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Tomlin says Heath Miller is doubtful for Sunday

Heath Miller, Kamerion Wimbley

Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain won’t miss any games as a result of Sunday night’s helmet-to-helmet hit against Steelers tight end Heath Miller.

Miller apparently will.

Coach Mike Tomlin said that Miller is doubtful with the concussion he received after McClain committed a blatant violation of the rules protecting defenseless players.  Though McClain was fined $40,000, the infraction did not draw a flag.

The Steelers host the 2-10 Bengals on Sunday.

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31 Responses to “Tomlin says Heath Miller is doubtful for Sunday”
  1. thataintchocolate says: Dec 7, 2010 5:07 PM

    I’m glad to see these players are finally safe. If they won’t take their own safety seriously, the league will do it for them.

  2. bensbigbrokennose says: Dec 7, 2010 5:08 PM

    GO BUNGLES!!!!!!!!

  3. kevo126 says: Dec 7, 2010 5:22 PM

    “Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain won’t miss any games as a result of Sunday night’s helmet-to-helmet hit against Steelers tight end Heath Miller.
    Miller apparently will.”

    dont remember you saying this to harrisons hits or the meriweather hit on heap…got something against mcclain?

  4. patswinagain says: Dec 7, 2010 5:36 PM

    kev…i can’t say it any simpler…you sir, are a moron. That hit was the most violent unnecessary attack on a defenseless player I’ve seen in many many years. If that was harrison he would be suspended for multiple games. Your DB was let off easy with a 40K fine. That hit looked to the audience as a life changing event. Your DB is lucky Miller was able to walk off the field. Grow Up!

  5. citizenstrange says: Dec 7, 2010 5:39 PM

    I’m still in shock that Goodell didn’t make McClain Defensive Player of the Week like he did to the Patriots James Sanders for his illegal helmet to helmet hit on Hines Ward that knocked Ward out of the game with a concussion.

    Am I taking crazy pills here? Sanders hits Ward in the helmet with his helmet – remember Ward was defenseless, it was ruled no catch – and no flag or fine and Sanders is in fact named Defensive Player of the Week?

    What is Goodell’s explanation for that? Seriously?

    Are helmet to helmet hits on defenseless players illegal or not?

    We know that ANY tackle James Harrison makes will draw a quick flag and fine but is it ONLY the Steelers who get flagged and fined and the rest of the NFL can play as dirty as they please against the Steelers?

  6. steelersmichele says: Dec 7, 2010 5:53 PM

    Of course he’s doubtful. Did you see the hit? I honestly thought they were going to bring out the stretcher.

    Florio, so after preaching about how Harbaugh is such a good coach and makes sure his players don’t make illegal hits, are you now willing to admit you were WRONG.

    Did you hear Harbaugh after the game defending the helmet-to-helmet hit? Why don’t you print how Harbaugh said there was nothing McClain could do about hitting Miller helmet-to-helmet?

    You constantly criticize Harrison when he says there is nothing he can do at the last minute, and now when your golden coach says the same thing, you don’t criticize him.

    Guess you’re like the commissioner: different rules for different people.

    bensbigbrokennose–nice to know you love Ben so much.

    kevo126–Have you read Florio’s articles on Harrison? Florio was actually being way nicer to McClain.

  7. Deb says: Dec 7, 2010 5:57 PM

    @kevo126 …

    Any chance you could try playing a grown-up for a day?

    First, not that Florio has acknowledged it, but most of Harrison’s recent fines have been for legal hits. If you want to discuss a brutal Harrison hit that was illegal, you have to go back to the hit on Massaquoi in the Browns game. Harrison hit him straight on while he was in the act of catching the ball. Harrison is the one who stopped Massaquoi’s progress–which was his job. And I don’t recall whether Massaquoi missed any playing time in subsequent games. So while he launched himself improperly, at least it was at a receiver who was still fair game and he didn’t blindside him.

    McClain, one of those players Harbaugh claimed he’d coached to hit perfectly within the strike zone, blindsided Miller after Miller was down, after Miller was securely in the grasp of another defender, and after the play was over. And he launched directly at Miller’s head. It’s by the grace of God that Miller didn’t have to be taken off the field by ambulance.

    Incidentally, for a first offense, Goodell levied $50,000 fines at the other players punished the same week Harrison hit Massaquoi. And they did not play for the Steelers. Why lower the fine this time to $40,000? Because he has no set fine schedule. He just plays these things by ear.

    This isn’t about the Steelers or the Ravens. And it certainly isn’t about improving safety. This is about an unethical commissioner who wields his power in an unbalanced way. If the owners do not course-correct soon, he will destroy any goodwill between labor and management. And he may succeed in destroying the integrity of the game with these officiating and fining debacles. It wouldn’t surprise me if he kept fining players until they are backed into a strike position claiming it’s for safety’s sake … while creating a situation so unhealthy that we wind up with the first in-game death of a player.

  8. steelers6pack says: Dec 7, 2010 6:00 PM

    Not a Steeler so only a fine…..

    Roger Godell

  9. stinger9 says: Dec 7, 2010 6:00 PM

    I still think the hit was legit. unfortunate – no doubt, but McClain did not lead with his helmet. He got low to make a textbook tackle, but Miller was hit first and he was starting to fall after McClain was already committed.

    It was an ugly hit, no doubt about it, and it make me sick to my stomach to see him lying there unconscience, lip twitching. I’m glad Miller got up and walked off the field. I don’t think McClain committed a “blantant” rule violation.

  10. pftusername says: Dec 7, 2010 6:26 PM

    Maybe helmet-to-helmet hits and defenseless player hits will go down if the the player is automatically suspended until the recipient is able to play again.

  11. andyprough says: Dec 7, 2010 6:30 PM

    Miller has taken a lot of huge hits – and dished out a lot of huge hits, even against these same Ravens. He had some devestating hits against their db’s in the 2008 AFC title game

    I think that when guys like Miller and Ward dish out such hard hits, the defenders sometimes want to pay them back if they ever get the chance. I’m sure McClain will get what’s coming to him in the near future

  12. thataintchocolate says: Dec 7, 2010 6:31 PM

    Goodell cares the most about player safety. I saw him almost in tears when he thought someone was hurt once. He loves this sport and the game so effin much. His marketing experts tirelessly hold focus groups about things like this just to make sure the fans are really pumped about it too. I’m really excited about what the future holds for this league. Its gonna get huge.

  13. kevo126 says: Dec 7, 2010 6:31 PM

    @patswinagain, hahaha wow you say”i can’t say it any simpler…you sir, are a moron.” then you say “Your DB was let off easy with a 40K fine.”

    at least get the player right…mcclain is a lb.

    and saying “That hit was the most violent unnecessary attack on a defenseless player I’ve seen in many many years.” is just your opinion. the hit was shoulder to helmet. and wasnt nearly as bad as the meriweather hit imo.

    “First, not that Florio has acknowledged it, but most of Harrison’s recent fines have been for legal hits.”

    @deb they were illegal hits…thats why he was fined for them. and when did harbs say “he’d coached to hit perfectly within the strike zone”?????? i dont think i have ever heard the guy say perfect before about his coaching. again you put words in someones mouth…big surprise.

  14. Jack Burton says: Dec 7, 2010 6:41 PM

    Oh so now you’re reporting it was a “blatant violation of the rules?” You sir are a miracle worker and a saint. LOL

  15. Deb says: Dec 7, 2010 7:05 PM

    @kevo126 …

    We can agree to disagree on hits if you saw them and thought they were illegal. But since your own players have said the league has fined Harrison unfairly, please don’t assume the league is always right on this stuff. Goodell is an ass and does things for his own reasons.

    I don’t have any problem with Harrison being fined for Vince Young or Massaquoi or flagged for a late hit on Brees. But he didn’t lead with his helmet or make helmet-to-helmet contact on Brees or Fitzpatrick. Still photos and footage show that. Don’t believe the league is out to get the Steelers; they’re out to neuter defenses and were just using James as their posterboy because he has a big mouth.

    Did you see quotation marks around the comment? Then I didn’t put words in John Harbaugh’s mouth. In two interviews Sunday, he made a point of saying that he isn’t concerned about the NFL’s approach to the rules because his players have learned how to tackle within the strike zone. In fact, he made out like everyone has learned this except the Steelers. “[G]oing helmet to helmet, or shoulder to helmet against defenseless players is no longer part of the game … there’s no question in my mind that our team has figured it out, most of the league has figured it out, and shortly everybody will figure it out.” (That is a quote.)

    Mike Tomlin, if you’ll watch his press conferences, always speaks highly of the Ravens, win or lose. The comments by Harbaugh were ridiculous because every team in the league is dealing with these issues–as the Ravens proved Sunday night. Frankly, Harbaugh should have the grace to apologize for his arrogance.

  16. tomthebombtracy says: Dec 7, 2010 7:12 PM

    When asked on the pre-game show whether the players were confused about what was a legal hit or not, he boasted “oh, yeah, it’s very clear to our players. They know. We don’t have a problem with that.”

    Then, against an overwhelming majority of people….including the announcers….who saw the hit on Miller as illegal, Harbaugh yesterday said he couldn’t see why there was a fine.

    So much for your pompous attitude, Harbaugh.

    Ryan Clark said on radio in Pittsburgh today that the Steelers would have rather had the 30 yards in penalties and automatic first downs. The money means nothing when the game is over.

  17. steelerfan4ever says: Dec 7, 2010 7:32 PM

    Why aren’t posts showing up?

  18. mrssmith says: Dec 7, 2010 8:00 PM

    So where in the quote does it say that everyone but the Steelers have figured it out?? Stop putting words in his mouth. He also has been said nothing but good things about the Steelers. There is a definitely a mutual respect there.

    Harbaugh like Tomlin has asked for clarification from the league this year on what really what is an illegal hit. Suggs was flagged for landing on the QB with full body weight before Harrison was..and Ngata’s first fine this year was for a hit was in the chest/abdomen..no where near the QBs head.

    Since Harbaugh’s arrival he has worked hard on focusing on discipline, focus and they do focus on hitting on the strike zone. Overall he’s done a good job as the Raven’s penalities have gone down. I’m sure the team does know in general where the strike zone is as he gets clarification he preaches it as well as I’m sure as Harrison does. But just as Steeler fans have been clamoring since this whole “crackdown” started (and I happen to agree with) the interpretation of the rules are not consistent and when things are in game speed these types of hits are going to happen. Do you really think McClain was thinking..let me hit this guy in the head?? No..just as Harrison was not.

    This was McClains first offense and he was fined..and for what he makes it is a substantial fine. I assure you if he does it again, he’ll be fined higher and you don’t have to worry about a suspension because he will be in Harbaugh’s doghouse and won’t play. Ask Ellerbe how much playing time he gets now since getting 2 block in the back penalties on special teams and hasn’t seen the field since.

  19. mrssmith says: Dec 7, 2010 8:12 PM

    tomthebombtracy – I’m sure the Ravens will give Ryan Clark the 30 yds on the two personal fouls..if he gives the Ravens the additional yards on the addl 3-4 PIs not called on McFadden. The one on Boldin alone would have been at least 30 yds! For a minute there I though Frank Walker was playing on the Steelers..LOL

    On a serious note though, the refs just blow..every team would like to get or get back the yards on blown calls..unfortunately it’s just part of the game now and it doesn’t look like Goodell or Anderson are going to do anything about it. Ask Periera as he picks the refs calls apart on fox now!

  20. kevo126 says: Dec 7, 2010 8:15 PM

    @deb you said “McClain, one of those players Harbaugh claimed he’d coached to hit perfectly within the strike zone”

    that claimed goes with mcclain…according to proper english. and you dont have to put things in quotes to put words in peoples mouth’s. your sentences implies that harbs said he was perfect at coaching the rules. which he has not said anything close to that.

    “But since your own players have said the league has fined Harrison unfairly, please don’t assume the league is always right on this stuff.”

    i also think he was fined to much but they are now illegal hits (again personal opinion if you think they should be illegal but according to the rule book they are illegal). and i never said he was fined properly. i just said he was fined for illegal hits…according the rule book…because YOU said he was fined for LEGAL hits, which is wrong.

    and why should harbs apologize for this quote? “[G]oing helmet to helmet, or shoulder to helmet against defenseless players is no longer part of the game … there’s no question in my mind that our team has figured it out, most of the league has figured it out, and shortly everybody will figure it out.”

    clearly harrison, who is part of the steelers, has not figured it out. and harbs doesnt say the ravens will never make a mistake…but that the ravens know its the rule

  21. PCa Survivor says: Dec 7, 2010 9:12 PM

    @kev0126 — Yikes. Please don’t lecture anyone on “perfect english (sic)” when your post was full of punctuation, capitalization, and spelling mistakes.

    Soccer has a red card send-off offense for seven infractions, including two very serious ones: Serious Foul Play and Violent Conduct. Serious Foul Play can be at least construed to be within the boundaries of the game but includes excessive force. It can occur only while the ball is in play. Violent conduct occurs while the ball is in play or out of play. Both lead to the expulsion of the perpetrator. Hockey has game misconducts. Basketball players foul out. But football? The NFL apparently believes that only throwing a punch should expel a player. Forget fines, at least as a primary deterrent to change behavior. Terry McAuley should have simply announced “Personal Foul, Number 53. Number 53 has been ejected from the game.” Of course his crew didn’t see anything wrong with the hit. Disgusting.

  22. kevo126 says: Dec 7, 2010 10:33 PM

    @PCa Survivor i wasnt trying to lecture on english…their was confusion because someone used bad english. and i was explaining why it was confusing…but way to be an a hole.

    and please dont bring up soccer.

    and basketball players never foul out due to 5 or 6 violent fouls…they usually get kicked out after 1 just like the nfl or are given a T…but nice try.

    and again none of the steelers fans here seem to realize that mcclain led with his shoulder (not his head like harrison always does) and if miller wasnt falling to the ground, mcclain would have hit him in the mid section. it wasnt like meriweather, where he lunged at heap’s head while leading with his helmet. big difference in intent….however same result. but sometimes that happens.

  23. Deb says: Dec 7, 2010 10:38 PM

    @mrssmith …

    In general, I’d agree with your comments about Harbaugh, and have already posted kudos to the Ravens players who spoke up on behalf of Harrison. That’s why I was disappointed with his interviews Sunday. The quote was just an small excerpt from his interviews, and I’m sorry I haven’t located a link so you can see his comments in their entirety.

    It was extremely disappointing to hear him talk as though the rules are crystal clear and the Ravens have mastered them. Since he was being asked about the fines in context with the Steelers’ issues, you couldn’t help but assume when he was saying almost everyone had figured it out, that he was taking a swipe at Tomlin. He went on in the interview to say that Harrison would figure it out because he was a smart player, or something to that effect.

    The reason I said his comments are arrogant is … well, look at the game. It’s not about figuring out the rules. Most of us understand the rules. The problem is that a) the league has fined some hits that were clearly within the rules, and b) Goodell has made conflicting comments regarding a defender’s liability when a receiver lowers his head at the last second–something that’s not foreseeable.

    Beyond that, the league went out of its way to promote hard-hitting monster defenses like ours and the Ravens … right up until Congress started
    talking about concussions and the league started trying to push players into expanding the season without owners having to invest more in player personnel costs. Nothing they’re doing is making the game safer, but they’re giving it lip service, which should appease Congress. The players are a bit smarter than that.

  24. mrhappy2000 says: Dec 7, 2010 10:41 PM

    Goodell’s primary motivation as league dictator is to protect the interests of the Pasterisks (i.e. his buddy Kraft and golden boy Brady) and diminish certain other contenders (primarily teams such as the Steelers and Ravens who play football as it was meant to be played rather than some arena league garbage). The arbitrary and capricious nature of the other fines/punishments simply reflects the fact that other goals are too trivial to warrant his time. It’s clear that the officiating crews have taken their cues from him.

  25. Deb says: Dec 7, 2010 10:56 PM

    @kevo126 …

    Apparently you can’t interact as an adult. My mistake. Among other things, I edit books for a living, so it’s impossible to take seriously someone lecturing me on “proper english” who doesn’t know to capitalize English and other proper nouns, or to use apostrophes in contractions.

    Harbaugh’s interview wasn’t limited to a single quote. He was explicit about his team understanding the rules and being taught to hit within the strike zone and implicit that Tomlin needs to get with the program. Tomlin does understand the rules and does coach the Steelers to play within the rules. As a coach of two Super Bowl-winning defenses, he doesn’t need instruction from Harbaugh.

    Harrison, the NFL’s defensive MVP in 2008, who is having another MVP year in 2010, also understands the rules. So do the Ravens who’ve pointed out that he’s been unfairly fined for legal hits. Ciao.

  26. 49fromwi says: Dec 7, 2010 11:38 PM

    Why doesn’t the NFL just suspend players that cause concussions as long as the “concussed” player is out?

  27. mrssmith says: Dec 8, 2010 7:54 AM

    Deb – if you understand the helmet to helmet rules fully then you must be one of the lucky few because I assure you most players and coaches don’t really know what they are (as evidenced by many complaints and interviews). Do they understand the “strike zone”? Sure they do. And I assure you Harbaugh (and probably Tomlin) harps on that every practice every week. This is what he was referring to in his quotes.

    You can think that Harbaugh was impliciting talking about the Steelers all you want, he didn’t say it and I don’t believe I’ve heard him stay a disrespectful thing regarding Pitt out of his mouth since he’s been here. In fact, he was a really good sport and light hearted with the whole “the Ravens head coach doesn’t like me because he gave me a fake handshake before a game” quote.

    Usually when people are upset about a subject they read into things. I think that is all that is done there. And Florio has done a great job reading the comment boards to come up with his next story!

  28. hineswardcriesafterfumbling says: Dec 8, 2010 8:51 AM

    The fine levied to McClain doesn’t make sense. As Deb pointed out, “first time” violators were fined 50K earlier in the year. I thought Meriweather’s hit was the worst of the lot, but McClain’s is right up there. McClain didn’t need to hit Miller at all- Miller was already taken to the ground by another player, and McClain launched into Miller. It was good to see Miller get up and walk off on his own.

    It wasn’t flagged. And if it had been Harrison, it would have been. I can acknowledge that. But it’s not because McClain is a Raven and Harrison is a Steeler. It’s because Harrison proves every week that he has an inability to learn. The hit on Cribbs, led with the helmet. Massequoi-helmet to helmet. Hit on Brees, led with the helmet. Hit on FitzPatrick, again, leading with the helmet. Just because he isn’t spearing people like a human battering ram doesn’t mean he isn’t leading with the helmet.

    When you have that reputation and look like the incredible hulk, refs are going to have their eyes peeled.

    I know, Harrison gets held on every single play, even when the Steelers are on offense or he’s on the sidelines getting a breather, and he’s the only player in the league that gets held without drawing a flag.

    He’s also on HGH

  29. kevo126 says: Dec 8, 2010 10:45 AM

    @deb again you took things completely out of context…

    not going to talk to you again…first time i did you compeletly put words in my mouth (not on this post) and now you are taking things out of context.

    and you seem to love to say how old you are…congrats…you are old and edit books for a living. haha

    “i am adult” “try talking like an adult”….ever said that before?? (like every post)

  30. Deb says: Dec 8, 2010 2:50 PM

    @mrssmith …

    I give Florio a lot of props for being a magician when it comes to knowing how to attract comments, but hadn’t thought of him scouring comments for ideas. That’s great!

    I’ve always liked the Harbaughs, so I’ll go with you on this. Yes, it’s a sensitive subject. Would like the fans to all be on the same page because Goodell just scares me to death. Really feel he’s a detriment to the long-term health of the league.

    @kevo126 …

    Okay, that was funny. Who said book editors are old? Get that little gray-haired schoolteacher image out of your head. Green-eyes, long auburn hair–matches my fiery temper :)

    “Grow up” isn’t the worst. Lately I’ve been calling too many people on here “stupid,” “idiot,” and “jackass.” I’m going to slip and say that in person to someone if I’m not careful. That would be … unfortunate :)

  31. steelerdynasty2010 says: Dec 8, 2010 4:08 PM

    kevo:
    harrison hit Massequoi shoulder to helmet, just like mcclain hit miller, but nice try.

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