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Polamalu: Steelers players told not to discuss Harrison suspension

Joe Mauer AP

Steelers players are understandably not fired up about James Harrison’s suspension, but most of them didn’t say too much on the topic. For a good reason.

Safety Troy Polamalu said that coach Mike Tomlin told the team to “just to say no comment.”

So Polamalu was asked anyway and his response was predictable: “No comment.”

Either Polamalu was looking for a way to avoid the topic or a few players ignored Tomlin’s edict, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Cornerback Ike Taylor: “Man, they’re tripping. I don’t know what it is. [Harrison’s] getting it handed to him in the NFL way . . . He didn’t stomp on nobody, he didn’t punch nobody’s private area.”

Safety Ryan Clark said he felt like he could be suspended at any time: “There are no set rules, no clarification on what will get you suspended or what will get you fined a certain amount. It’s really all let up to judgment.”

Polamalu didn’t address Harrison directly, but he had the most telling quote of this entire ordeal.

“I don’t think any football player is going to go out there and change the way they’re playing. I think it’s too late in our lives to really do that,” Polamalu said. “Of course, we’re professional athletes and we try our best to adjust, but it’s tough.”

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61 Responses to “Polamalu: Steelers players told not to discuss Harrison suspension”
  1. greenbaysucks says: Dec 15, 2011 11:02 AM

    Since he talked about it, he should be suspended. Or forced to cut his hair.

  2. takingbacksundays5 says: Dec 15, 2011 11:03 AM

    Probably because he’s afraid that they (like the Steeler fans) will cry about it and make them look even worse in the process.

    I respect Mike Tomlin a great deal, but his players sure are morons.

  3. borisbulldog says: Dec 15, 2011 11:04 AM

    Umm Ryan, how low is your IQ?

    Yes there is a clarification, it’s called a helmet to helmet hit on a defenseless player!

    Why does the PIT orginization have difficulty with that?

  4. kolbe213 says: Dec 15, 2011 11:06 AM

    … not fired up … but didn’t say too much

    what?

  5. timmeratx says: Dec 15, 2011 11:09 AM

    Wow. Is everybody on that team in denial?

  6. daysend564 says: Dec 15, 2011 11:11 AM

    Of course you don’t understand Ryan, you play the same way and you are a close 2nd on the team for illegal hits/fines.

  7. 2dollarpbrs says: Dec 15, 2011 11:11 AM

    Too bad I was hoping to hear more about which Steelers would not piss on the Commish if he was on fire

  8. habsman says: Dec 15, 2011 11:13 AM

    Its not that tough Troy, the Steelers are the only team in the league that apparently haven’t adjusted to the new rules.

    Then again, they were the only team that didn’t ratify the new CBA (HGH testing).

    Are the Steeler above the rules?

  9. mikemart77 says: Dec 15, 2011 11:13 AM

    I think every player that has been fined so far has pretty much had the same quote – “It’s not going to change the way I play the game.”

    The combination of more concussion awareness and slow-motion replay have been a nightmare for the NFL.

    They’re not the only league suffering though – look at the NHL. Three of the game’s biggest stars are out with concussions and there seems to be a new head injury every week.

    The leagues are trying to solve the problem, but unless they fundamentally change the way the game is played this is a problem that will not go away.

  10. slickmarine says: Dec 15, 2011 11:13 AM

    @borisbulldog : can’t say it any better than that!

  11. bigbuckkillah says: Dec 15, 2011 11:19 AM

    He is talking about clarification for fines and suspensions. It is left up to goodell and nobody else. There is nothing set in stone and that is wrong. That is why the Steelers did not vote for the new players agreement. So really the question is how low is your IQ borisbulldog?

  12. steelersownyou says: Dec 15, 2011 11:22 AM

    Always been helmet to helmet, and always will be helmet to helmet hits! It’s a violent sport people! God you panzies should go watch soccer or something… I loved the hit on mccoy..and apparently so did the nfl website cause they have pictures of mccoy getting crushed….such hypocrites!…you just keep letting the bodies hit the floor james! Steelers nation loves it!!!

  13. papasteeler says: Dec 15, 2011 11:22 AM

    Hey borisbulldog (A.K.A puppy breath) go watch the video, Colt was NOT defenseless, he was looking right at James as he was running with the ball tucked under his arm which in my eyes he becomes a RB and it’s not against the rules to hit a running back helmet to helmet. Pull your head out and pay attention to what this commisssioner is doing to the league! It’s not a Steeler thing, it’s a league thing and evey fan from every team should be concerned!

  14. tellmeaboutitbaby says: Dec 15, 2011 11:25 AM

    @borisbulldog

    I got $50 his IQ is higher than yours as you’ve just proven with your post for the world to see…..

    By the way – where are your posts lobbying for the suspensions of other players with the same amount of “history”? Ray Lewis is a prime example…. Oh yeah – it’s just because you hate the Steelers, not because you have any real belief if “protecting the safety of the players”…..

  15. jimmymcnultysbottleofjameson says: Dec 15, 2011 11:27 AM

    Forget an elephant, It’s pretty hard not to acknowledge the 300lb silverback gorilla in the room

  16. ducksouped says: Dec 15, 2011 11:27 AM

    Actually clark, the rules are pretty clear. Writen out in a real easy text for you idiots up there in yinz town. You just need to get back to fundamentals, you know go back through your ABC’s, we here in ‘merica read left to right, top to bottom.

  17. djstat says: Dec 15, 2011 11:29 AM

    There are set rules Ryan Clark. It’s called don’t hit with the crown of your helmet you blow hole.

  18. weegiethompson says: Dec 15, 2011 11:30 AM

    @borisbulldog

    “Yes there is a clarification, it’s called a helmet to helmet hit on a defenseless player!

    Why does the PIT orginization have difficulty with that?”

    Why do you have a hard time understanding that it was a helmet to helmet hit on a quarterback; not a defenseless player? It was a gray area because he was attempting to run. It wasn’t done with malice. You wouldn’t know anything about tackling and how fast things happen though, because you probably never played.

  19. nightrain42 says: Dec 15, 2011 11:32 AM

    With all the rule changes, they shld now make it to where the qb can not run with the ball. McCoy took 5 strides with the ball tucked under his arm, then flicked it 4yrds. Harrison explained he thght he was a runner and hit him 1 step after he threw the ball. Goodell has a thing for Harrison, plain and simple.

  20. marvinmillersucks says: Dec 15, 2011 11:38 AM

    The Steeler players are pissed that there is no consistency. Dick Seymour punches out two players within a year and gets less of a fine than between the whistles, millisecond, personal fouls. Everybody’s favorite “tough guy” Suh pulled his multiple cheap shot antics and got two games. Was Harrison’s late hit only half as bad? You “fans” need to separate yourselves from your Steeler hate because when it happens to your team you’ll be the first to start crying.

  21. mikemart77 says: Dec 15, 2011 11:45 AM

    I think the Ravens have as many fines this year as the Steelers. For whatever reason it’s the Steelers that get the press though.

    Suggs, Ngata and Lewis have all been fined this year.

    Every week someone is getting fined, so it’s not just the Steelers that don’t know the rules – they’re just the ones everyone wants to talk about.

  22. toegoat says: Dec 15, 2011 11:46 AM

    If Harrison’s hit was dirty, why are they selling the photo on NFL.com? They shouldn’t even promote those kind of hits or glorify them either, which is what they are doing.
    Anyways, FREE DEE-BO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. dannyabramowitz says: Dec 15, 2011 11:53 AM

    Everyone wants the Steelers to “follow the rules.” WHAT ARE THE RULES? Some of you say leading with the crown of the helmet against a “defenseless” player is illegal. How come I’ve seen hits by DB’s leading with the shoulder with incidental facemask contact called a “helmet to helmet” hit and flagged? How come the hit against McCoy is flagged and Harrison suspended when in no way was McCoy “defenseless?” This is the FACT — Goodell reacted to one week of big hits last year and subsequent media pressure by changing the rules on illegal hits midseason. The rules were changed with no long-term thinking, just a short-term fix to stop media pressure. Now no one, and I mean players, coaches, and especially officials, knows what’s legal and what’s illegal. That’s on Goodell.

  24. turillos says: Dec 15, 2011 11:56 AM

    For all of you getting on Ryan Clark, he was fined $40,000 earlier this year for a hit that wasn’t helmet to helmet and wasn’t leading with his head. It was just a devastatingly hard hit. The NFL is fining WAY too many plays this year.

  25. roadtrip3500 says: Dec 15, 2011 11:57 AM

    Maybe the Pittsburgh media didn’t get this clarification, but it’s been made elsewhere… ALL quarterback protection rules apply until the QB crosses the line of scrimmage – THEN he becomes an official runner. Before the line of scrimmage, he is still a potential passer.

    No one seems to have any trouble tackling Philly QBs the right way… just add up all the rib injuries for McNabb and Vick for the last decade.

  26. hineswardcriesafterfumbling says: Dec 15, 2011 11:59 AM

    papasteeler says:
    Dec 15, 2011 11:22 AM
    Hey borisbulldog (A.K.A puppy breath) go watch the video, Colt was NOT defenseless, he was looking right at James as he was running with the ball tucked under his arm which in my eyes he becomes a RB and it’s not against the rules to hit a running back helmet to helmet. Pull your head out and pay attention to what this commisssioner is doing to the league! It’s not a Steeler thing, it’s a league thing and evey fan from every team should be concerned!
    ———————
    McCoy ceases to be a RB when he throws a legal forward pass. So, while in your eyes, he was a RB that threw a pass, to everyone else, except Harrison, he was a quarterback. I’m tired of hearing arguments about McCoy turning into a running back. If he crossed the line of scrimmage, I can understand it. He threw a pass, and then a psychopath decided he’d tee off on the guys head.

    If Harrison, Polamalu, or anyone else can’t change from going helmet to helmet to shoulder to rib cage, then I’m amazed they can brush their teeth or tie their shoes.

  27. alewatcher says: Dec 15, 2011 12:03 PM

    Polamalu said. “Of course, we’re professional athletes and we try our best to adjust, but it’s tough.

    —————–

    Unless your name is James Harrison. Then you don’t even try to adjust.

  28. ronin36 says: Dec 15, 2011 12:04 PM

    These illegal hits will continue.

    We (the fans, the press, the coaches, the players) have all put an emphasis on ‘hitting’ over ‘tackling’.

    Coaches are coaching it. Fans cheer it. Highlight reels show it.

    It’s the ‘nth degree’ that we the public want to see players play.

    To me, it’s simple, if a player lowers his helmet, and leads with a helmet, it’s illegal. It doesn’t matter if the other player is a runner, a receiver, a quarterback. It’s leading with a helmet. If the helmet is down, it’s illegal, if the helmet is up, it’s not.

    On Harrison’s that was clearly a ‘hit’. Harrison dropped his head, had his hands to his sides and ‘hit’ McCoy. There was no attempt to ‘tackle’ him. He ‘hit’ him. If he had his arms out, to wrap him up, had his head up. He could have tackled him, it would’ve had the same result, and been perfectly legal.

  29. bunkmcnulty says: Dec 15, 2011 12:05 PM

    Interesting to observe that the Steeler fans comments only come after others lead with their original thoughts. The first several comments here are obviously against the Steelers team mates comments and/or against JH’s helmet to helmet hits.

    Then the Steeler nation comes out in defense of their team and this situation.

    So does logical reasoning point to the fact that Steelers fans lack original thoughts? They can only reply when prompted? Only responding to a given set of stimulus? I think Pavlov’s dog may have been named Troy…or Clark…or Ike.

    Sorry, tired of the same old, same old…taking a new approach to labeling the black and yellow as mindless drones.

  30. knowerofallthings says: Dec 15, 2011 12:06 PM

    Why doesn’t Tomlin speak up? Because he condones and promotes this type play and wants his players to keep it up. Watch your knees guys…

  31. flaccodelic says: Dec 15, 2011 12:17 PM

    I’ve come up with a two-part plan for the Steelers to stop this horrible persecution from the league front office:

    1. Learn the rules.

    2. Stop talking about how much you hate the front office and how you have no intention of doing what they keep telling you must be done to avoid fines/suspensions.

    Tomlin is batting .500 today on this plan.

  32. kyleortonsarm says: Dec 15, 2011 12:22 PM

    I guess they’re going to ignore the woman beating psychopathic elephant in the room.

  33. dachozen1 says: Dec 15, 2011 12:24 PM

    That’s because everyone who knows football understands what this is. That meeting he and the owner had with Goodell is clear. Dont speak out against the NFL’s decisions even if you strongly disagree. Everyone is in line now like good boys..

  34. danrooneyii says: Dec 15, 2011 12:29 PM

    I see der Fuhrer Goodell is now controlling freedom of free speech.

  35. olskool711 says: Dec 15, 2011 12:31 PM

    Steelers should have thought about telling former players to not blow the whistle on the greatest franchise-wide steriod abuse policy in team sports history.

    That’s OK the league and media will cover it up.

    For some reason.

  36. ajlaw69 says: Dec 15, 2011 12:37 PM

    A few years ago, that hit would’ve been shown over and over on ESPN’s “Jacked Up!” segment. Give it another 4 or 5 years and it’ll be the NTHTFL (National Two Hand Touch Football League).

  37. Deb says: Dec 15, 2011 12:43 PM

    borisbulldog says:

    Umm Ryan, how low is your IQ?

    ————————————————-
    Umm, Boris, how low is your IQ? A running back is not considered a defenseless player. And once a QB takes off with the ball, he is designated a running back. Better let Natasha do the thinking from now on :roll:

  38. pigskinswag says: Dec 15, 2011 1:16 PM

    They shouldn’t discuss it because they’ve already said enough stupidity on Twitter about the suspensions, about getting fined, personal fouls, and Commissioner Roger Goodell.

  39. uckfaouya says: Dec 15, 2011 1:18 PM

    ducksouped says:
    Dec 15, 2011 11:27 AM
    Actually clark, the rules are pretty clear. Writen out in a real easy text for you idiots up there in yinz town. You just need to get back to fundamentals, you know go back through your ABC’s, we here in ‘merica read left to right, top to bottom.

    Dude, I think you need to get back to your ABC’s. And you need to learn what fundamentals are.

  40. papasteeler says: Dec 15, 2011 1:37 PM

    hineswardcriesafterfumbling says:
    McCoy ceases to be a RB when he throws a legal forward pass. So, while in your eyes, he was a RB that threw a pass, to everyone else, except Harrison, he was a quarterback. I’m tired of hearing arguments about McCoy turning into a running back. If he crossed the line of scrimmage, I can understand it. He threw a pass, and then a psychopath decided he’d tee off on the guys head.

    —————
    McCoy got rid of the ball just as James laid him out!! We’re talking a split second, have you ever played the game? Try to change direction and motion in a split secon, it can’t happen. If McCoy would have spun and took off and busted off a 40 yard run all you idiots would be saying James is old and washed up! Get a clue and realize this is a violent game and these things are going to happen. O, and if your QB can’t take the hit he shouldn’t leave the pocket.

  41. beastup22 says: Dec 15, 2011 1:40 PM

    Goodell must go!!

  42. steelersmichele says: Dec 15, 2011 1:41 PM

    habsman, you are wrong. The steelers didn’t vote against the CBA because of drug testing. they voted against it because they wanted to limit Goodells complete authority with doling out fines and suspensions. Considering so many players on other teams are complaining about getting fined, I bet more teams wished they followed the Steelers with voting.

  43. dickroy says: Dec 15, 2011 1:48 PM

    @bunkmsulty

    Thats because after we read all of your ridiculous comments we are compelled to come on here and set the record straight.

  44. dexterismyhero says: Dec 15, 2011 1:53 PM

    @Deb
    Umm, Boris, how low is your IQ? A running back is not considered a defenseless player. And once a QB takes off with the ball, he is designated a running back. Better let Natasha do the thinking from now on
    ================================
    Good one Deb…aka Rocket J Squirrel, but even your coach said it was an illegal hit. And you still cannot spear someone by tucking your head and leading with it.

    Better let Bullwinkle do the thinking from now on. :>)

  45. hineswardcriesafterfumbling says: Dec 15, 2011 2:12 PM

    @papasteeler
    I have played the game. I know it’s violent, and that’s a huge part of the game. Don’t give me the split second bull. If James Harrison would have closed in on McCoy the way children are taught at the lowest levels, he would have destroyed McCoy with a legal hit, shoulder to ribs. He would have knocked McCoy out for the rest of the game, and he probably wouldn’t have even incurred a penalty, let alone the suspension.

    Harrison was going to hit McCoy in the head whether McCoy threw it, stayed in the pocket, ran out of bounds or did a back flip. Harrison had 5 seconds to decide to hit McCoy in the head. He peeled off the receiver, and made no attempt to make a form tackle. No, Harrison couldn’t change his path between when McCoy threw the ball and when Harrison made the hit. The whole point is that his path shouldn’t have been through McCoy’s head.

  46. erfoster says: Dec 15, 2011 2:18 PM

    i live in western pa & i am a huge steeler fan. with that being sad you would think harrison would have learned from the helmet to helmet hit that broke the bone around his eye.

  47. mikemart77 says: Dec 15, 2011 2:28 PM

    i live in western pa & i am a huge steeler fan. with that being sad you would think harrison would have learned from the helmet to helmet hit that broke the bone around his eye.

    **********

    That one wasn’t his fault and wasn’t even really a hit. The OL gave him a mild, unintentional headbutt after they came together on the block. It just got him in a bad spot.

  48. rmc1995 says: Dec 15, 2011 2:31 PM

    I laugh when someone writes, “wait until some o-line goes after his knees…blah blah…karma…blah.” O-line always go after the knees. They don’t even need a reason. Usually it is during quick runs or three step passes where you need to keep a defenders hands down. They don’t do it to guys like Harrison in open space because if you miss your quarter back is going to get killed. Hilarious how o-linemen have become the protectors of fairness and retaliate for the causes of good. O-linemen are the dirtiest players in all of sports and don’t think about hurting a defender for payback. They’ll go after your knees if you were Guandi playing defense.

  49. zn0rseman says: Dec 15, 2011 2:31 PM

    The suspension should have been longer. A lot longer.

    Case in point, Suh.

    Both Suh and Harrison made flagrant cheap shots with the intention of causing injury.

    Both players have been fined multiple times.

    Both players are well known cheap shot artists.

    Yet Harrison has been fined many, many more times than Suh, and Harrison caused a concusion to his victim while Suh’s cheap shot did absolutely nothing.

    So, how does Harrison get off with half the suspension that Suh got?

    Answer: Harrison plays for the Steelers while Suh plays for the Lions.

  50. zn0rseman says: Dec 15, 2011 2:35 PM

    papasteeler says:

    McCoy got rid of the ball just as James laid him out!! We’re talking a split second, have you ever played the game? Try to change direction and motion in a split secon, it can’t happen. If McCoy would have spun and took off and busted off a 40 yard run all you idiots would be saying James is old and washed up! Get a clue and realize this is a violent game and these things are going to happen. O, and if your QB can’t take the hit he shouldn’t leave the pocket.

    ———————
    papasteeler, you’re flat wrong.

    I’ve played the game (I still play recreationally) and Harrison had PLENTY of time to pull up.

    Instead of pulling up, he lowered his head and launched himself at McCoy’s head.

    You’d either have be an idiot, or wearing the biggest pair of black and yellow glasses in history, not to see that.

  51. descendency says: Dec 15, 2011 2:37 PM

    If you go for a hard hit while you are leading with your helmet, you should be suspended.

    That’s the way it should be. If you at least have your head up, you could have seen the ball had been thrown and you could have adjusted appropriately.

    Furthermore, this using a forearm instead of wrapping up should be an instant suspension as well.

    There is a difference between being physical and being dirty.

  52. hikohadon says: Dec 15, 2011 2:38 PM

    Must be a lot of Steelers fans rating these comments, since all the intelligent comments have mutliple thumbs down.

  53. rogerbrad says: Dec 15, 2011 2:57 PM

    That does IQ mean??? (grin)

  54. ziggy26 says: Dec 15, 2011 2:58 PM

    Ryan Clark’s comment wasn’t about the hit, it was about the fines and suspensions that result from the hits.

    The NFL doesn’t have any set rules regarding these punishments. The punishment is what Goodell decides it will be.

  55. papasteeler says: Dec 15, 2011 2:59 PM

    hikohadon says:
    Dec 15, 2011 2:38 PM
    Must be a lot of Steelers fans rating these comments, since all the intelligent comments have mutliple thumbs down.

    ——
    Please do Pro Football a favor and take your “intelligent comments” to ballet class with you tonight. Like I said earlier, this is much bigger than the Steelers! The NFL needs a new commissioner, this guy is running the league like a damm dictator!!

  56. billionsvsmillions says: Dec 15, 2011 3:28 PM

    Steelers play physical football, always have, always will. Goodell has got most of you to go soft on the game. Thats what he wants. Once Goodell is done with football, better hope he does not take over in other sports, such as nascar… wont be able to drive over 60mph.

  57. Deb says: Dec 15, 2011 3:43 PM

    @dexterismyhero …

    Hey, Rocky is a smart lil fella LOL

    Look, I’ve got my own issues with James, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him finish his career in another uniform. My issue with the suspension is that I don’t want Goodell to have the power to cross that line.

    Suspensions are for failing drug tests, starting fights, stomping and kicking and punching after the whistles. They’re not for the quality of your play. That’s why God made FLAGS. I don’t believe in fines or suspensions for FOULS no matter who commits them.

    This is all nothing but a big ruse on the part of the NFL to pretend they’re addressing head injuries, post-concussion syndrome, and long-term traumatic brain issues like CTE. But they’re not. The players most in danger are the men in the trenches. Helping those men will require major changes to the game and/or the equipment. The league is just trying to avoid the expense of making those changes and having to deal with Congressional hearings. As usual, they’re scapegoating players to deflect attention from the real issue and save their own skins.

  58. bunkmcnulty says: Dec 15, 2011 3:54 PM

    papasteeler says:
    Dec 15, 2011 2:59 PM
    hikohadon says:
    Dec 15, 2011 2:38 PM
    Must be a lot of Steelers fans rating these comments, since all the intelligent comments have mutliple thumbs down.

    ——
    Please do Pro Football a favor and take your “intelligent comments” to ballet class with you tonight. Like I said earlier, this is much bigger than the Steelers! The NFL needs a new commissioner, this guy is running the league like a damm dictator!!
    __________________

    You know, I know it’s football we are talking about, but what does it say about a fan who asks not to be considered “intelligent?” As much disdain as I have for the Steelers, I know most of their fans are smarter than this. If this person’s reply wasn’t so sad I would laugh.

    I will laugh anyway. By the way, I hear the Nutcracker is doing well in Pittsburgh this time of year! Maybe James Harrison could perform there this week with the extra time he has on his hands.

  59. johntonioholmes says: Dec 15, 2011 4:17 PM

    @descendency

    I would agree with you if that was enforced properly. We would be suspended about 20-30 players a week, though, but I would have absolutely no problem with it if they were catching and punishing all of the violators equally and without the sense of capriciousness that exists currently.

    That’s really what Steelers fans are complaining about. If Harrison deserves a suspension for his actions, then fine. Please suspend players like Cortland Finnegan and Haloti Ngata because they have been fined several times over the last 3 years. too.

    Also, take note of when guys like Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Vick, and even Joe Flacco get smacked in the head 5 steps after the play ends.

  60. axespray says: Dec 15, 2011 5:55 PM

    Goodell doesn’t have it out for Harrison, he has it out for Guys going out of their way to turn their brains to mush and pulling a Benoit at some point down the road…. It’s James Harrison’s fault for not knowing how to hit ribs, dude Leaps up for a headshot, he’s gonna continue getting fined and possibly go crazy when he’s middle aged.

    By the way, I personally hate how Ryan Clark always plays the victim, dude making the steelers look like a bunch of babies.

  61. axespray says: Dec 15, 2011 6:03 PM

    No doubt thou that the league is a lot softer now, Clay gets penalized/fined for hitting Ponder in the ribs, London Fletcher hits brady in the ribs, and gets flagged.

    But the thing is, they didn’t leap up at a dude’s head…. That leads to something more dangerous than any fine or penalty ever could, brain damage is serious … I think if I were Harrison, I’d rather be fined for a clean hit then suspended and brain damaged from a dumb hit.

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