Steelers linebacker James Harrison has acted with defiance in the wake of his one-game suspension. Now that he’s back at work, he’s still not fully accepting blame for his latest illegal hit. Instead, he’s pointing a finger at the Browns for allowing the player into whose face Harrison planted a helmet to return to action after missing only two plays.
“If he was hurt so bad I don’t know why they let him back in . . . two plays later,” Harrison said. “Something should be done to them, I would think. I don’t know. I got a game, what should they get?“
They’ll get nothing, according to multiple reports. Surprisingly, the Browns won’t be disciplined in any way for allowing concussed quarterback Colt McCoy to get back on the field without evaluating his brain.
We know, we know. Browns president Mike Holmgren has said that it’s unfair to criticize the team because no one saw the mammoth hit on McCoy. You know, the mammoth hit that happened in plain view of the team’s sideline, where players and numerous other team employees were standing and watching the game.
Of course, the Browns’ misguided decision to let McCoy back into the game doesn’t excuse Harrison’s illegal hit, or his history of them. Penalties, fines, and suspensions aren’t disseminated based on whether a player gets injured; instead, they’re based on whether the hits are illegal.
In that regard, Harrison surprisingly seems to be willing to comply with the rules.
“I’m doing everything they ask me to do,” Harrison said. “I’ve lowered my target area, that’s it.”
That’s really all he needs to do. Now, the question becomes whether, in the heat of the moment, he’ll actually do it.