continues to act like an idiot.

  11. rdiz17 says: Oct 18, 2010 4:50 PM

    James Harrison, president of thug city USA, never ceases to live up to his steroid-inflated ego. I’m sure he will be grinning when he has to cut that check to the NFL, and when he gets to pull a Roethlisberger and watch the game from his couch. Except I’m sure he will get some hooker to come over so he can beat her around during the game.

  12. bryancl says: Oct 18, 2010 4:52 PM

    Hurting other players is your objective? Perhaps he should have to face legal penalties like several NHL players have had to. There is a difference between playing football and dishing out hard hits and purposely trying to hurt people.
    I know this hurts the credibility of that comment, but Harrison is a thug. Plain and simple.
    If he was to paralyze or kill someone on the field, would he face charges? Accidents happen, but when hurting someone is the reason for your actions, it is not an accident, it is a felony.

  13. Fantasia says: Oct 18, 2010 4:52 PM

    Rosenthal? You are so ignorant. Shut your mouth before Harrison hunts you down and rips your lungs out with his bare hands.
    Leave the Steelers alone! We’ve already been mistreated and ripped off by the NFL.

  14. Fat_Old_Sun says: Oct 18, 2010 4:53 PM

    Its a travesty there was no flag on the Massequoi hit. Even the announcers were surprised that the penalty was a delay of game penalty.
    But that’s how it goes with most of these refs.
    It was a gift for the Steelers there was no flag. Refs this year have been a joke so far. The only consistency is that they are inconsistent.
    The PI on the Chiefs was close to the worst call I have ever seen.

  15. Rothlestool says: Oct 18, 2010 4:54 PM

    James Harrison needs someone to come after his knee (since his brain has had too much gray matter dispersed), then maybe he will think twice about cheap-shotting someone. A complete TOOL.

  16. cibs2323 says: Oct 18, 2010 4:54 PM

    jrhsd says:
    October 18, 2010 4:42 PM
    quick question: why the heck was the hit on Cribbs legal? I know that would be a legal hit on a running back, but I believe Cribbs was playing QB.
    Had Harrison hit Colt McCoy like that would it have been legal? I’m not sayin’ I’m just sayin’. And you know what I’m sayin’.
    When a quarterback runs the ball they are now considered a running back, not a qb. Thats why most qb’s slide b/c u can go after them.
    Yes if McCoy ran a bootleg you could hit him helmet to helmet.

  17. RevSkip says: Oct 18, 2010 4:55 PM

    Football is a violent game which is why it interests people. Taking the hitting out of football waters down its appeal. A better approach would be for the NFL to investigate new options for the equipment, lighter helmets which absorb more of the blow, pads conditioned to absorb some of the kinetic energy, etc.
    Players get paid ungodly amounts of money to play this game and while their safety should be looked after it shouldn’t come at the cost of an exciting product.

  18. Fat_Old_Sun says: Oct 18, 2010 4:55 PM

    BennyBoy – Harrison is an non apologetic head hunter. 100%
    Ask his girlfriend.

  19. stillayinzer says: Oct 18, 2010 4:55 PM

    “Nah, I’m not worried about it,” he said. “That’s part of the risk that you take.”
    Amen. It is a dangerous sport and the players are paid VERY WELL. They earn their money and there is not one of them that does not understand the risks with eyes wide open. Plenty of professions present greater risk and pay far less.

  20. jersey73 says: Oct 18, 2010 4:55 PM

    How’s about stomping on someone’s head Meriweather? Or is that okay only in college football???

  21. Justcut&pasteFlorio says: Oct 18, 2010 4:56 PM

    Oh my lord. How can you people have jobs in sports ‘journalism’ and not have a clue.
    The NFL said they would evaluate suspensions MOVING FORWARD……again…..thats MOVING FORWARD….. and when they said a change could come immediately. They mean starting now MOVING FORWARD.
    How is it you guys have written two articles talking about how these guys might be suspended? These players will be FINED, not suspended. If they do it again next week….then write your little articles about a possible suspension.

  22. Larry says: Oct 18, 2010 4:56 PM

    You can argue that increasing the fines/suspensions would tone down the hits, that may or may not be true, however, very few of any of the hits we’ve seen were really “intentional”… Were they unfortunate, absolutely, but you are talking about changing the entire dynamics of the game if you take away that aggression. Again, I’m as big a proponent of safe play as anyone would be, but at what cost to the game itself. The players are fully aware of what they are doing to their bodies. They remember it every paycheck they cash. But changing the game dramatically would also reduce those huge paychecks those guys are getting because people won’t pay to see less of what we have now….

  23. BennyBoy says: Oct 18, 2010 4:57 PM

    “quick question: why the heck was the hit on Cribbs legal? I know that would be a legal hit on a running back, but I believe Cribbs was playing QB.”
    What made it legal was that he came out of the backfield as a ball carrier and was being wrapped up by Woodley. In fact, if he wasn’t being pulled to the ground when Harrison came in to assist, there would not have been any helmet to helmet contact.
    The second hit on Massaquoi was delivered by Harrison leading with his should pads. There was no helmet to helmet contact. I am a Steelers fan and while I thought the Cribbs hit was debatable, the second was clean.

  24. Ravensatron says: Oct 18, 2010 4:58 PM

    Helmet to Helmet hits only happen because players wear helmets.
    I watch, and used to play rugby and I doubt there has EVER been a head to head tackle in rugby, because it would probably kill both players as they often have minimal or no head protection.
    Helmets are the cause, not the solution, of the problem.

  25. Just JTO says: Oct 18, 2010 4:58 PM

    If anyone can find a replay on Harrison’s hit on Massaquoi LOOK AT IT AGAIN. Harrison led with his forearms, not his helmet. Seriously, is there anyone outside of a Steelers hater who thinks the guy plays dirty? Or is he just a modern day Jack Lambert or Lawrence Taylor? Lots of those guys talked about wanting to hurt a guy, but I don’t think they mean end his career or cause him permanent disability. Hell, boxers all want a knockout. Does that mean they all want to scramble somebody’s brains and deem them a vegatable?
    I agree that the helmet to helmet hits – especially on defenseless players – need to be addressed. But I fear that the overall direction of the game with players getting bigger, stronger, faster every year is what is really at the root of all these injuries. It’s not a bunch of headhunters, although you will see the occassional cheap shot.
    Say what you want about James Harrison, but he is just a beast. He’s no Rodney Harrison, that’s for sure. If he played for the Ravens, Patriots, Vikings – whatever – their fans would love his style. Don’t deny it.

  26. steelcitychamps82 says: Oct 18, 2010 4:58 PM

    Once you past the line of scrimmage you’re a ball carrier and not defenseless, QB or any other position.

  27. tommy997 says: Oct 18, 2010 4:58 PM

    This is getting silly. Man the freak up! These guys get paid millions of dollars, part of the risk associated with the money is getting hit hard. If they don’t want to get hit, they can work a job like the rest of us do. Otherwise, deal with it.
    Sorry for sounding so insensitive, but it is what it is. I love the big hits and I hate when players get hurt, but again…that is the risk they choose to take in this profession.

  28. svenhoek says: Oct 18, 2010 4:58 PM

    So because the receiver CROUCHED before impact, which if he had not would have been mid section hit, it’s dirty? Since when are defensive players supposed to have superhuman reflexes and speed?
    Just make it frigging flag football and get it over with already. Bunch of fricking babies.

  29. Pancho says: Oct 18, 2010 4:58 PM

    I love how ESPN.com, NFL.com and now PFT have all put this story online but none of them will put James Harrisons actual “quotes” up. So stupid.
    LB’s are supposed to hurt people. Stop trying to ruin football!

  30. broncoMaineiac says: Oct 18, 2010 4:59 PM

    And this–“Harrison flatly said Monday that hurting other players is his objective and he doesn’t apologize for it.”–is not considered assault, WHY?
    If he MEANT to hurt the guy (as opposed to take him down or tackle him or squeeze his junk) then he is confessing a crime.
    That guy belongs on Jeff Fisher’s Titans.

  31. steelersmichele says: Oct 18, 2010 4:59 PM

    purplepride. Don’t use quotes around a person’s statement if you’re going to make up the quote. Here is what Harrison said:
    “I don’t want to see anyone injured, but I’m not opposed to hurting anyone. There’s a difference. When you’re injured, you can’t play. But when you’re hurt, you can shake it off and come back. I try to hurt people.”
    Kind of like when Ray Lewis hit Rashard Mendenhall and broke his collarbone. Ray Lewis was quoted after the game as saying after the hit he stood over Mendenhall and was laughing to his teammates saying he’s not hurt, he’s done. He was laughing at a season-ending career. To quote you, that comment shows he’s dirty, period.
    Or how about your team (I’m assuming you’re a Ravens fans) talking about bounties on Ward and Mendenhall. After getting repremanded by the league, the players said they were just joking. To quote you again, it shows more players on your team are dirty.

  32. madmike77 says: Oct 18, 2010 5:00 PM

    quick question: why the heck was the hit on Cribbs legal? I know that would be a legal hit on a running back, but I believe Cribbs was playing QB.
    Had Harrison hit Colt McCoy like that would it have been legal? I’m not sayin’ I’m just sayin’. And you know what I’m sayin’.
    ***
    Cribbs took the snap in the wildcat, but at the time he was hit he was past the line of scrimmage and wasn’t looking to pass.
    A QB would also be considered fair game in the same situation. The difference is most pure QBs will slide down rather than take the hit. Cribbs was running and looking to stretch for all the yards he could.

  33. C-Bus says: Oct 18, 2010 5:02 PM

    Both hits were dirty, but what do you expect from this thug and classless fanbase. When you have a serial rapist as a QB, what can you expect? Dirty and classless all around, fines aren’t going to change that fact.

  34. seymourbutts says: Oct 18, 2010 5:05 PM

    BennyBoy,
    There is hardly a difference between hurting and injuring somoene. You’ve been fooled by Harrison’s idiotic statement. He has repeatedly shown to be one if the top 3 dirtiest players in football.

  35. BenRapistberger says: Oct 18, 2010 5:07 PM

    Cribbs was playing the role of a passer/QB when he got hit. Normally a shoulder to the helmet is legal, but not against a QB. You can’t even touch a QB with your hand on his helmet. That should have been roughing the passer.

  36. BrownsTown says: Oct 18, 2010 5:08 PM

    Glad to see the big, bad Steelers fans appreciating hard-nosed football when their pansy QB draws more roughing penalties than almost anybody else in the NFL. When you take the skirt off your fan-favorite, rapist QB, then you can hand it to players on the Browns.

  37. rockinron says: Oct 18, 2010 5:08 PM

    Maybe Harrison isn’t worried about his head because all of the roids he has taken has turned it into the size of a watermelon.

  38. steelersmichele says: Oct 18, 2010 5:08 PM

    jrhsd, here is what my paper said about the hit:
    The first of Harrison’s hits did not come in question, even though his helmet hit Cribbs’ helmet on a running play. It seemed unavoidable, two players flying through the air with no apparent intent by Harrison to lower his helmet into Cribbs’ helmet. The rules allow for such an inadvertent hit.

  39. jamaltimore says: Oct 18, 2010 5:13 PM

    Trying to legislate contact in a full contact game is ridiculous. The helmet to helmet hit happens on every play. 11 on 11 lineman on lineman hit heads EVERY play. It’s not like a backer is hitting a stationary target, players move so essentially you may be punishing a guy for something he had no contr

  40. Deb says: Oct 18, 2010 5:14 PM

    Gregg, please do not start using Florio’s imperial “we.” One Queen Victoria in the PFT family is enough.
    Football players have always been their own worst enemies. That’s why they should not be allowed Twitter accounts. Can’t imagine why James thinks not being flagged equals not being fined. Wasn’t he fined for a hit on Young that wasn’t flagged?
    The only thing that needs to be considered in determining the legality of a hit is a slo-motion look at the hit. If the player handled it correctly, end of story. If he launched with his helmet, then the league should fine or take whatever action they decide is appropriate. I don’t want my guys or anyone else seriously injured, but hits are part of the game. If I wanted to watch soccer, I’d be watching soccer. The key to handling this is rational compromise. I won’t hold my breath.

  41. steelcitychamps82 says: Oct 18, 2010 5:14 PM

    Maybe the Browns fans are still mad at Harrison for suplexing one of their own a few years ago lol. Now that was funny as hell lol.

  42. Phokus says: Oct 18, 2010 5:14 PM

    This is probably the first time i’ve ever heard a player who said they purposefully try to hurt other players. Ban James Harrison from the league.

  43. topdawg5150 says: Oct 18, 2010 5:14 PM

    C’mon Harrison,you can’t use words like “travesty”. You must use words that the inbred steeler fans can spell. Like cat,dog…..oh.never mind.

  44. oyoy84 says: Oct 18, 2010 5:15 PM

    No flags for Harrison on 2 blatant helmet to helmet hits but if the Cowboys even dare to SMILE in the end zone, you better believe that will be a 15 yard penalty. This league is getting so ridiculous.

  45. buddha says: Oct 18, 2010 5:17 PM

    I see what Harrison is trying to say. Theres a difference between “hurting” someone and “injuring” someone. I think EVERY defensive player wants to “hurt” the opposing player that he’s attacking. That doesnt mean he wants them injured and have to miss games.

  46. conníe says: Oct 18, 2010 5:18 PM

    Harrison doesn’t give a shit what anybody thinks.
    Come to think of it, Jack Lambert wouldn’t have either.
    – you gotta love ‘em.

  47. funi says: Oct 18, 2010 5:19 PM

    Why should they apologize? THEY DID THEIR JOBS! This is waht the media wants is hard hits and talks about them getting Jacked up, now all of a sudden they hit too hard?

  48. Alydar says: Oct 18, 2010 5:20 PM

    James Harrison, on his refusal to visit the White House:
    “This is how I feel — if you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don’t win the Super Bowl. As far as I’m concerned, he [Obama] would’ve invited Arizona if they had won,” said Harrison.”
    Brain damage? check.

  49. Rowdymon says: Oct 18, 2010 5:24 PM

    If that’s the way Harrison feels, the next time the Browns face him let Colt McCoy throw a planned interception to him and then let Hillis supply the hit. My guess is that Harrison will think differently.

  50. js136202 says: Oct 18, 2010 5:26 PM

    If anyone believes that their is a distinction in what James Harrison is saying the difference is between hurting and injuring, you’re insane. Does he seem upset when he actually injures someone?
    Troy Polamolu, who I detest for being on the steelers, I still respect bc of how he conducts himself as a man. He doesn’t want to INJURE anyone, but he also is a caring individual who plays the game right and acts like a decent human being. Then again he also doesn’t beat up women.
    James Harrison is gutter trash who beats up women and intentionally injures other players.

  51. Ragman says: Oct 18, 2010 5:29 PM

    Anyone who has a problem with the “hits,” obviously never played organized football at even a high school level….Florio, are you kidding me? The NFL can police it all they want, but you can’t police “speed.” You and the media make these guys out to be dirty players because of the effects of the “hits.” Once again, if you ever played organized footlball, you would be smart enough to determine a “true dirty hit,” and a good hit that had a bad effect on a player. Dirty players should be fined & dealt with, but don’t penalize them for good hits….

  52. BSPN says: Oct 18, 2010 5:31 PM

    Harrison for Defensive MVP!
    There’s 31 other teams that wish they had him on their defense. The jealousy continues…
    Imagine a Steeler’s defense with Harrison and Greg Lloyd at OLB and Lambert and Lavon Kirkland at ILB. Awesome!!!
    The Stains fans will continue to cry about getting their butts whooped…again.

  53. grandavenue says: Oct 18, 2010 5:32 PM

    Harrison is DIRTY, too much roid rage!
    SUSPEND HIS DIRTY ASS!

  54. Laxer37 says: Oct 18, 2010 5:32 PM

    James Harrison could care less what everyone thinks.
    The guy took a pass on visiting the White House after their last Superbowl.
    He is paid to hit people not make friends.

  55. neckofturkey says: Oct 18, 2010 5:38 PM

    Harrison should be suspended. Florio wacks off to pictures of Harrison in the bathroom stall.

  56. frobaggins says: Oct 18, 2010 5:40 PM

    i didn’t see if another person mentioned this or not cause i didn’t read every ones posts
    but as usual, rosenthal twisted a quote around
    “It’s football. You’ve got a lot of good players, where you think one thing, and another thing can happen in a split-second,” Meriweather said. “My split-second decision was to be aggressive and not wait for it.”
    those wondering what “not waiting for it” meant, if you listening to the whole interview, he said that in practice, when that play has been run, he says the ball looks like its always gonna sail high, so he waits for the pick. but since the TEs keep catching it while he’s standing waiting for the pick, when he saw heap go up for it, he decided to try and break up the player from the ball, instead of waiting for the pick…hence…
    “My split-second decision was to be aggressive and not wait for it.”
    get it together rosenthal

  57. live2ride1642 says: Oct 18, 2010 5:42 PM

    If we really want to eliminate receivers getting hurt, the league should eliminate crossing patterns. Or make it a penalty to crouch before contact because that exposes the players head into the tackling plane of the defender. Or better yet, we should fine QB’s and coaches who put their players in dangerous positions. Why does Jackson think he has the right to run freelancing across the middle of the field without awareness of potential defenders. If he doesn’t want to get hit, don’t go there. If he continues to put himself in dangerous positions, then ban the dangerous routes.

  58. Mosi says: Oct 18, 2010 5:43 PM

    Merriweather was coming in to hit him in the chest, but Heap got spun around awkwardly (and quickly) just before the hit, and his head ended up where his chest was just a split second earlier. I don’t think Merriweather was going for his head.
    Merriweather did, however, lead with his helmet… which I think is a fine (or at least a penalty) in itself.
    I hope, like Harrison before him, he keeps on hitting hard. How are these guys supposed to keep on the right side of things when the rules are constantly changing and the refs all call them different week to week anyway.

  59. cachkar says: Oct 18, 2010 5:43 PM

    its the roids!!!! doctors agree that roid rage is the #1 reason for helmet to helmet hits

  60. bmorebeatdown says: Oct 18, 2010 5:44 PM

    Merriweather is an idiot. He doesn’t know how to hit. He constantly leads with the crown of his head. That hit on Heap could have been much more serious than it was. You can be aggressive and not be a danger to everyone else on the field.

  61. Jerbs7 says: Oct 18, 2010 5:44 PM

    Why dont you go cry about it?

  62. Mike Daly says: Oct 18, 2010 5:47 PM

    Maybe we should trust in the toughness of players more than we presently are. The kind of hit Meriweather unleashed on Heap is exactly what the likes of Peyton Manning and Brett Favre deserve. This is a sport that needs to be weeding out the soft phonies, not punishing players who are tougher than others.

  63. FredB says: Oct 18, 2010 5:48 PM

    wahhh..wahhh…wahhh…. If they don’t want to play the game, go sell cars, or work at Mickey D’s.
    I just have to laugh at the majority of these posters. Harrison is one of the 3 dirtiest playes in the league….. that would put him one or two spots behind Ward??

  64. Stihler fan says: Oct 18, 2010 5:50 PM

    Ravensatron watched “Inside the NFL”

  65. Stihler fan says: Oct 18, 2010 5:52 PM

    There is a point where an NFL QB becomes a RB. It’s either after he gets outside the tackle box or crosses the line of scrimmage

  66. CliveRush says: Oct 18, 2010 5:53 PM

    Merriweather dropped his head and launched off his feet and aimed for the head. This is a clear violation. The numerous replays vindicate him to a degree due to the position of his forearm. Still it was not necessary. The fans in NE are not happy with his play and vented their anger today about it. Todd Heap is a good football player and took the high road when asked about the hit. Merriweather cannot stay on the field by completing his assignments so he tries to use the explosive hits as a means of maintaining his job. The kid has talent but no smarts. BB pulled him from the game untill forced to return him to the field because of injury to sub. He most certainly did stomp on a player head while at the U.

  67. Tomthebombtracy says: Oct 18, 2010 5:54 PM

    Harrison said something else telling about the Cribbs hit. He said something like, “well, that’s the wildcat and that’s the end of that.”
    Cribbs ran for 80+ yard mostly from the wildcat in the Browns win against the Steelers on the Thursday night…the last of the losses that doomed the season.
    Don’t think for a minute the Steelers didn’t look for him all day.
    Cribbs evidently called the Steelers last week to tell them he was coming. Well, they were expecting him!

  68. conníe says: Oct 18, 2010 5:56 PM

    You can actually smell the fear in here.
    LMAO

  69. BenChokesHisChikin says: Oct 18, 2010 5:57 PM

    Stay classy Pittsburgh…what a joke. The object of playing football is to hurt people?
    Here is what I suggest for James Harrison’s punishment:
    Que the banjo music: “Big Ben says to James: that’s a purdee little mouth ya got on ya Jimmy Boy; I think little Ben would like a piece of it.” The rapist/Ben unzips and has James kneel which James is so willing to do and follow his great QB; the leader of the classy Steeeler nation…the camera pans away and one hears the distinctive sound of a pig squealing (which is undisitinguishable from the sounds that emanate from a female Pittsburgher in the throws of passion).
    Stay classy Pittsburgh!!!

  70. steelersmichele says: Oct 18, 2010 5:58 PM

    oyoy84– I completely agree that the celebratory penalties are getting out of hand. With all the commercial/injury time outs and the 3+ hour games, I don’t mind a few guys jumping around in the end zone after scoring. (yeah, yeah, they should act like they’ve been there before–it’s their job–blah blah) If we’re going to start playing flag football, the only way to be entertained is with those celebrations.
    seymourbutts– Ward is a dirty player, too. So then we have 2 of the top dirty players in the league. Another Steelers record.
    Phokus said: This is probably the first time i’ve ever heard a player who said they purposefully try to hurt other players.
    See my earlier post. The Ravens had bounties on players and admitted to it on a radio station then said they were joking when the league called them out. Maybe they should be banned like you said.

  71. Stihler fan says: Oct 18, 2010 5:59 PM

    BrownsTown:
    I can’t remember the last time anyone was flagged for uneccesary roughness against Roethlisberger.
    You are right about the Clowns players needing skirts. Being a bunch of women is the only reason I can think of for being inept for so long

  72. Stihler fan says: Oct 18, 2010 6:00 PM

    C-Bus:
    Too bad your team blows!

  73. LebronJeremy says: Oct 18, 2010 6:02 PM

    “Nah, I’m not worried about it,” he said. “That’s part of the risk that you take.”
    “Nah, I’m not worried about it,” he said. “That’s part of the risk that you take.”
    Harrison nails it, here. These guys know that injuries are part of the game. They wouldn’t play if they were too worried about it.
    So let’s make it flag football instead. Or maybe two-hand tag. Better yet, instead of having to touch the ball carrier, you should just have to come up with a good verbal insult to bring them down. That’ll cut down on injuries. Then the NFL can have 60 games a year because they are SO concerned about player safety that they want to add more games.

  74. WVUColumbus says: Oct 18, 2010 6:04 PM

    C-bus–
    Sour grapes. You’re just upset that there’s as many Steelers fans in Columbus as there are Browns and Bengals fans.
    In 2009, a Columbus radio station literally aired all Steeler radio broadcasts w/ Hillgrove and Tunch.
    In the heart of Ohio.
    Priceless.

  75. pghguyy33 says: Oct 18, 2010 6:04 PM

    @phocus havent played or watched football to much have ya? rememeber the bountys put on ward? mendenhall? what do u think that is? u dont think they try 2 hit guys hard enough to take em out of the game? the league is so competitive injurys give other teams an advatage and u dont think they try to get one?

  76. VandyGuy says: Oct 18, 2010 6:04 PM

    Is spearing allowed in the NFL? I know it’s forbidden in high school and college, but I don’t think there’s a similar rule in the NFL.
    On the Cribbs hit, Harrison had his eyes down and the top of his helmet hit Cribbs right in his ear hole. It looks like Harrison was trying to layout Cribbs with his shoulder, but he missed (probably because he used bad tackling form and had his eyes down and the top of his head pointed right at the runner). That hit would be illegal in any other level of football. The top of your helmet shouldn’t be used to tackle someone if you are on defense or to plow someone out of your way if you are on offense.
    The hit on Massaquoi was a no brainer – he hit a defenseless player in the head – doesn’t matter what part of defender’s body hits the receiver’s head – shoulder, forearms, etc.

  77. conníe says: Oct 18, 2010 6:07 PM

    # topdawg5150 says: October 18, 2010 5:14 PM
    ” You must use words that the inbred steeler fans can spell. Like cat,dog…..oh.never mind. ”
    ..says top”dawg”

  78. Ralphie says: Oct 18, 2010 6:15 PM

    Interesting Ryan Clark is in this story.
    When he hit Welker last year he launched, went fully off his feet and leveled Welker in the head with his shoulder pad. But the ball was tipped at the line and it wasn’t within 10 feet of Welker. Totally uncatchable. And he was flagged. Then the League came out a few days later and said it wasn’t a penalty (actually that moron Pereira said it). If Clark hit Welker yesterday however there would be people screaming at the top of their lungs for his head. Last week Nate Burleson is fined $15K for a “uniform infraction”, but a few weeks before Eric Smith of the Jets hits Welker with a vicious forearm in the head and sends him out of the game. Smith gets flagged but he only gets fined $7,500.
    Goodel’s front office, especially that Bozo Pereira who is now mercifully gone change how the freakin’ rules are interpreted weekly. They are part of the problem. The only reason the NFL is even giving this issue any pub is because it was all over national television last night. The league should absolutely protect the defenseless receiver, but the BIG PROBLEM HERE is Goodel’s front office and how they:
    #1: Interpret the rules: They change like the weather, week to week. Who knows what they’ll rule on an infraction.
    #2: How they fine or punish someone: The $’s are all over the place and don’t seem to fit the crime.

  79. Jack Lambert's Dentist says: Oct 18, 2010 6:22 PM

    Yep Connie, that was Jack Lambert for you. He once said “No one will intimidate the Pittsburgh Steelers”. James Harrison continues to uphold that tradition. Now back to the haters and whiners.

  80. ETL says: Oct 18, 2010 6:22 PM

    There are several reasons for all the posts here:
    1. Brown fans are jealous as hell that they don’t have anyone like Harrison. Heck the steelers didn’t even have to draft him while the defensive guys that the clowns draft go bust every year
    2. Brown fans want every edge to help them win because … well, they need it. Even if it comes from the refs, they want it. Even if it means playing pussy football, they want it. Basically, brown fans are pussy football fans. They wouldn’t know a hard hit from a hole in the ground. And with finesse Holmgren there, they are getting more pussified.
    3. The only other worthy team in the whole conference is the Ravens. I hate their guts but totally respect how they play Everyone else are a bunch of whiny flag-football wusses. They forget that football is a violent game and wish every day that the NFL turns into the NFFL – National Flag Football League.
    4. The offensive player shares the responsibility for a lot of the helmet to helmet hits. Harrison was aiming for Cribbs mid-section. Cribbs wAs the one that ducked and by lowering his helmet, he made it helmet to helmet.
    5. It will only be a matter of time before a player dies on the field given how strong and fast these guys are getting. I would suggest things to slow these guys down rather than change how they tackle as that changes the whole game. Try weighted shoes for everyone to wear or longer grass and softer surfaces.
    My 2 cents.

  81. Ralphie says: Oct 18, 2010 6:22 PM

    topdawg5150 says:
    October 18, 2010 5:14 PM
    C’mon Harrison,you can’t use words like “travesty”. You must use words that the inbred steeler fans can spell. Like cat,dog…..oh.never mind
    _______________________________
    It’s the players too.
    Terry Bradshaw couldn’t spell “cat” if you spotted him the “c” and the “a”

  82. Paytonc7 says: Oct 18, 2010 6:46 PM

    This is stupid, and you can tell that most of you in here must not have played football at any level before or you would not take Harrison’s comments out of text. Of course you try to knock the crap out of someone out on that field. If you just hate the Steelers that is fine, but grow up.

  83. Sixburg Girl says: Oct 18, 2010 6:47 PM

    Ahhhh, this Steeler team is reminiscent (yikes, an 11 letter word from a Steelers Fan!) of the good ole days.
    Welcome to SIXBURG ‘girls':
    “I am very aggressive and very physical. On the field I guess I am just plain mean.” Jack Lambert.
    “I believe the game is designed to reward the ones who hit the hardest. If you can’t take it, you shouldn’t play.” Jack Lambert.
    “It’s like what they said about the raptor in Jurassic Park – one of us gets your attention, the other one gets you.” Greg Lloyd.
    “They say that when you’re the champs, everybody will try to beat you. Well, I’m glad we’re champs, so bring ‘em on, bring ‘em all on. If we die, we ain’t gonna die running. It’s gonna be a fight.” Joe Greene
    “Who is Joe Namath? This is a guy who, if he played in the league today, I’d probably just go hit him late and see what he did, just for the hell of it. Joe Namath can go to hell; he can kiss my ass.” Greg Lloyd, after NBC commentator Joe Namath accused Lloyd of playing dirty (1991).
    Go Steelers!

  84. Bdrunk says: Oct 18, 2010 7:11 PM

    Rowdymon says:
    October 18, 2010 5:24 PM
    If that’s the way Harrison feels, the next time the Browns face him let Colt McCoy throw a planned interception to him and then let Hillis supply the hit. My guess is that Harrison will think differently.
    ——————
    ROFL! See, the Steelers can plug another goon in at LB and not miss a beat. Harrison is a good LB, but not irreplaceable. He’s old, not much left in the tank, so he’s getting sloppy.
    Hillis on the other hand, is the Browns’ Great Hope. Their shining ray of light at the end of the tunnel. The only thing Browns fans have to talk about on Monday mornings. If you want to send him to his beheading, that’s on you.

  85. Jack Lambert's Dentist says: Oct 18, 2010 7:20 PM

    Dear Commissioner Goodell,
    Will you please tell the Pittsburgh Steelers not to play so rough. They are mean and scary and we don’t like it. We prefer a more timid style of play and if you say something to them maybe they will listen.
    Thank You,
    Cleveland Browns Fans

  86. ncoolong says: Oct 18, 2010 7:20 PM

    “James Harrison and Brandon Meriweather’s comments won’t help them”
    PRETTY sure Florio said the same thing after Harrison smacked Kyle Orton…I don’t recall him getting a fine…

  87. CharmCity207 says: Oct 18, 2010 7:26 PM

    Harrison is a meat head. I have alot of respect for the Steelers’ organization, but they completely whiffed on judgement of character when it comes to Harrison.

  88. tmiller9 says: Oct 18, 2010 7:32 PM

    Both of his hits were dirty… even when he hit Cribbs, Cribbs was being held up by another tackler and Harrison came in helmet to helmet for absolutely no reason.
    That dude is complete trash

  89. contract says: Oct 18, 2010 7:59 PM

    Some of you need to take up watching baseball or tennis. Football is a game of violent collisions, and those collisions happen on purpose.

  90. Rowdymon says: Oct 18, 2010 8:04 PM

    Bdrunk – I hear ya, Steelers are deep on D. All I’m saying is that if Harrison is on the receiving end of a hit like he delivered yesterday, his attitude would change. I picked Hillis because the dude is the only person on the Browns O that could hit just as hard as Harrison.

  91. FredB says: Oct 18, 2010 8:04 PM

    tmiller9 says:
    October 18, 2010 7:32 PM
    Both of his hits were dirty… even when he hit Cribbs, Cribbs was being held up by another tackler and Harrison came in helmet to helmet for absolutely no reason.
    It’s the raptor thing again. One of them holds him up, the other finishes him off. It all adds up to wins, and if ya can’t take the beating….. stay off the field.

  92. topdawg5150 says: Oct 18, 2010 8:26 PM

    Hey connie,it’s dawg for dawg pound,dumbass.

  93. notwhoyouthinkitis says: Oct 18, 2010 8:37 PM

    Chiggs wrote: “He should have been ejected in the Superbowl for his behavior and he continues to act like an idiot.”
    Guess you did not watch the SB because if you did you would know the announcers clearly pointed out that what Harrison did was in response to what was being done to him. You are whining about the guy who retaliated. Typical.

  94. Scott in Bwk says: Oct 18, 2010 8:45 PM

    If the player getting hit is injured in any way AND a flag is thrown, then the player committing the offense should be fined and sat-out until the player he hit can get back on the field for an actual NFL game. The offender sits as long as the player he injured as long as a flag was thrown.

  95. Blackn'Gold says: Oct 18, 2010 8:56 PM

    The hits by Harrison were legal. The players were shook up but may be back next week. In fact the running back wanted to get back in the game. This tells me that there was some restraint on Harrison’s part. If Harrison wanted to harm you, they would be stitching your head back on afterwards.
    In the case of Eagles Desean Jackson, he has a severe concussion and no one knows when he will be back. The player that hit him was going full out for the kill shot.
    GO STEELERS!

  96. J.T. says: Oct 18, 2010 8:59 PM

    FredB hit the nail on the head. Since when is football supposed to be a nice and safe sport? It’s a risky contact game and every player knows it. All the former players the NFL glorifies like Butkus, Deacon Jones, Tatum, ect. and many in the Hall of Fame played dirty and rough and used every way imaginable to win and intimidate. Yes the rules are different now, but it is hard to change the mentality of a football player and the game. To top it all off with all the rule changes to “protect” players nowadays it seems like more are getting hurt. And don’t anyone say players today are tougher than those in the past because that is ludicrous. Yeah right Goodell really cares about the well-being of the NFL players. So much that he’s going to make them play 2 more games each season!

  97. conníe says: Oct 18, 2010 9:00 PM

    # topdawg5150 says: October 18, 2010 8:26 PM
    “Hey connie,it’s dawg for dawg pound,dumbass.”
    Your punctuation and typing skills could use a little work too, Skippy.

  98. rdiz17 says: Oct 18, 2010 9:01 PM

    Roethlisberger doesn’t whine for flags. Tom Brady is the one who always whines for flags.
    http://kissingsuzykolber.uproxx.com/2010/10/vidal-sassoon-i-demand-a-penalty.html

  99. bryancl says: Oct 18, 2010 9:06 PM

    I think it’s humorous how many think that policing the violent hits in the league that lead to injuries turns the game into flag football, or some other negative connotation. They like to tout how the players know the risk, and are paid a lot to take them.
    I imagine these are the same people who would have enjoyed the gladiator competitions. Should we just allow them to deliver whatever type of hit at any time to any player? If we don’t, we might as well watch powder puff! Lets give them weapons!
    Violence for the sake of violence.
    Wikipedia – Thug: a common criminal, who treats others violently and roughly, often for hire.

  100. DefendersOfTheFaith says: Oct 18, 2010 9:10 PM

    The Pussification Of The NFL Marches On!!!

  101. Blackn'Gold says: Oct 18, 2010 9:34 PM

    The above comment sounds so politically correct. Scott could be a vice president for the NFL. Since the discussion is about hits. Let’s look at the severity of the hits as it impacted the injured player. The running back Joshua Cribs wanted to get back in the game and will probably play next week.
    The result of the Massaquoi hit is unknown. All the news is about Mangini’s histrionics. The first hit suggests to me that Harrison used some restraint in the hit. If Harrison wanted to harm you, they would be stitching your head back on afterwards. Harrison is incredibly strong. I’ve seen him knock an offensive tackle over to push the running back out of bounds. But I digress.
    The Eagles DeSean Jackson hit was a full out kill shot. Just watch the video. DeSean Jackson has a serious concussion and no one knows when he will be back.
    GO STEELERS!

  102. the 9th plague says: Oct 18, 2010 9:45 PM

    the harrison on massaquoi hit was an obvious “defensless receiver” type of hit.. of course all these steel-brains here, trying to defend it is no surprise.. the guy is in mid air going for a high ball and harry potter purposly targets the back of his head.. he could have hit him just as hard but in the back although still illegal by the newer rules..
    the reffs drop the ball they’ll probably explain some mumbo-jumbo and go on..
    we’ll see you in no.. harry potter.. see how you hit us..

  103. Deb says: Oct 18, 2010 10:06 PM

    Oh my … how I wish I owned stock in Kleenex!

  104. ETL says: Oct 18, 2010 10:19 PM

    Brown fans: ya want some cheese to go with all that whine?

  105. dlp says: Oct 18, 2010 11:18 PM

    They could eliminate a lot of the concussions and head trauma if they would change the type of headwear that the players wear. It should be soft with a give to it like the inside padding of the existing helmets but without the hard outer shell. This would do two things, one, it would take away a weapon that causes most of the damage and do a better job of protecting the head

  106. FredB says: Oct 18, 2010 11:28 PM

    Why not just make a rule that says no defensive player is allowed to touch the player with the ball until he has made at least 2 “football moves.”

  107. Jack Burton says: Oct 19, 2010 8:39 AM

    Greg Loyd had it right, “I Wasn’t Hired For My Disposition” all your Browns fans enjoy the news you’re getting because you won’t get much more the rest of the season. When the guy getting hit thinks it’s a clean hit your argument is nil.

  108. urworstnitemare says: Oct 19, 2010 9:14 AM

    The guy plays the game the way it should be. You cry babies would not be saying that if he were on your pansie teams. You want someone to fear you and drop the ball when they hear footsteps. The receivers get paid alot more than the defensive players and do all their little dances and celebrating when they do something that they are getting paid to do. Harrison does what he gets paid to do and would make Lambert very proud of him.
    Jim Brown would punish people who tried to tackle him, its the mental part of the game. I bet you whiners would call him dirty if he played today.

  109. BigOx says: Oct 19, 2010 9:20 AM

    Head to head hits are one thing and are going to happen – it’s when they are intentionally applied over and over again that a sickening pattern is developed. Severe action needs to be taken by the league to minimize the intentional noggin knocker. And Harrison, not being concerned about it happening to him, says alot about his intelligence or lack thereof.

  110. OvERRaTEd says: Oct 19, 2010 9:25 AM

    If I get fined on that, it’s got to be a travesty. They didn’t call [penalties on] that. There’s no way I can be fined.”
    Maybe he should think before he speaks. The hit is under review, and he can (and should) get fined for it.
    Clearly he doesn’t care, and why should he? He is a dirty player and prizes himself upon that fact. Harrison should be under close watch for suspension. He is a repeat offender of the “dirty hits” and is proud of them.
    Don’t get me wrong, the man has massive talent, but his attitude is worthless. That is why he is a perfect fit for the Steelers. He is a classless player and is being cheered upon by classless fans (well about 90% of them anywho)

  111. Steelerschick43 says: Oct 19, 2010 11:33 AM

    But no one seems to be commenting on Dunta Robinson’s vicious hit on Jackson….that was way worse then Harrison’s and Meriweather’s hits….Oh yea I forgot its Harrison is a Steeler…full of Steeler haters and wish Harrison was on their defense…Harrision didn’t hit any one directly head on head like Robinson…heck Jackson can’t even remember what happened to him!!!!
    Steeler haters need not apply!!!

  112. bloodystupidjohnson says: Oct 19, 2010 11:34 AM

    After the fact Harrison said that he thought that Cribbs was just “sleeping”. That after the hit he said “bye bye wildcat”.
    There was no question that Harrison tried to take Cribbs out of the game. Cribbs has been a one man wrecking crew against the Steelers for years.
    If some posters here want old time football, then the Browns should be faulted for not running some plays at Harrison and going for Harrison’s knees. That is exactly what of happen in the “old days.”

  113. Mosi says: Oct 19, 2010 12:06 PM

    I looked at the tape last night (DVR SportsCenter), and I take back what I said about Merriweather not meaning to hit him in the helmet. He clearly led with his head and was going for a cheap shot. I’m a homer, but not that much of a homer. Clearly they should fine him.
    As for suspending guys, it would have to be after the fact (not in-game) and probably just a game.
    Helmet / head / neck shots are going to happen when these guys are flying around the way they do. The most protective helmets and supporting neck pads should be mandatory. Once someone is paralyzed, they will be.

  114. bobhoo says: Oct 19, 2010 1:43 PM

    Yeah, these guys will be the first to file a lawsuit againts the NFL after they retire. It’s easy to say you dont care when you have little chance at getting one of those hits. That being said, I don’t understand the defensless player rule. That is what they called in the eaglets/falcons game. If you go across the middle your going to be hit. If that makes them defensless and they throw a flag everytime, then as a coach I’m throwing over the middle a lot. What makes a player defenseless when the ball is in his grasp.

  115. rusH1023 says: Oct 19, 2010 2:56 PM

    Outside football, Brandon Meriweather is said to be a pretty quiet, laid-back guy. The opposite is said to be true of James Harrison.
    The guy LOOKS like’s raped several hundred people in the klink. And maybe shot some bitches up, too.

  116. Deb says: Oct 19, 2010 9:13 PM

    @rusH1023 …
    Would you care to provide links to support your assertions about Harrison? What he looks like is irrelevant … and that’s an ignorant comment.

  117. thestaggie says: Oct 20, 2010 7:45 AM

    Folks don’t seem to get this. We all love and what to see physical contact, but what a lot of us don’t want to see is blatant shots about the head. Same thing the league wants. They understand they cannot stop the contact but they do want to stop deliberate use of the head.
    The problem with defensive players is, they do not have to deal with the hits they dish out. Maybe if a fullback or tightend hit them upside the head on a block, or went for the knees and said “I just want to hurt, not injure”, Merriweather and Harrison might think twice.

  118. Maddog says: Oct 20, 2010 12:42 PM

    rusH1023 says:
    October 19, 2010 2:56 PM
    Outside football, Brandon Meriweather is said to be a pretty quiet, laid-back guy. The opposite is said to be true of James Harrison.
    The guy LOOKS like’s raped several hundred people in the klink. And maybe shot some bitches up, too.
    ================================
    so you can tell what a guy’s like just by looking at him huh? you’re right, he looks black to me too. punk

  119. n2vibe says: Oct 24, 2010 10:37 PM

    So some guy uses the Sunday night football show to explain to all of us, because we don’t seem to know anything about the game, that it’s such a great idea to soften the game of football. Oh those bad bad boys who hit too hard, and it’s so much more violent now then it has ever been…whimper whimper! Listen you no playing little left wing talking head, what do you know about it? Huh? Huh? Anyrthing outside your lists and stats. This is a game of smash mouth blood and guts and the only reason everybody’s bigger now, and faster and better protected is because the game is violent, wicked violent. Pencil neck geeks like you….and me…. couldn’t survive 10 minutes on the filed with these men. Dont you get it, that’s what the fans like, that’s what we tune in for, that’s why we support it. The courage and athletic abilities of the players who participate are willing to stick their necks out to play this game.
    Then a spineless little pencil neck like you comes on the show and levels this doll playing, dress wearing diatribe that was never invited on an audience with little or no chance for rebuttal. Get outa town you creep. I know I didn’t want to listen to anything you have to say. I haven’t heard one comment in approval of the decision from anybody that actually plays or has played this game….nope, so far the only ones talking are those that don’t have the courage to get out on the field and put themselves at risk. So all you silly talking heads….shut the F&%# up!

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