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Harrison’s hit on McCoy could fall into gray area of rulebook

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The concussion that Browns quarterback Colt McCoy apparently suffered on Thursday night came after Steelers linebacker James Harrison lowered the crown of his helmet into McCoy’s face.

Based on his history of fines for illegal hits, Harrison could be facing a six-figure fine or a suspension for his most recent transgression.

But Harrison believes it was a clean play.  “From what I understand, once the quarterback leaves the pocket, he’s considered a runner,” Harrison said after the game, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  “All the defenseless[ness] and liberties that a quarterback has in the pocket are gone and you can tackle him just as he’s a running back.  The hit wasn’t late, so I really don’t understand why it was called.”

Technically, Harrison’s understanding is wrong.  When the quarterback leaves the pocket, he loses the protection against low hits, and the one-step rule for roughing the passer evaporates.  But all other protections apply, including the prohibition against blows to the head.

Harrison could still escape a nasty letter from the league office.  The official rule book contains at Rule 12, Section 2, Article 13(8) a phrase that possibly creates a loophole for a helmet-to-helmet hit.  If the quarterback is “attempting to advance the ball as a runner,” all protections for the passer apparently go away.

On the play in question, McCoy was moving toward the line of scrimmage as a runner, before flipping the ball while on the move to Montario Hardesty in a maneuver that looked almost like an option play, with a slightly forward pass in lieu of a lateral getting the ball from the quarterback to the tailback.

Harrison will claim that he believed McCoy was attempting to advance the ball as a runner.  And that raises an interesting question regarding the ability of quarterbacks to bait defensive players into illegal hits.

The problem is that Harrison may not be the ideal poster child for this specific exception.  Given his history and the ferocity of the hit he applied to McCoy, the league may decide that the evidence of the attempt to advance the ball as a runner must be clear, and that if the quarterback actually throws the ball he necessarily wasn’t attempting to advance the ball as a runner.

The league office will likely caucus on this issue early next week, with Harrison finding out on Tuesday whether and to what extent he’ll be punished.  He’ll then have the right to appeal to Art Shell or Ted Cottrell.

Regardless of how it turns out, here’s hoping that the league provides a clear interpretation of the relevant rule, so that players in the future will know when a quarterback is fair game for a blow to the head, and when he isn’t.

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148 Responses to “Harrison’s hit on McCoy could fall into gray area of rulebook”
  1. snarkzilla says: Dec 9, 2011 8:09 AM

    It was aggressive but didn’t look intentionally dirty to me. McCoy was a moving target.

  2. drmonkeyarmy says: Dec 9, 2011 8:10 AM

    He had the opportunity to deliver a clean hit but chose to instead go helmet to helmet. He should be suspended. I thought that hit was as dirty as they come.

  3. tv426 says: Dec 9, 2011 8:13 AM

    It is against the rules to hit with the “crown” or top of the head. PERIOD!!!!

    This rule has been in place for decades!! It has only recently been enforced as before recently it almost never happened.

    Is THAT simple enough to Harrison to understand? Likely not.

  4. cornellsteelers says: Dec 9, 2011 8:14 AM

    “…here’s hoping that the league provides a clear interpretation of the relevant rule…”

    Why do I feel like this won’t happen?

  5. toegoat says: Dec 9, 2011 8:15 AM

    I don’t understand why running backs are allowed to be hit like that. Is there something in their DNA that makes their heads harder/tougher/less injury prone??

  6. snaponrules says: Dec 9, 2011 8:16 AM

    So once they move forward you can launch at their head going for the kill shot?
    You can bet if it was Brady he hit, he would be watching from the sidelines for a couple weeks. As he should be, the guy just cant stop cheap shotting people.

  7. toegoat says: Dec 9, 2011 8:16 AM

    In other news: Suh is happy to be out of the spotlight.

  8. dicksquared says: Dec 9, 2011 8:17 AM

    If McCoy suffered a concussion, why was he back in the game?

    And where is the PFT outrage for that?

  9. ilivefootball says: Dec 9, 2011 8:18 AM

    yet another example of a dirty hit by james harrison he needs to be in the MMA not the NFL go low on guys especially a qb.

  10. Raider-in-PA says: Dec 9, 2011 8:18 AM

    Dirty, dirty, dirty…. When will this punk ever learn?? Why doesnt this team get it?

  11. stoogy says: Dec 9, 2011 8:18 AM

    He could learn to tackle wiith his shoulder not his head

  12. technovike says: Dec 9, 2011 8:19 AM

    even as a runner, the call should have been helmet to helmet not roughing the passer. there was no need for it.

  13. humbleminded85 says: Dec 9, 2011 8:21 AM

    Whats the official rules regarding fair weather/front runner fans? Because 90% of steeler fans i’ve ever met never have even stepped foot in the state of P.A. Ever met a Pirate fan? How about a Pitt Panther fan? My point exactly. Steeler nation=bandwagon nation.

  14. gmen1987 says: Dec 9, 2011 8:21 AM

    I have a feeling Mr. Harrison will be hearing from the Commisioner pretty soon and will find he has less Christmas money to spend this season.

  15. eddddddd says: Dec 9, 2011 8:21 AM

    It was a BS call. McCoy was a runner at that point, he left the pocket and tucked the ball.

  16. tatum064 says: Dec 9, 2011 8:23 AM

    The gray area is … how can we fine this guy, yet not appear to be “targeting” the same guy over and over again?

  17. steelerdynasty2010 says: Dec 9, 2011 8:23 AM

    here it comes

  18. xxsweepthelegxx says: Dec 9, 2011 8:24 AM

    “The hit wasn’t late, so I really don’t understand why it was called.” – Harrison

    Ummm…apparently there is a lot you don’t understand James. Try not lowering your helmet and hitting the “runner” in the facemask with the crown of your helmet. RB/QB/WR/TE/Off linemine, etc…doesn’t matter, you can’t headbutt someone in the face moron. Enjoy your fine to follow. Pitt should release you and save themselves the constant scrutiny/headache.

  19. supremeomega says: Dec 9, 2011 8:24 AM

    Guys like Harrison Suh and Merriweather always seem to be in the “gray area” two or three times a year. Conversely guys like Urlacher, Lewis, Freeney, Polamalu and Rivas seem to be HOF bound players that can make hard hits without trying to put people to sleep.

    I truly fear one day that someone is going to be killed on a football field on live TV due to a hat to hat shot…hitting people very hard is football, but using a 265 pound body as a projectile to the head isnt necessary or making the game better.

  20. sfloyal says: Dec 9, 2011 8:26 AM

    They need to suspend this guy and finally team him a lesson. Loophole or not, he hit him with his helmet, likes he’s done every time before.

    SUSPEND HIM!

  21. hineswardcriesafterfumbling says: Dec 9, 2011 8:27 AM

    @humbleminded85
    I have a few friends that are Steelers, Pirates, and Pitt Panther fans. They also happen to be from Pittsburgh/Western PA. But to support your claim, I’ve seen more Steelers fans who are also Red Sox fans than Pirate fans. Or in central PA, you get a lot of scum bags who are Steelers fans and Phillies fans.

  22. jnbnet says: Dec 9, 2011 8:29 AM

    Don’t you have to be across the ling of scrimage to “advance” the ball? If so, you can not complete a “forward” pass. A QB can scramble behind the line of scrimage.

  23. djstat says: Dec 9, 2011 8:29 AM

    cornellsteelers: The rule is crystal clear. You can not launch your self and hit anyone with the crown of your helmet. Harrison won’t get the message through his thick head until he is suspended.

    Suspend his a$$ for two games and I guarantee he will change how he plays. He could have still hit McCoy and he did not lower his head until after the ball was OUT of McCoy’s hands.

  24. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 9, 2011 8:33 AM

    DIRTY ASH STEELERS.

    Clear helmet to helmet.

  25. hineswardcriesafterfumbling says: Dec 9, 2011 8:33 AM

    Article 8 There shall be no unnecessary roughness. This shall include, but will not be limited to:
    (g) If a player uses any part of his helmet (including the top/crown and forehead/”hairline” parts) or facemask to butt, spear, or ram an opponent violently or unnecessarily.

    Maybe it shouldn’t have been roughing the passer. But the rulebook seems clear to me that the hit was a penalty.

  26. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 9, 2011 8:35 AM

    McCoy shouldn’t have been back in the game, concussion or not. Let Wallace get the GW score. He made a nice pass before McCoy came back in and he has the elusiveness that McCoy, while mobile, DOESN’T. Stupid Browns.

  27. nflofficeadmin says: Dec 9, 2011 8:35 AM

    Not a fan of this roided up juicehead, BUT it’s football. Let them play the game, physical and to the final whistle. If you can’t accept anyone gettig hurt, then you can’t accept the game the way it was designed to be played.

    Rather than focusing on changing the rules to protect players, why isn’t there more focus on upgrading the technology of the equipment used by players to avoid injuries.

  28. deadguy73 says: Dec 9, 2011 8:36 AM

    I thought girls didn’t like football? Guess they just like posting about it.

    Runners are fair game. Option plays will leave your QB open for a hit… accept it and move on.

  29. seatownballers says: Dec 9, 2011 8:36 AM

    Forget the fact that mccoy is a qb on the run, it has nothing to do with the punishment harrison is facing. Anyone that saw the game knows that harrison launched himself head first and lead with his head, again. 100k fine easy

  30. erikinhell says: Dec 9, 2011 8:37 AM

    Harrison lowered his head and drove it into the facemask of a QB that just threw the ball. Leading with the crown of the helmet was a penalty long before they started this QB protection crap that’s killing the game. I’ve had the opportunity to see harrison play this year, and he’s been using his shoulder a lot more on hits since his extreme fines last season. I thought he had learned his lesson.

    He took a head hunting shot on a QB. He should be fined or penalized as the league sees fit.

    The Browns should be fined for stupidity for putting McCoy back in the game. They were putting together a good end to that drive with Wallace in the game, and they should have stayed with the momentum they had going.

  31. Patriot42 says: Dec 9, 2011 8:39 AM

    Helmet to Helmet hit is illegal anytime.

  32. spharrgcs says: Dec 9, 2011 8:39 AM

    There are several things at play..Harrison has a history of malicious hits that appear to carry the direct intent of knocking a player out via a helmet to helmet blow. This tactic is dirty, and should carry with it a steep penalty .. preferably and ejection from the game and steep fines/suspensions. Secondly, as pointed out, the QB was essentially defenseless because he was still behind the line of scrimmage, and his focus was still looking for a receiver, not whats in front of him were he a runner, whereas he would then have a much better chance of either eluding the defender or at least protecting himself from a vicious blow to his head. Harrison likely knew all of this and took the opportunity to lower his helmet and use it as a weapon, as he has done before. Based on his past, and the nature of the hit and it’s resulting of McCoy getting a concussion, the league needs to make a big example of Harrison and send a loud message to all players that this simply will not be tolerated.

  33. mrpkg says: Dec 9, 2011 8:40 AM

    Because of the PR nightmare of Suh and others, JH will receive a suspension of 1 game, when it should be a fine.

  34. baron30 says: Dec 9, 2011 8:42 AM

    he launched himself and buried the crown of his helmet into the facemask of another player. Please sit down Mr. Harrison, pay you 50k and we will see you in two weeks.

  35. kokoskmr says: Dec 9, 2011 8:44 AM

    The critical question is “how has he been coached by Tomlin?”

    The rule needs to be clarified using this hit as the test case. It seems that the QB is not clearly “advancing the ball as a runner” until he crosses the line of scrimmage. My guess is that if this type of hit is allowed, the league will have figured out Tebow!

  36. arrogantathlete says: Dec 9, 2011 8:45 AM

    hahaha….what a joke! He was almost a runner so basically I can shove my helmet into his. Hey they are not graduates.

  37. brianmiller68 says: Dec 9, 2011 8:45 AM

    (g) If a player uses any part of his helmet (including the top/crown and forehead/”hairline” parts) or
    facemask to butt, spear, or ram an opponent violently or unnecessarily

    Penalty: For unnecessary roughness: Loss of 15 yards. The player may be disqualified if the action is
    judged by the official(s) to be flagrant.
    Note: If in doubt about a roughness call or potentially dangerous tactics, the covering official(s) should always
    call unnecessary roughness.

  38. sanjose61 says: Dec 9, 2011 8:46 AM

    No.

    “The problem” is that McCoy flipped the ball away quite a bit before Harrison led with his helmet and speared McCoy in the facemask.

    Harrison was facing McCoy and still had his head up when the ball was thrown.

    There is zero chance that Harrison didn’t know the ball was thrown.

    The hit was late, AND it was dirty.

  39. gordyb7 says: Dec 9, 2011 8:47 AM

    That hit was way more dangerous than Suh stomping a forearm, and Harrison is absolutely a repeat offender.

    Where is the 2-game suspension?

  40. kevpft says: Dec 9, 2011 8:49 AM

    It’s to the point now where it’s plain that Harrison has no respect for other men and their careers. What he’s choosing to do is putting other people’s careers at risk. Every time a concussion is suffered, a career shortens.

    Harrison simply has no respect for the people he plays against. He’s a dirty coward who takes advantage of playing a position that is all dishing it out, and no taking it. He substitutes cheap shots for actual professional skill at tackling – something he’s apparently not man enough to do.

    He’s bad for the league and bad for the sport.

  41. toegoat says: Dec 9, 2011 8:49 AM

    tv426 December 9, 2011, 8:13 AM EST

    It is against the rules to hit with the “crown” or top of the head. PERIOD!!!!

    This rule has been in place for decades!! It has only recently been enforced as before recently it almost never happened.

    Is THAT simple enough to Harrison to understand? Likely not.

    Actually u can use the crown of ur helmet as long as the player u are hitting is not defenseless or a QB a la Running Backs…. Gocong crushed mendenhall on that goal line stand by putting the crown of his helmet into his facemask. The reason u see it called more in games is because of the new defenseless reciever B.S. and the new rules on QBs. Get your facts right before u try to insult someone.

  42. habsman says: Dec 9, 2011 8:51 AM

    Multiple fines haven’t worked. One game suspension will get his attention?

  43. njhitman says: Dec 9, 2011 8:52 AM

    Raider-in-PA says:Dec 9, 2011 8:18 AM

    Dirty, dirty, dirty…. When will this punk ever learn?? Why doesnt this team get it?
    ————————————————–
    This comming from a Raider fan now thats funny
    A fan of a team that still and always will be the dirtyest team in the NFL

  44. ranksarot says: Dec 9, 2011 8:52 AM

    Born in Western PA Steelers fan here. The hit itself was illegal as many here have already pointed out. But also Harrison was a mile away when McCoy released the ball. Harrison had plenty of time to adjust and avoid or at least soften the blow. We all saw that. Clearly intentional dirty late hit. Sorry I call em like I see em.

  45. ziggy26 says: Dec 9, 2011 8:52 AM

    Harrison deserves a fine, if the NFL is being consistent.

    However, the helmet-to-helmet rules in the NFL are way out of whack. First, the fact that there is any “gray” area with these rules is just asking for trouble.

    Second, there are no rules for helmet-to-helmet contact initiated by ball carriers. Isn’t Brandon Jacobs lowering his head to take on a 200-lb DB just as dangerous as a tackler going head-to-head with a ball carrier?

    And fans are total hypocrites when it comes to this rule as well. A running back like Jacobs, or Peyton Hill that lowers his head into a defender is celebrated. (Hillis landed on the Madden cover, and he’s the guy that probably leads with his head the most).

    Harrison should be ready for his punishment. But the NFL needs to take a serious look at all helmet-to-helmet contact.

    One last thing, anyone who thinks helmet-t0-helmet tackles are a new thing and today’s players have lost the proper tackling technique – wrong. Go back and watch game highlights from the Purple People Eaters, Orange Crush, No Name Defense, 85 Bears etc. Those defenses were vicious, only they were referred to as “Nasty” as opposed to “Dirty.”

    The perception has changed.

  46. st1llerz1 says: Dec 9, 2011 8:52 AM

    McCoy was a runner. He’s entitled to all the protections of a runner and nothing less. There’s no gray area here. If that hit is delivered on a running back, the only difference is that the running back will not pass the ball at the last minute. It’s nothing more than a good, hard tackle.

    Take a look at the hit Mendenhall took from Gucong going up the middle on the goal line stand. Gucong hit Mendenhall right up under the facemask, nearly turning his helmeet sideways. Did Gucong lead with the crown of his helmet? You bet he did! Did Gucong make helmet=to-helmet contact. Hell yes he did! Was Gucong penalized on the play. Hell no he wasn’t. He hit a running back. Which was EXACTLY what McCoy was on that play until he flipped the ball out to Hardesty at the last moment before taking the hit.

    I’m all for protecting the quarterback when he’s in the pocket. If Harrison delivered that hit in while McCoy was in the pocket, under today’s rules he would should have been flagged and subsequently suspended. Harrison hit a running back and, this time, should not have been flagged. Nor should he be fined.

    GO STEELERS!

  47. heckjeck says: Dec 9, 2011 8:57 AM

    1) If an offensive player with, or without the ball, lowers his head you never see a flag come out. Not worried about player safety then Rog?

    2) Where was the outrage (and flag) when Ben was hit low after his injury? All of a sudden we let them “play”?

    3) Maybe Harrison wouldn’t play so tough if they called 10% of the times he’s held trying to do his job.

    4) The announcers trying to compare Colt to Ben after he got smashed was hilarious.

    4) If you don’t like tough football DON’T WATCH. I think NBC had ice skating or reruns of Seinfeld on.

    5) All you haters on Twitter after Ben got hurt should have known that he was coming back. He’s the toughest SOB in the league HANDS DOWN. Let’s see the league’s poster children (Brady or Peyton) behind that line, taking those beatings…like I said, TOUGHEST SOB IN THE LEAGUE.

  48. xeniavos says: Dec 9, 2011 8:57 AM

    It doesn’t matter if it’s a running back, quarterback, or water boy. There’s no gray area about leading with the helmet. It’s illegal. Period. Suspend Harrison until he learns to tackle with his shoulders.

  49. pdmjr says: Dec 9, 2011 8:57 AM

    Those poor defenseless little Brownies are always getting their heads kicked in

  50. jeffperk says: Dec 9, 2011 8:57 AM

    Very Simple, Harrison knew what he was doing & did it on purpose. He probably thought w/ the way the game had gone for the Steelers, Ben is gimpy, Pouncey out, they were going to lose & he was taking out McCoy to prevent that from happening. He made the hit & figured he would take the hit from the league for the team. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rooney’s wrote the check to cover his fine for him. Anything to win!

  51. joe6606 says: Dec 9, 2011 9:00 AM

    “The rule is crystal clear. You can not launch your self and hit anyone with the crown of your helmet”
    ————————————
    um nice try, but wrong.

    There are no rules regarding helmet to helmet hits on a player who is running with the ball. Did you see the goal line play where Mendenhall was stuffed, after getting slammed with a vicious helmet to helmet hit by Gocong? Although it was violent, it was perfectly legal.

    McCoy for all intents and purposes was a running back and the HtH rules should not apply.

  52. edukator4 says: Dec 9, 2011 9:00 AM

    he didnt “launch” himself, and that tackle on a rb is legal (for those who claim it isnt, might want to watch more football) based on the lack of flags that come out every time it happens to a rb. Mccoy was acting like he was going to run the ball then acknowledged it would be a fruitless play and dumped the ball off. the tackler cant be waiting for the qb to make his decision -run or pass- before he goes in for a hit.
    simple; qb wants to be a hero and run, get prepared to be treated like a rb.

  53. tavisteelersfan says: Dec 9, 2011 9:01 AM

    The league has developed a can of worms by creating categories of players as it relates to safety rules … it is unprincipled and unmanageable. A quarterback’s head is not intrinsically more valuable than a running back, receiver, offensive lineman or defender. It is undefensable.

    With Tebow in the game today, how would you possibly justify what hits you can put on him based on whether he is throwing, running or blocking.

    McCoy was running the Option. Harrison nailed him. If McCoy was “deemed to be” a running back or blocker at that moment, no harm no fowl. If he is “deemed to be” a quarterback … Harrison and the team are subject to penalty.

    Dumb.

    It is either wrong or right.

  54. njhitman says: Dec 9, 2011 9:02 AM

    ranksarot says:Dec 9, 2011 8:52 AM

    Born in Western PA Steelers fan here. The hit itself was illegal as many here have already pointed out. But also Harrison was a mile away when McCoy released the ball. Harrison had plenty of time to adjust and avoid or at least soften the blow. We all saw that. Clearly intentional dirty late hit. Sorry I call em like I see em.
    ————————————————-
    Here the replay of the hit I guess you need glasses

  55. michaelswork says: Dec 9, 2011 9:04 AM

    Doesn’t matter if your a runner or a Quaterback, YOU DON’T USE THE HELMET AS A WEAPON….Damn this man has got to be the second most stupid man in the NFL, they need to show this F’ing Fool the door, along with SUH…Leave you morons the NFL don’t need you.

  56. madisonave99 says: Dec 9, 2011 9:04 AM

    If you watch that hit in real-time speed, you can see it’s clearly NOT an intentional h2h hit. McCoy tucked the ball, ran, and then flipped it at the last possible second. There has to be wiggle room in these stupid rules to allow for incidental h2h contact. And to differentiate between incidental h2h contact (which happens almost every tackle) and intentional h2h contact. The h2h contact on that play was clearly incidental, as he launched into McCoy with his shoulder. Just because the helmetd hit when reviewing it in super-slow motion replay doesn’t mean it was an intentional h2h hit. I thought the point of them wearing all that protective gear was because football is a COLLISION sport–this isn’t golf

  57. alwaters9 says: Dec 9, 2011 9:04 AM

    It makes no difference to the league if the hit was legal or not, clean or dirty. If it looked bad he will be fined.

    The NFL now makes up the rules as they go along. Goodell should be fired.

  58. smartfansays says: Dec 9, 2011 9:07 AM

    humbleminded85 says:Dec 9, 2011 8:21 AM

    Whats the official rules regarding fair weather/front runner fans? Because 90% of steeler fans i’ve ever met never have even stepped foot in the state of P.A. Ever met a Pirate fan? How about a Pitt Panther fan? My point exactly. Steeler nation=bandwagon nation.

    And as usual,an IDIOT FAN of another team bashes another fan base based on hater-aid comments but will be totally biased with their team.

  59. eustus says: Dec 9, 2011 9:08 AM

    I am sick of lawyerball.

    Either you can hit a guy in the head with your head or you can’t. Why does it have to be more complicated than that?

  60. johntonioholmes says: Dec 9, 2011 9:08 AM

    You people here are so full of crap. This should be a $20,000 fine, if anything. It’s his first offense of the season, if I’m not mistaken, and he check McCoy’s chest. It just so happened that the crown of his fat head got in the way.

    If it took that long to suspend Suh, we shouldn’t even be asking questions regarding the legality of the hit.

    Now when will PFT post 16 posts about McCoy’s concussion like symptoms.

  61. ac540 says: Dec 9, 2011 9:12 AM

    Dirty player on the dirtiest team in the league, coached to be that way. Always have been, always will. The “strike zone” on McCoy was wide open yet he left his feet to hit with the crown of his helmet. Suspend this guy.

  62. zimaman says: Dec 9, 2011 9:13 AM

    that was a dirty friggin hit

    he squared him up and was looking right at the head and launched in helmet to helmet

    this guy is a repeated offender and should be suspended at least one game

    he doesnt care about anyone but himself this is a typical selfish player – its all about me

    if he wants to whine about it tuff scheott

  63. steelersmichele says: Dec 9, 2011 9:19 AM

    13 games into the season and this is Harrison’s first infraction. Those of you saying he hasn’t changed haven’t watched him play in 2011. He has done a pretty good job this season changing his style of play and avoiding the illegal hits. Last night was his first mistake this year. Not saying it wasn’t helmet-to-helmet, but he hasn’t been fined so far this season. that says a lot.

  64. Land Snark says: Dec 9, 2011 9:20 AM

    Nothing like reading the posts of inarticulate Stillers fans for a bit of comic relief in the morning.

    As for those of you who still insist that launching yourself like a Tomahawk missile at someone’s head is “all part of football”, I would suggest you ask Santa get you a clue for Christmas.

  65. primetime0552 says: Dec 9, 2011 9:22 AM

    toegoat says:Dec 9, 2011 8:16 AM

    In other news: Suh is happy to be out of the spotlight.

    —————————————————-

    HAHA. Suh took the heat for most of the season and I am sure he is estatic that Harrison is taking it back.

  66. marinephinfan says: Dec 9, 2011 9:26 AM

    I’m not a Steelers fan. In fact, after last years Phins/Steelers game I’m even more of a Steelers hater.

    However, I must have been watching a different game and/or there must be a different video of Harrison’s hit on McCoy because I didn’t see anything illegal. I didn’t see “leading with the crown” nor did I see “the ferocity of the hit he applied to McCoy”. I watched as a much bigger LB’er smacked an out-of-the-pocket smaller, QB. If that had been a RB or WR on a sweep…(or Vick…whom I also hate) there would have been no penalty much less a Steeler-hating-article-because-I’m-a-Pats-fan article written by “he who can’t be named or else get your post removed”.

    Ummmmm…That’s FOOTBALL. Right?

  67. tdk24 says: Dec 9, 2011 9:27 AM

    He will get a huge fine for that one. It was as dirty as it gets. He dipped his head down at the last second to use his head as a weapon. You are taught to put your head to the side, see what you hit and wrap him up with your arms. The ironic thing is that all these helmet to helmet hits Harrison puts on people are going to turn him into a vegetable one day. And well all point at laugh at the tough guy in the wheelchair, drooling all over himself.

  68. slickmarine says: Dec 9, 2011 9:27 AM

    No matter what the ruling, that Colt McCoy is one tough sonofabeetch, no? You didn’t see him jumping around doing the “Tom Brady Two-Step”; Colt took his shot, got up and finished the job. Now THAT’S a MAN! A football player! If I’m not mistaken, he even had a little something to say mano y mano to Harrison!

    Gotta love it!

  69. deconjonesbitchslap says: Dec 9, 2011 9:28 AM

    i imagine hitting colt mcCoy for James Harrison is like me tackling my 4 year old niece at full speed.

  70. notlisteninganymore says: Dec 9, 2011 9:29 AM

    @humbleminded85

    You are easily the biggest douche on here. And that is a hard thing to accomplish given the level of whinyness and douchbaggery displayed on a daily basis here.

    I am life long Steeler, Pirate and Penguin fan. I root for Pitt as well.

    Do us all a favor and focus your time on perfecting the art of self fellatio. That is the only way you will get anything in life.

    +

  71. govtminion says: Dec 9, 2011 9:32 AM

    It looked like a clean hit in that McCoy was moving out of the pocket, so I don’t see why there would be any reason NOT to try to drop him. It’s football- do we really need nitpicking rules on what angle a guy needs to be running at to be legal to hit now? Come on.

    That said… I really wish Harrison would stop using his helmet to hit people. You’d think after so many suspensions and fines, he’d have stopped by now anyway.

  72. tavisteelersfan says: Dec 9, 2011 9:32 AM

    michaelswork says:
    Dec 9, 2011 9:04 AM
    Doesn’t matter if your a runner or a Quaterback, YOU DON’T USE THE HELMET AS A WEAPON….Damn this man has got to be the second most stupid man in the NFL, they need to show this F’ing Fool the door, along with SUH…Leave you morons the NFL don’t need you.

    __________________________

    Two points:

    Gocong whacked Mendenhall Helmut to Helmut … no call good play.

    Suh’s problem is stuff after the whistle. I do not recall Harrison ever getting nailed for that crap … between the whistles, lots … he is not a Seymour/Suh/Haynesworth/etc. … he is a STEELER.

  73. geezohman says: Dec 9, 2011 9:34 AM

    sure looked like McCoy was ‘scrambling’ to get away and started running, I think then Harrison instincts got him into the situation.

    I want the Browns playbook, log and see officially what was that ‘play’. If it was a broken’ play and McCoy considered a ‘runner’, then NOTHING should be done to Harrison

  74. Raider-in-PA says: Dec 9, 2011 9:34 AM

    njhitman says:
    Dec 9, 2011 8:52 AM
    Raider-in-PA says:Dec 9, 2011 8:18 AM

    Dirty, dirty, dirty…. When will this punk ever learn?? Why doesnt this team get it?
    ————————————————–
    This comming from a Raider fan now thats funny
    A fan of a team that still and always will be the dirtyest team in the NFL
    ______________
    Sure, when Oakland plays dirty, the refs just eject them… and the player and fans don’t whine about it..

  75. steelerfansareretards says: Dec 9, 2011 9:34 AM

    If you take a look at all of Harrison’s “helmet-to-helmet” hits over the past two years without examining whether he technically broke an NFL rule, you are really left with one question; why does he continue to lead with his helmet? Seriously? The guy is 6 foot ish and probably weighs close to 260 pounds. He can easily tackle every single player in the NFL using proper technique. Why does Harrison feel the need to continue to launch his helmet into the face of other players? It takes absolutely no skill or athetlic ability whatsoever to launch your body into the face of another player. I weigh 160 pounds and I can guarentee you I can tackle McCoy by launching my helmet into his face. Hell, I could probably stop Hillis doing that as well. I certainly would stand no chance tackling either one of those players in a “regular” manner.

    At somepoint last year, I really felt like Harrison was starting to be targeted for some of his hits. But as he continues to recklessly and unskillfully launch his helmet into people’s faces, I lose that feeling. I don’t see Patrick Willis, Ray Lewis, Demarcus Ware, Lamar Woodley, and a cast of other notable hard hitting linebackers doing that.

    Rules aside (which he probably does break 80% of the time), he deserves all the fines and possible susspensions he may get from this. If I had to explain to someone what “Uneccessary Roughness” meant in football, I’d show them a highlight of that hit. It was completely uneccessary. He had all the time in the world to adjust himself. McCoy’s chest was wide open during the entire player, and McCoy didn’t low his helmet into the hit zone. Quite frankly, it looked liked Harrison’s hit zone was his face. If anything, he’s an absolute coward for launching himself into peoples’ helmets rather than trying to man up and lay a shoulder to chest hit on someone (which many would consider the “right” way to lay some wood on someone).

  76. yzguy431 says: Dec 9, 2011 9:37 AM

    when did they stop playing football in this country?

  77. Andre's Johnson says: Dec 9, 2011 9:40 AM

    James Harrison is a psychopath and needs to be suspended before he kills somone.

  78. smartfansays says: Dec 9, 2011 9:41 AM

    Land Snark says:Dec 9, 2011 9:20 AM

    Nothing like reading the posts of inarticulate Stillers fans for a bit of comic relief in the morning.

    As for those of you who still insist that launching yourself like a Tomahawk missile at someone’s head is “all part of football”, I would suggest you ask Santa get you a clue for Christmas.

    Like I said,”Idiot Fan”. the only “clue” that’s needed is your crush on the Steelers and their fans,IDIOT!!!

  79. tavisteelersfan says: Dec 9, 2011 9:41 AM

    On Sirius Radio this morning a rookie Tennessee linebacker (Colin McCarthy) said the coaches are pushing the Defense to play tougher and meaner and offered to pay player fines.

    Watch for that little gem to become a big story this week …. reminiscent of the Baltimore Bounties.

  80. hystoracle says: Dec 9, 2011 9:42 AM

    @heckjeck

    I would submit Josh Johnson as the toughest SOB in the league. Separates his shoulder goes off and has it popped back in and returns after missing only one play. And he’s not 250 lbs.

    Rothlesberger looks like a real tough guy when he’s cornering women half his size in the restroom.

  81. slatetundra07 says: Dec 9, 2011 9:45 AM

    “This is suppose to be football man…oh c’mon!” Don’t care…rules are still rules. He’s not a 2 year old (I think). He’s a professional…paid like one. So if he can’t adapt to changes…he deserves the fines. You would think that as a repeated offender, he would have learn something by now.

  82. adcdv9561 says: Dec 9, 2011 9:46 AM

    Every hit on a QB will be too much. QBs are becoming soft.

  83. jeffchadwick says: Dec 9, 2011 9:48 AM

    Villify Suh all you want for a post-play stomp, but at least he isn’t concussing fools with helmet-to-helmet hits on a regular basis. Just because something happened after the whistle doesn’t make it any more or less dangerous than a transgression that occurs during a play.

    James Harrison has literally taken the well-being of opponents into his own hands on a number of occasions in his career. Given the growing research that hits like the Harrison-McCoy play can cause long-term effects such as CTE, one would think the NFL would look seriously at a suspension for Mr. Harrison.

  84. kacapaco says: Dec 9, 2011 9:52 AM

    I thought, no matter helmet-to-helmet was illegal.

  85. dchuwo says: Dec 9, 2011 9:56 AM

    When are these players going to get it? They’re constant griping about the rules on this issue and blasting the commissioner is going to get them nowhere. The bottom line is that helmet to helmet hits are frowned upon and going to cost you, be it penalty, fine and/or suspension. I get that some are unavoidable but that’s the new protocol and it ain’t going to change. So you either adapt or continue to gripe which amounts to nothing more than beating your head against the wall. Why don’t you simply learn to tackle by leading with shoulder and not going helmet to helmet? Who looks worse, the league for imposing the rule or the players who continue to break it and complain. You may night like it but that’s the ruel. That being said, McCoy got rocked and I was surprised the Browns put him back in. I sometimes think this player safety/concussion issue is just lip service. Troy has concussion like symptoms but plays and the Pats TE says if he had a concussion he’d never say it. Isn’t that supposed to now be independently assessed?

  86. dolphincritic says: Dec 9, 2011 9:57 AM

    Harrison shouldn’t lower his helmet and ram it Ito anyone else’s chin! The guy could hurt himself too! Go to the WWF if you want to geek it up!

  87. stephenjr311 says: Dec 9, 2011 10:01 AM

    1) There is a reason RBs are allowed to lead with their head – it’s not like they can really use their arms much while trying to protect the football.

    2) H2H is legal on a RB because when the RB lowers their head to drive for those extra yards there is usually no other way to tackle them without some sort of h2h contact.

    3) Whether McCoy was considered a RB or not is a pretty moot point. He didn’t lower his head and Harrison had plenty opportunity to hit him in the chest. He intentionally launched headfirst into McCoy’s head… period. Heck, if he would’ve hit him in the ribs he probably could’ve broken a few or at least knocked the wind out of him anyways producing essentially the same result without the long-term impacts of a possible concussion.

  88. tavisteelersfan says: Dec 9, 2011 10:02 AM

    smartfansays says:
    Dec 9, 2011 9:41 AM
    Land Snark says:Dec 9, 2011 9:20 AM

    Nothing like reading the posts of inarticulate Stillers fans for a bit of comic relief in the morning.

    As for those of you who still insist that launching yourself like a Tomahawk missile at someone’s head is “all part of football”, I would suggest you ask Santa get you a clue for Christmas.

    Like I said,”Idiot Fan”. the only “clue” that’s needed is your crush on the Steelers and their fans,IDIOT!!!

    ____________________________

    Wasn’t sure if you were referring to Gocung on Mendenhall or Harrison on McCoy??

  89. comeonnowguys says: Dec 9, 2011 10:16 AM

    For crying out loud.

    He’s a giant man. He shouldn’t need to lead with his head to bring down most players.

    If he would just tackle the way they teach you from your first day of practice as a kid, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

  90. pigskinswag says: Dec 9, 2011 10:19 AM

    It didn’t look like Harrison intentionally aimed or lead with his head. He went in with his arms first. But unfortunately Harrison has the tag of a “repeat offender” (a tag I dont think he necessarily deserves IMO), so he’ll probably get significantly fined or maybe suspended. Ryan Clark got fined 40K for a hit that reminds me of this one.

  91. steelhammer92 says: Dec 9, 2011 10:19 AM

    McCoy has poor football awareness. Someone needs to remind him this isn’t college any more. He led Massaquoi right into Harrison last season on a throw no intelligent QB would make. Last night we saw him take off and put himself in danger with a reckless run/pass. He took off like a runner and was fair game.. QBs know this, that is why they slide down. Defenders, not just Harrison, will always take liberties at a fair game QB when given the opportunity. Especially after the opposing team had knocked their QB out of the game earlier.

  92. dickroy says: Dec 9, 2011 10:24 AM

    Why was McCoy allowed back in the game with a concussion?

  93. rgwhodey says: Dec 9, 2011 10:24 AM

    Gray area? It was a late hit, he lead with his head into his head after the ball was gone, not sure where the “gray area” is…

    From where I was sitting it looked like just another dirty play from a dirty player from a dirty organization.

    Just sayin’

  94. tellmeaboutitbaby says: Dec 9, 2011 10:35 AM

    All Steeler fans live for all the whiny hater comments from the fans of other teams about how the Steelers hit too hard, etc. Keep crying babies, keep crying! Unless Gocung is fined and suspended then Harrison can’t be – runners are runners!

  95. sixleb says: Dec 9, 2011 10:44 AM

    Fans aren’t required to know the entire NFL rule book to enjoy the game, but why do people insist on making profound judgments on players when they don’t know the rules.

    Harrison deserves scrutiny because of the way he plays. But helmet-to-helmet hits are not illegal in every circumstance. Players running with the ball beyond the line of scrimmage are subject to helmet-to-helmet hits every game and these instances don’t result in penalties or fines. The real question in this instance is if McCoy is afforded additional protection while scrambling behind the line of scrimmage.

  96. richc111 says: Dec 9, 2011 10:44 AM

    Just because Harrison doesn’t have a brain that doesn’t mean he can hurt the other players that do. I got an idea. Make him play without a helmet for a game. Let’s see if he still uses he head to make tackles. My guess is he probably will anyway.

  97. eaglesw00t says: Dec 9, 2011 10:49 AM

    He speared him in the face with the crown of his helmet.

    Where exactly is the gray area here?

  98. steelhammer92 says: Dec 9, 2011 10:55 AM

    eaglesw00t, are you not capable of reading? Those hits are fair game on runners. McCoy was a runner up until the point of no return when he flipped the ball out to his receiver.

  99. effjohntaylornorelation says: Dec 9, 2011 10:56 AM

    Does anyone think that James Harrison’s involvement in this play will remove the “gray area” when the league reviews this play? I do.

  100. afreak2u says: Dec 9, 2011 10:57 AM

    Damn people its football and it’s a physical game if u seen after a play or so both talked to each other and a qb shouldn’t be any different then anyone else hell he gets paid the most

  101. mikemart77 says: Dec 9, 2011 10:59 AM

    For all the people who STILL seem to think helmet-to-helmet hits are illegal, they’re not.

    A helmet-to-helmet hit on a RB is never illegal. Same with a hit on a QB running with the ball. Runners are fair game for almost any kind of hit.

    Did you not see the hit on Mendenhall at the goal-line? It was a helmet-to-helmet hit that nearly took his head off – but because he is an RB it was perfectly legal.

    In this case because McCoy wound up passing the ball, the hit was illegal and Harrison will likely be fined. But because McCoy had been running with the ball just before the pass I doubt there will be a suspension. If McCoy had been in the pocket I’m sure Harrison would be getting at least a game.

  102. omnicron204 says: Dec 9, 2011 11:03 AM

    He could have avoided the helmet to helmet contact. Colt has a mid section and legs as well. He could have tried to hit Colt there, but he decideds helmet to helmet is the best way to tackle? Strange?

  103. weegiethompson says: Dec 9, 2011 11:07 AM

    Helmet to helmet hits are allowed on anyone running with the ball during the course of a tackle as long as its not an obvious spear, which this wasn’t. Defenseless receivers and QBs are protected because they are not yet runners advancing the ball. Once they do, they are fair game. Have any of you ever played and thus made a tackle? If you had you would know that its a natural reaction to lower your head when making a tackle. You don’t go face first.

  104. steelersarmy77 says: Dec 9, 2011 11:16 AM

    For all you Steeler haters….I hear tons of people bad mouthing the Steelers and Harrison and talking about his cheap shots but nobody wants to talk about the fact he is no different than Terrel Suggs or Ray Lewis!!!! He is being singled out has been and always will be…he plays with heart and intensity and if a quarterback or running back or tight end looses some oh so precious brain cells because they get there bell rung OH WELL!!! I grew up watching Steelers football and bleed black and gold daily for everyone hating the intensity or ferociousness of the Steelers defense then I guess your probably a “Eagles Dream Team” defense lover!!!! Have a great day to everyone and if you need help with the fine Harrison let me know I support it fully keep playing smash mouth football!!!!

  105. pftstory says: Dec 9, 2011 11:27 AM

    It deserves a penalty. Not a fine.

  106. stillrfan says: Dec 9, 2011 11:45 AM

    I’ve been a Steeler fan all my life and I love Harrison’s tenacity, BUT the man needs to start reciting “shoulder, shoulder, shoulder” before every play if he has to. Being a previous offender, yes, he’s going to be watched and not given the benefit of the doubt if a questionable call comes up. He knew he was going to hit McCoy….he just needs to replace the old hitting style that was engrained into him with the new acceptable style.
    I looked at that hit multiple times though and I think McCoy would have come up lame after it even if Harrison would have lead with his shoulder. I think he actually held back a bit compared to what he could have done. It’s just the shear size differential between the two that made it look like he was trying to kill McCoy….like a bus hitting a bike. Maybe no concussion, but still some extended time on the turf.

  107. azusadave says: Dec 9, 2011 11:54 AM

    The “gray area” of the NFL rule book is getting to be a pretty big section.

  108. fringetastic says: Dec 9, 2011 12:00 PM

    Take away the grey area and make hitting anyone with your head or in their head illegal.

  109. silverback9999 says: Dec 9, 2011 12:03 PM

    There was a goal line hit on Mendenhall in last night’s game that was exactly the same as Harrison’s hit. Gocong lowered his head and struck mendenhall’s facemask with the crown of his helmet. The announcer stated that the rules are different when it’s a runner and it’s not a penalty. McCoy looked to me, and presumably everyone else, like he was going to run for a first down. He broke the pocket and was running upright, fullspeed forward. Harrison came off his man and ran at Mccoy head on and delivered the hit as Mccoy let the ball go at the last second. At that speed how is Harrison supposed to determine whether Mccoy is gonna throw or not. Should he have slowed down just in case Mccoy decided to throw? If mccoy had taken one more step over the line of scrimmage and held the ball would it still have been a penalty?

    Yes the hit looked vicious to me but that’s mostly because Harrison is an absolute beast and Mccoy looks like my 14 year old paperboy. Asking guys who are 245 and run 4.5 40s to run full speed and stop on a dime while a qb decides if he wants to keep running or throw at the last second to avoid a hit is ludicrous.

  110. blackchief29 says: Dec 9, 2011 12:05 PM

    Great talent w/a 5 cent brain. He’s his worst enemy.

  111. faulkana says: Dec 9, 2011 12:05 PM

    We’ve got a guy here that doesn’t even “get” that men don’t beat women.
    Exactly what can we expect from him on a football field?

  112. toegoat says: Dec 9, 2011 12:16 PM

    “I’m sorry that I’m not sorry we hit too hard”
    —- Lamarr Woodley

  113. gassiusclay says: Dec 9, 2011 12:30 PM

    Hoculi messed up calling it a roughing the passer, it was a helmet to helmet collision. Harrison has a long history of leading with his helmet on another players’ helmet…last night was no exception. He had time to lead with his shoulder, but chose to hit McCoy in the head with his head. It was dirty and unnecessary, which is why the league is trying desperately to prevent such collisions. Had he drilled McCoy in the chest with his shoulder and hurt him, I wouldn’t say anything…in this case, however, he was wrong and should be fined.

    FOr those who will argue against this, let me tell you about a player named Ray Lewis. Ray has been lighting people up for years, but the simple difference between him and Harrison, is that Ray leads with his shoulder, hits you hard in the numbers, and does so like it was out of a textbook. Harrison, you should use your athletic talent like Ray, not be dirty, and this will never happen to you.

  114. havok82 says: Dec 9, 2011 12:59 PM

    Harrison is straight up a dirty player. He plays hard, but he has not adjusted his game one iota to avoid spearing people with the crown of his helmet. He just doesn’t learn. There is a way to tackle a guy hard without using your helmet. Ray Lewis hits like a truck. Patrick Willis hits like a truck. They aren’t leading with their helmet.

    Harrison should expect a fat fine and a suspension over this. The organization might even get hit because this is becoming a Steeler epidemic.

  115. silverback9999 says: Dec 9, 2011 1:12 PM

    Please go look at the Ray Lewis hit on Hines Ward THIS year in the last Steelers/Ravens game. He knocked Hines out of the game and wasn’t flagged and it was absolutely helmet to helmet. It’s football and it’s gonna happen when guys run full speed at each other and are moving targets. I’m a Steeler fan and though it was blatant I had no problem with the hit. Just don’t give me this “Ray Lewis never uses his helmet bs”

  116. dennis2488 says: Dec 9, 2011 1:12 PM

    i use to feel like james harrison was kind of a victim. after this i realize goodell was right all along. this hit was worse than Suh’s stomp by a lot. suspend this guy multiple games until he realize the point of football is to tackle the ball shots.

  117. worldsgreatest says: Dec 9, 2011 1:12 PM

    Regardless of whether or not McCoy qualified as a running back or not, he didn’t even have the ball when Harrison launched himself.

    I know its bang bang but it looked as if McCoy flipped the ball, Harrison saw it, and THEN launched himself at what had become a blocker.

    Still an illegal hit, no matter what.

  118. worldsgreatest says: Dec 9, 2011 1:14 PM

    Also, Ryan Clark got fined for a similar hit on Willis McGahee in the 2008 AFC title game. There is precedent for a fine.

    Since its Harrison, it will be a big one.

    I liked that McCoy patted him on the helmet when he came back in though. Then again, he probably thought Harrison was his Mommy at that point. Haha.

  119. bmoreballbuster says: Dec 9, 2011 1:25 PM

    Harrison according to Harrison is above the law and always above the shoulders…Toss him!!!

  120. heyzeus143 says: Dec 9, 2011 1:36 PM

    just take off their helmets, they’re obviously not allowed to use them anymore, I like old school football, not goodell era football

  121. der6495 says: Dec 9, 2011 1:38 PM

    Maybe they should take Harrison’s helmet away, we’ll see how much he leads with his head without it.

  122. theglap says: Dec 9, 2011 1:54 PM

    Christ, people, helmet to helmet hits aren’t illegal on runners.

    Stop saying “it was helmet to helmet therefore it’s illegal.”

    That only applies to defenseless WRs or QBs who aren’t running.

    In other words, if Colt McCoy was Peyton Hillis, the hit would have been perfectly legal.

    It’s sad how little the biggest “fans” of the game these days actually know about the game.

  123. theharshestreality says: Dec 9, 2011 2:08 PM

    Yes, you can hit the QB after he takes off to run. But, as has been stated to many times to count, you cannot lead with your head. Funny that some of the dummies that post here don’t get that yet.

    I agree with a previous poster – take the face piece off of the helmet – that’ll guarantee you that these types of hits will stop.

  124. philrat says: Dec 9, 2011 2:09 PM

    Offensive players use the crown of their helmet against defensive players ALL THE TIME!! If offensive players are allowed to do this then defensive players should not be penalized for the same thing!

  125. ampatsisahypocrite says: Dec 9, 2011 2:20 PM

    Ray Lewis does this all the time, but somehow he escapes criticism like Harrison gets. Is it because Ray never sasses the commissioner?

  126. fcs34 says: Dec 9, 2011 2:28 PM

    Hopefully teams will return the favor on Roethlisberger. Not that Harrison would care.

  127. tellmeaboutitbaby says: Dec 9, 2011 2:35 PM

    ampatsisahypocrite says:

    Ray Lewis does this all the time, but somehow he escapes criticism like Harrison gets. Is it because Ray never sasses the commissioner?
    —————————————–
    Because everyone is afraid Ray while knife them so they just don’t say anything

  128. deadmanwalking47 says: Dec 9, 2011 2:50 PM

    i don’t blame mccoy’s daddy being pissed,but it is not harrison’s fault the browns doctors and trainers sent him back out there to play is it? they are to blame cause they let him go out there when he was clearly tkoed! the browns need to investigate this,and if they were incompetent,fire all of them and get a doctor that puts the patient above the team!

  129. patsfiend says: Dec 9, 2011 3:35 PM

    He lowered his helmet and blasted him right in the face. He used the crown of his helmet. He was standing there waiting for him… it’s not like he was flying through the air, or that McCoy lowered the target at the last second… Harrison is a punk. and his hit would have been illegal even a few years ago. Suspend him a game or two, please!

  130. ProFootballTalkSucks says: Dec 9, 2011 4:08 PM

    “(g) If a player uses any part of his helmet (including the top/crown and forehead/”hairline” parts) or facemask to butt, spear, or ram an opponent violently or unnecessarily.”

    You neglected to include this: “Note: This does not apply to contact against a runner, unless the runner is still considered to be a defenseless
    player, as defined in Rule 12, Section 2, Article 9.”

  131. steelernation1 says: Dec 9, 2011 5:53 PM

    toegoat says:
    Dec 9, 2011 8:15 AM
    I don’t understand why running backs are allowed to be hit like that. Is there something in their DNA that makes their heads harder/tougher/less injury prone??
    ……………………………………………………………………………
    ummm what to say to this?its no different when the running back lowers his helmet like a linebacker right?so you can say the running back hit the linebacker with the crown of his helmet?see how contradicting that is?and for all you clowns that cant read go back and read the rule slowly so you understand.

    first harrison did not and i mean did not launch himself he didnt leave his feet and throw himself at him.he lowered his head and as mcoy tossed the ball he saw him coming and lowered his body.watch the replay.things happen and did he purposly try to hurt him, no.he even went to him a play after he came back and talked to him.

    and patsfiend he was not standing there waiting for him.lol u r such a douche bag…lmao.

    and fcs34 Ben is always taking cheap shots from other teams..but you dont see him cry like Manning or Brady would.and calls never get made when ben takes a cheap shot by someone

    and theharshestreality running backs lead with there helmets all the time!!!so stop contradicting things

  132. jimmer2372 says: Dec 9, 2011 7:43 PM

    I laughed every time I saw dimwits on this thread claim helmet to helmet is always against the rules. I am embarrassed to be registered at this site.

  133. steelerdynasty2010 says: Dec 9, 2011 9:52 PM

    @tv426:
    then why wasnt Gocong flagged on the play at the goal line when he blatantly blew up Mendenhall crown to facemask? were you equally as outraged at that hit?
    surely you dont believe that only the safety of qbs is important enough to legislate?!

    i’m not defending harrison, but the application of the rule is dumb in these kinds of incidences because it asks people to make decisions at a faster rate than their bodies are able to respond to those decisions. adjusting target zones and the trajectory of the body once moving full speed is not an easy thing to do. it becomes even harder when you are being asked to do so in reaction to a ball carrier who is trying to avoid being hit/tackled. how was he to tell if mccoy would try to run it or throw it? is tebow protected from h2h when he runs the option or is he considered a runner? at what point does the difference become obvious and apparent on a given play? in order for it to be an illegal forward pass, his ENTIRE body would have to cross the LOS. so do defenders have to wait until the qb crosses the LOS to consider them a runner and therefore aggressively pursue them?

  134. steelersownyou says: Dec 9, 2011 10:27 PM

    All 31 other teams you are hereby put on notice… When you play the #1 defense in the league. You will get knocked out! We will crush your QB. We will mame your receiver if he comes across the middle…you have been warned..heed the steel curtain warning & nobody gets hurt….

  135. sojumaster says: Dec 9, 2011 11:21 PM

    I swear that 90% of the people on this site have no idea what real footbal is. I think they fail to realize these are humans playing the game, NOT computer players on their PS3.

  136. freedomispopular says: Dec 9, 2011 11:32 PM

    It’s easy to come out on your high horse and say “He should have done it this way” but when you’re actually playing the game running at full speed, you’re not thinking, you’re just reacting.

  137. madeline2009 says: Dec 9, 2011 11:53 PM

    Honestly. If you can’t take the play, don’t watch.

    First it was a legal hit. Second, Troy Polamalu had two concussions this year and he’s still playing. He did what he was supposed to do: was out for four games and limited play after that. The guy that hit him was fined.

    Sounds like you’ll are Browns fans or Steeler haters. Ask the Brown’s coaches and medical staff why they let him back in.

    Get a grip. Harrison pays football. NFL football. It’s not ballet.

  138. cowhawkfan says: Dec 10, 2011 12:56 AM

    Steelers are dirtiest and most arrogant team in the NFL and their fans are even more arrogant. And that included my Pittsburgh born father who had me waving an original Terrible Towel back in the 70’s. I still have that towel, but I hate the Steelers!!

  139. pftusername says: Dec 10, 2011 8:22 AM

    Show of hands, how many of you with strong opinions on this matter have ever suited up with pads and a helmet in an organized league?

  140. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 10, 2011 1:12 PM

    pftusername — I have, and I never went out to INTENTIONALLY crack someone helmet to helmet like Harrison does. The end.

  141. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 10, 2011 1:16 PM

    Steeler fans are hilarious. They can’t beat any team with a legitimate offense — Packers, Giants, Texans (as proven earlier, even the Texans playing a half without Andre), Saints and they’ve already proven they can’t beat the Ravens this year.

  142. stuartscottslefteye says: Dec 10, 2011 5:52 PM

    As a fan of neither team, it seemed clearly evident to me that Harrison was unobstructed and easily had the opportunity for a hard, legal, clean shot on McCoy – but instead chose to lower his head at the last minute and drive it into McCoy’s head. That was intentional – and it’s obvious that Harrison’s past fines haven’t been severe enough. Or, perhaps, Mr. Harrison is simply behind the evolutionary time line and just doesn’t quite have the mental capacity to comprehend the rules.

  143. bigcid10 says: Dec 10, 2011 10:49 PM

    I love all you non steeler fan who call james harrison
    a cheapshot artist
    total hypocrypts
    If he was on your team you’d be calling him a beast

  144. tobiasjodter says: Dec 11, 2011 6:12 AM

    I’m just tired of the selective outrage against Steeler players. Ray Lewis was fined in 2009 for helmet-to-helmet (Ochocinco), 2010 for helmet-to-helmet (Collie) and now in 2011 for helmet-to-helmet (Ward). NO ONE even mentioned that he’s a repeat offender and the word suspension is not mentioned in the media.

  145. gbmkiller says: Dec 11, 2011 7:04 PM

    Steeler fans, by defending Harrison you are showing the that you are stupid as he is. Everybody knows right from wrong.

  146. silverback9999 says: Dec 12, 2011 3:00 PM

    Mr. Wright 212 says:
    Dec 10, 2011 1:16 PM
    Steeler fans are hilarious. They can’t beat any team with a legitimate offense — Packers, Giants, Texans (as proven earlier, even the Texans playing a half without Andre), Saints and they’ve already proven they can’t beat the Ravens this year

    Really? I guess smoking Brady and the Pats this year doesn’t count huh? Dominated them. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it pal.

  147. sgtbrumage says: Dec 12, 2011 4:52 PM

    Ok so regardless of who your team is there are different opinions. That’s why we need to stick with the facts.

    On the NFL network they timed the hit. McCoy was hit by Harrison 1/10 of a second after he released the ball.

    I played and coach football and while the debates seems to be was McCoy running or passing and how JH intentionally hit him H2H. I’m gonna ask you all one question. The quarterback runs out of the pocket close 2 a 1st down scrambles and he lowers his shoulder which McCoy did slightly. Your going to tackle him. You tackle low thats how we teach our kids. You lower you shoulder as a quarterback you get lower.

    If you had the strength, size and speed of these guys do you think that you could stop a hit in 1/10 of a second?(Impossible I would say)

    These things are called reactions. They happen. This is not a video game people. If McCoy was stationary and in the pocket I would say suspend him and fine him. Lets let this subject rest and let the game be played as it should be. And lets hope Goddell doesn’t end up ruining NFL like the WWE and just be actors on the field. Because it seems some of you would rather see that than what the game really is. For those that cant take the real life football reality do us all a favor and watch wrestling with the horrible acting or keep trying to figure out how H2H hits happen on Madden.

  148. ekim1970 says: Dec 14, 2011 12:49 PM

    This is the game of football. If you play football you may get hurt. If you don’t want to get hurt DON’T PLAY! Go J.E.T.S Jets, Jets, Jets!!!

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