Suspension remains very possible for James Harrison

Two weeks ago, the football-following public got a crash course on the procedures that apply to suspensions for on-field infractions, thanks to Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.  And that knowledge could quickly be put to use this week, given the helmet-to-face hit applied by Steelers linebacker James Harrison on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy.

On Monday, league executives Ray Anderson and Merton Hanks will convene to determine the punishment, if any, to be imposed on Harrison for the hit.  Given the league’s explanation of the relevant rules, Harrison’s belief that McCoy was acting as a runner likely will be undermined significantly by the fact that McCoy actually threw the ball.

Working against Harrison will be his history of fines.  Last year, Harrison paid a post-appeal total of $57,500 for four incidents.  And while the fact that McCoy flipped the ball as he approached the line of scrimmage could work in Harrison’s favor, watch the hit.  Harrison dropped his helmet and planted the crown of it into McCoy’s chin, a move that was unnecessary, even if it somehow was legal.

And just as Suh’s lack of remorse surely didn’t help him last month, the over-the-top remarks from a July interview with Men’s Journal won’t help Harrison.  “If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out,” Harrison said of Commissioner Roger Goodell, “I wouldn’t do it.  I hate him and will never respect him.”

Harrison also posed for a photo with a pair of guns, called Goodell a “crook” and a “devil” and a “puppet” and a “dictator,” and Harrison described Goodell with a gay slur.

If Anderson and/or Hanks decide that the time has come to get Harrison’s attention by parking him for a week, Harrison would immediately be suspended pending an expedited review.  Either Art Shell or Ted Cottrell — jointly hired and paid by the league and the union — would handle the appeal.  A decision would come before the Steelers’ next game, on Monday, December 19 in San Francisco.

No decisions have been made about Harrison, but folks in the league office undoubtedly are already pondering the situation.  The more we look at the video of the hit, the less surprised we’d be if Harrison is suspended.

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123 responses to “Suspension remains very possible for James Harrison

  1. Good. The Steelers are a dirty team and everybody sees it. It’s just too bad that Big Ben has been able to get away with those rapes.

  2. Well at first I thought “Good, he should be suspended” because that hit was terrible. Then I kept reading and saw he called Goodell a gay slur and said he didn’t respect him.So now I’m unsure. I like Harrison now.

  3. Harrison dipped his helmet, perhaps an inch. McCoy is a runner when he breaks the pocket. I’m not even sure the hit should have drawn a flag, let alone this ridiculous talk about a suspension.

    Roethlisberger has taken FAR worse and not even drawn a flag. He just happens to be as big as a linebacker, while McCoy is about the size of Peter Pan.

    I understand that Harrison made some comments regarding Goodell that were less than flattering; however, he’s adapted to the current set of rules and played the game much differently this year.


  4. So the NFL is gonna go after an innocent james Harrison instead of going after a serial rapist on the same team? Come on NFL get it together.

  5. Impossible! James Harrison, a member of the classiest organization in sports, would never do something so…so classless.

  6. Steeler fan so here’s your disclaimer.

    His hit on McCoy was huge and I don’t think it’s ever necessary to lead with a helmet to helmet like that.

    But, McCoy was acting like a runner at the time and I think his quick flip pass just before the line of scrimmage is irrelevant. It should be the same as with a catch, he secured the ball and made a football move and basically declared himself as a run.

    Thus, Harrison hit him like he was a runner and I don’t agree that in the split second McCoy changed his mind and threw a wobbly flip pass should change that.

    He probably should be fined just because the style of hit was ridiculously unnecessary, but I don’t think this warrants a suspension.

  7. Suspend him a game.. Like he’ll give a f*ck when Goodell hands him the Lombardi trophy in February, and he gets his 3rd ring.

  8. How can Harrison’s belief that something was going to happen be undermined by what ultimately did happen? What happens after a rational belief was formed is not suddenly made irrational by what actually happened. I’m sure you know this, yet you wrote what you wrote anyway.

    You then say that Harrison’s move will work against him even if it was somehow legal, simply because it was unnecessary. It’s nice to see that you haven’t lost your ability to speak like a lawyer. Let me put it in lay terms: Harrison’s move was especially violent, so it will work against him even if it was within the rules.

    I’m sure I’ll get a lot of thumbs down here. It’s fine. But as much as you, the viewers, and the league want to pretend not to see what you saw, you saw it. You saw Colt McCoy run towards the line of scrimmage, you saw him tuck the ball away as if he were going to run, you saw Harrison ready to make the hit, and you then saw McCoy flip the ball away.

    Football moves fast. It moves too fast at the pop warner level to suddenly change direction or notice a dip of your target’s head or realize he was going to flip the ball. It moves too fast the high school level. You gotta believe it moves too fast at the college and NFL levels.

    And to fellow fans: I know many of you hate the Steelers. Many of you hate Harrison. That’s fine. Someone like @caseyanthonymunoz. You can hate them and think Ben raped 1000 women. That’s your prerogative. I hate many players and teams. But I would never root for a player to get suspended in a situation like this, no matter who and no matter how much I hated them or their team. Try not to lose the forest for the trees. It might weaken the Steelers to see Harrison suspended for a couple games, and it might feel good because you think he’s just a grade A jerk of a person or the team is full of grade A jerks. But it will, over time, weaken the game we all love far more than it will weaken the Steelers. Is your hatred of a football team greater than your love of football itself?

  9. Once is an accident, twice is a trend. Let’s not forget that earlier in the game Farrior was penalized 15 for a cheap shot on McCoy who was already out of bounds.

    If the league really wants to crack down on those kinds of cheap shots, it won’t happen until they start fining the coaches who teach, condone, and encourage that kind of behavior like Tomlin.

    Tomlin’s silence on Harrison’s cheap shot is deafening and damning.

  10. Harrison is another psycho like Suh. He’s gotten away with a lot of nasty and cheap shots. He is ultimately a fool because his days are numbered.
    The Steelers have had Hines cowardly hits and Ben’s little problem to deal with in the past but those seem to be resolved by age and marriage… maybe.
    Harrison just gets worse.

  11. I just watched the clip several times ……. I can’t believe there’s a single football fan – Steelers fans especially – who can defend this P.O.S.

    That hit is wrong on so many levels, and the next time Harrison cries that he’s being singled out, someone needs to stick this video in his face.

    It doesn’t matter wherher McCoy was a runner or a passer, or how far he’d already run. You just don’t hit another human being in the head like that. Not only could he have seriously injured McCoy, he could have seriously injured HIMSELF.

    This guy has clearly displayed a propensity to play and hit dirty, and this need to be the last straw. The league needs to suspend this a-hole, and the Steelers staff needs to start looking out for this clown’s life, let alone his avoiding suspension.

  12. What a joke! If the league cared so much and if he was dirty, cheap and played outside the rules then why did James get voted to the pro bowl, selected as an all-pro and get the third most defensive mvp votes last year? You would think if that was true the fans,the media and most importantly his PEERS wouldnt give him these accolades. You would think at least the league would step in and invalidate these honors.

    Furthermore, we are talking about one play out of however many hundred of plays James has played. That is less than .05% of snaps he has played in yet you will make sweeping generalizations about his play. How embarrassing!!!

  13. Goodell should suspend Ray Lewis for life for being a murderer. Nothing like having a murderer on your team to give you the proper venue for throwing stones.

  14. Nice trigger discipline James… Just a photo but people with poor trigger discipline end up shooting themselves in the leg. Which further makes the point for Dems (and Romney) to push gun control

  15. Harrison clearly lead with the crown of his helmet, aimed at McCoy’s face.

    Whether he thought McCoy was a runner or not, that was a cheap shot, and Harrison deserves to go away for a while.

  16. “Remove his testicles with finger nail clippers and cut his Achilles heels. Problem solved.”

    Who the hell liked this? I get one sick person, but more people liked it than disliked it? Everyone understands this is football right?

  17. They need to change the name all together from football to something else. It is amazing how football has become the poster child for all things wrong. It is a testament to how the media can sway the minds of many. This is the same sport we all grew up and love and let’s get dirty play outta the game but certain hits are unintentional and unpreventable. I used to be an avid fan now I watch it up until I’m sickened enough to change the channel from 15 yd pentalty from a football play. Nowadays the ref dont even have to see anything, just a quarterback falling and someone near is cause for a flag. I hope they stop the sport all together or change the name.

  18. I didn’t know Steeler fans were stupid enough to defend a hit that was illegal 30 years ago just as it is today. If you weren’t taught to not lead with your helmet you probably didn’t play the game or at least can’t remember playing due to multiple concussions from leading with your own helmet or being hit by others leading with their helmet.

  19. Terrible idea to start suspending player on hits. If that occurs, it will be the end of the NFL as we know it.

  20. well you guys better enjoy this NFL football season and next season because the world is going to end the north is going to become the south, and the south is going to become the north. and the asteroid it looks like its coming here

  21. Remember when a guy in a football uniform running with the football was far game to get hit?

    James Harrison was named defensive MVP playing the same way he plays today.

    You crybabies calling for a suspension are hilarious!

  22. The benefit of Harrison having to sit for the 49er game is that he will get the opportunity to thoroughly view how the linebacker position is supposed to be played. Getting to see Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman on TV should help Harrison see how a linebacker can be dominant without having to play dirty.

  23. This was a spear. He lead with his helmet runner or not… He did not even drop his helmet until after McCoy had thrown the ball, and he clearly had time to pull up, and time to decide what he was doing. If he leads with his shoulder its a non-issue to some extent, but that is not what happens. This was a spear plain and simple meant to injure.

    Suspend him it was about as accidental as Suh’s kick.

  24. All that passer/runner/etc. stuff aside, what I don’t understand is why he must aim so high when he tackles. Why not crack some ribs? He goes in high regardless of the circumstance. Dude’s a dangerous headhunter.

  25. Harrison has more issues than Sports Illustrated. He’s going to end up behind bars with all that anger.

  26. Harrison is a cheap shot artist. Always has been, probably always will be

    He should be suspended but the Steelers sell jerseys so he probably won’t be. With the injuries and the fact they are good but not that good… With JH out they will lose next week & may be out of the playoffs.

    Trendy sales go down, domestic violence goes up. Basic, sucky math.

  27. If he would just keep his mouth shut instead of crying and saying stupid stuff in magazines and threatening to retire he wouldn’t be such a target. And also clean up his play. He painted his own target, so he has to live with it. Just like Suh.

  28. Yeah, suspend him for playing football. If you or his dad doesn’t like it….throw the ball away or slide. Funny how clowns on this site who have never run a 4.4 or better forty want to hang Harrison.
    I hate the Steelers but to say the qb that’s scrambling doesn’t deserve to get hit is retarded. If Harrison doesn’t lay the hit and McCoy scrambles for a TD everyone on here is talking about how old the Steelers D is.
    What a joke!

    BTW…F the Steelers

  29. Suspend the SOB. At some point he will learn to target the player’s numbers when making a tackle. This was completely unnecessary and if Harrison thinks his job is to try and hurt his opponent then he needs more coaching. A suspension qualifies as coaching.

  30. Whether you like Pittsburgh or not, the guy has altered his style of play. If you have ever played the game and were even slightly good at tackling, tell me how can some make a shoulder tackle without leading with the head? It’s not physically possible. If you do attempt to not lead with your head you end up tackling like Harrison, face to face. The players are still told to try and separate the ball from the ball carrier. Turnovers are major key for victory. Since we know that they won’t put flags on the QB’s sans flag-football what’s next, 2 hand touch? Even if they did that they would complain that they are pushing too hard. I was born in the Pittsburgh area in the 70’s and bleed Black-N-Gold but even if I didn’t, for the sake of the game that I love, I would call out BS when I see it. Make the game safer, but this crap that they are pulling is ruining the game. And if hitting hard between the whistle’s is dirty then we are guilty. If not, we have one dirt player and he wears the number 68. Smarten up and take a really good look at what is going on. If you haven’t seen the BS calls for sound, clean, hard hits then maybe your team doesn’t “Defend every blade of grass” as Mike Tomlin likes to say.

  31. What a bunch of bs…you simply can’t help the collision and McCoy plays a role in where his own head goes too. When you’re about to collide you can’t help put your head down in a flinching protective instinctual move. Trying to legislate your way to perfect football is impossible.

  32. 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.

  33. st1llerz1 says: Dec 11, 2011 12:10 AM

    Harrison dipped his helmet, perhaps an inch. McCoy is a runner when he breaks the pocket. I’m not even sure the hit should have drawn a flag, let alone this ridiculous talk about a suspension.


    Bless you for your total objectivity!

  34. he wont be suspended because he plays for the steelers! and if he would, they would make sure that it’s late enough in the week so he can appeal and the appeal wont be acted on until after next week when they have a tough game, unlike suh whose appeal was heard immediately before the next game in the same thursday game scenario. and to the jerks that want to say that he hasn’t been fined this year. does that mean that sandusky gets away with his acts because he didn’t commit any this year? fact is, harrison hasn’t been close to a lot of other tackles this year!!!

  35. These guys fly around at speeds the rest of us only experience on a bike or in a car. Trying to make sure your helmet is a few inches to the right or left is often impossible given the player’s speed and angle of attack.

    Harrison should certainly be fined, but creating a precedent through which players are suspended for committing penalties is a very bad idea.

    However, given that Roger Goodell is a very bad commissioner, he just might start suspending players for H2H contact, and he’ll be lauded for doing so by the dimwits (journalists) who worship, and are terrified of him.

  36. Harrison has been an angel this year, that hit was a fluke. Let him play. Colt McCoy seemed fine with it, he was patting Harrison on the head smiling after he came back on the field. If you have to punish him, fine him.

  37. Regardless of whether or not McCoy was running or throwing, Harrison lowered his helmet just before impact with the intent of injuring McCoy. Considering his past, and his comments, he should get at LEAST 2 games and a hefty fine

  38. Suspend his ass, Commissioner Goodell.

    You (Goodell) are a breath of fresh air. You speak up for the silent majority of NFL fans for going after the criminal element in the NFL.

    May God and Tebow bless you and your family.

  39. Every other story on this site is about someone getting fined for a hit! And half of you guys are agreeing “yea that was a dirty hit”! He’s a really mean player! What a bunch of big fat sissies! These Guy’s are playing the game the way they have been taught! Everyone whose played the game knows that you were taught to stick you helmet right on a guys numbers right under there chin. They have completely ruined this game!

  40. People on here must have forgotten that Roger Goodell was NOT going to fine or suspend James Harrison for the remarks in Men’s Journal:

    That being said, I think if the NFL is going to suspend Harrison, and since he has been warned, and been FINED as a REPEAT OFFENDER, even though he has only drawn one fine I can remember this season, but anyway, if there is gonna be a suspension, it should be about what happened ON THE FIELD, and that magazine should not be considered.

    He lead with the crown of his helmet, yeah, McCoy was running, but McCoy technically threw the ball, so I think Harrison should sit a game.
    He has been warned enough.

  41. The while your at it put an asterisk beside Dick Butkus, Lyle Alzado, and Jack Tatum!

    The idea of supension is BS. Grow a pair and MAN UP!

  42. I see all the posts are coming from fans of teams that have a soft non-physical defense! Biggest point is harrison was out for 5 games this season with orbital injury. And we went 4-1. We’re so deep at every position except offensive line that it doesn’t really matter if he gets suspended…moral of the story can change rules because of the steelers..mel blount rule…and now this h 2 h will be known as james harrison rule. Hes the one that started this last year. All we do is win. Doesnt matter that goodell hates the steelers. All we do is constantly go to the super bowl. So keep on hating haters…cause once again…..pittsburgh’s goin to the super bowl…here we go steelers….here we go!

  43. McCoy flipped the ball at the last second just before James launched. Of course, slowed down such that the hit takes 10 seconds to unfold it looks like attempted murder. 1/3 of you prolly haven’t seen the play and just hate the Steelers. 1/3 of you have and just hate the Steelers. The remaining third of you actually think before you type.

  44. Squeller fans are upset that their spot in bed witth the NFL has been taken by surprise teams this year. This talk about McCoy being a runner or not is nonsense. McCoy’s head did not drop like a WR after catching a pass, his head was in the same spot the entire time and wether it’s a passer or runner you are not allowed to drive the top of your helmet through another player’s facemask, which is what Harrison did. I absolutely hate the whining squellers, but do respect a lot of their players Ben (on field only), Troy and Tomin in particular, but Harrison is an evil person and should be suspended for at least a game because he just doesn’t get it.

  45. It is funny people want to see Harrison suspended and people say the Steelers are cheap shot artist’s. Farrior barely touched McCoy but he did and it was an appropriate penalty. Does anyone remember Ben being punched in the helmet? That was a cheap shot but nobody is talking about that? Here is a solution, although a bad one, since the league wants to protect QB’s when they get to the line of scrimmage the play is dead, they can not advance the ball as a runner.

  46. @theglap says:
    Dec 11, 2011 12:35 AM

    its funny that when its the steelers being called dirty its ok and people defend them but when up and coming dirty player suh (who hasn’t got in trouble with the law i.e. rape) people just want to hate well like you said if you hate the nature of the game then you hate the game, its football not basketball. GO LIONS

  47. Shouldn’t have even been flagged. The league office is a joke, and this site is just another platform for goodell’s agenda.

  48. Intentionally speared him in the head. Most fines Goodell hands out are BS accidental Helmet 2 helmet hits where the runner lowers his head. McCoy didn’t do that, Harrison intentionally went after his head with the crown of his helmet. Harrison WAS singled out last year for some stupid fines..not this time…sit his dirty butt for a game.

  49. why do you so many people who dont understand football visit and comment on football sites?

    theglap said it best; people are willing to allow their hatred for one man and team ruin this game. this hit happens to every rb 20 times a game, get ready for a serious shift in this game once this tackle is outlawed. its simply impossible, using natural physics, to tackle without your own leading somewhat with your head. seriously, stand upnright now and try to drive enough body force in any direction while you lean your head back so as not to make any hypothetical contact with what you would be driving toward.

    saying this, how many of us have yelled at the tv because the the guy on our team has tried to arm tackle instead of driving through a player and wrapping up. i guess this is what most football “fans” on our this site want? ineffective arm tackles

  50. Good, I love it. Suspend him. He basically asks for that with his previous comments. If he were a true pro, he would never say things like that. Potentially hurts his team.

  51. The Steelers are going to create more buzz because it comes with the territory of being consistently good. Both Ben and Harrison had been warned about their conduct prior to Ben hanging out in bars with 20 year olds and Harrison trying to take McCoy’s head off. These are grown men who are making their own choices. Other players don’t seem to have a problem following the rules and adjusting their behavior. You have a choice to abide by the rules or face consequences. It’s called life. These guys are not victims. Stop with all this “unfair” nonsense.

  52. First off I’m a Packer fan so no affiliation with the Browns or Steelers whatsoever.

    I have watched the play and the hit more than 20 times and I gotta say Harrison is getting a raw deal on this one.

    First is a scrambling QB under the same rules as a QB sitting in the pocket?

    I don’t think Harrison led with his head rather put his head down which is more than likely a reaction to making a hit as opposed to doing it intentionally.

    I agree that his past transgressions singles him out but when you got a scrambling you cannot play “paddy cake” with this guy.

    I think the bigger issue here is letting Colt back in the game so quickly when he obviously had his bell rung rather than Harrison playing dirty.

    Just my thoughts!

  53. They way Harrison hit McCoy is exactly the way he was taught, and I was taught to play football. It was THE perfect hit in that respect.

    However, the rule has changed, and the players who play need to be protected so they can have a long career and a life after football.

    I love the hit he made from an old throw-back perspective, but understand the importance of the change. If Harrison was the receipient of the same hit, he layed on McCoy – you bet he’d cry foul, and someone may yet give him his wish.

    He clearly made the decision knowing he wanted to lay McCoy out cold, and he accomplished his goal. Being responsible for that decision was his choice and with that comes the exposure to the ruling which should include suspension – although I wish otherwise.

  54. Crash course in how suspensions work in the NFL? How about an unprecedented knee- jerk reaction to the immediate call for a Suh suspension from the crew of the game to a discussion from every media outlet if the suspension should be for a game or the rest of the season. There was no set standard in the Suh case to learn anything how the NFL works. First after whistle penalty for Suh. No of injury on the incident. No suspension for others with punches and kicks earlier in the seaon. Suh’s penalties from last season were discussed for support of his suspension tho no injuries. Suh’s legal hits to Cutler were also thrown in. Even Shu’s respectful request for a meeting with Goodell was used to make Suh an example. Yet with multiple injuries and penalties by Harrison you are talking gray areas and no infractions to this year. He altered his play because of an injury to his eye which now seems healed. Rather than meet with Goodell he calls him names and gives threats. The thing we’ll learn from the Suh case is that the NFL reacts to the media reaction. In this case the media is about as inconsistent as the NFL will be.

  55. Gotta love Squealer Nation for thinking that people who believe Harrison is dirty is purely because they hate the Squealers. How stupid can you allow yourselves to get? I’m a Giants fan. The Squealers mean nothing to me, and Harrison has, repeatedly, been voted one of the dirtiest players in the NFL by his own peers.

    Half of you are bandwagon frauds anyway, so spare us the ‘6 rings’ crap. Most of you weren’t even alive when the previous 3 were won.

  56. I played football through most of my youth and young adulthood. I was NEVER tought to lead with my helmet. I was always taught to lead with my shoulder, keep your eyes/head up and drive THROUGH the player, not launch at their heads.

    There is NO place in the NFL for helmet to helmet hits. None at all, its bad form, and it is dangerous. Doesn’t matter whether its a QB or a RB, no place for hits like that in this league. Harrison knows the rules, he’s broken them numerous times in the past, and now he should pay dearly.

    So should the browneyes coaches for letting McCoy go back on the field after that hit. It looked to me like he was out cold for a second or two, and that should be enough to get a player held out the rest of the game.

  57. @edujator4

    There is a HUGE difference between driving through a player, and launching for their heads. There is no excuse for what harrison did. And NO, I don’t see RB’s take hits like that every game…neither do you, and its stupid for you to say that. There may be some helmet contact when some people try to tackle RB’s, but its nothing like this.

    No, we don’t want to see arm tackles. You talked about driving through your opponents, that is a good form tackle, and is how everyone is taught from peewee league on up. Launching and aiming for someones head is NOT the way anyone is taught. And if you think otherwise, you need to take your steelers colored glasses off and watch it again. IT was a dirty hit that is CLEARLY against the rules.

  58. Harrison has changed his play this season and the hit is tough call. In the end, by the book, the crown of his helmet hit McCoy’s face mask and that is the bottom line.

    However, anyone who has played, coached or knows anything about footballs know that you instinctly lowever your head to some degree when making a tackle. This was even mentioned on the post-game show Thursday night. The speed and nature of the game needs to be remembered her by those who never played and watch in slow motion.

    As for the comments regarding those “rapes”. I don’t recall Roethlisberger being convicted. Was he acting like a Pig, probably but that is a far cry from being a rapists. Hard to imagine someone wanting to cash in on his celebrity status, that never happens.

  59. The comments in this thread are so insipid, so asinine, so truly devoid of any intelligence or value that I swear from now on I will never, ever read or post a comment on this website. EVAR.

    No, wait.

    Oh, crap.

  60. The only thing worse than the actual cheap shots by the Steelers(and this is one of them) is their disingenuous persecution complex. Do you really think Harrison is the only player in the league that would be punished for that hit? If nothing else(you could make a good case for a late hit), spearing has been illegal for some time. Harrison would say that this is because they are f*gs. I don’t see what role sexual orientation plays here, but you would have to say that Pete Rozelle and Tagliabue were f*gs too. I guess that explains it all. Goodell slept his way to the top.

  61. edsbay is spot on.

    The telling thing for me in the whole story, is that when Brad McCoy(Colt’s father) had a chance to speak his mind, he wasn’t calling for Harrison’s head. Brad CCoy is a high school football coach…he knows a thing or two about football. (and apparently more than most of the posters on this site) It’s not James Harrison he’s upset with, it’s the Browns and rightly so.

    Most of the posters on this site are from a generation where there is no score in your peewee games and everybody gets a trophy. And nobody’s little punkin gets dirty.

  62. you know who leads with his helmet more then anyone? Maurice Jones Drew…that dude uses his helmet as a weapon but that isnt a penalty. I guess defensive players heads are stronger then their offensive skill position counterparts.

    Offensive linemen also lead with their heads on most snaps causing helmet to helmet smashes with d linemen constantly but this isnt illegal either. Most o linemen are the ones with brain injuries yet this isnt fixed. Oh ya probably because it cant be. Think about it, 30+ mini head smashes every game are worse then one huge one every couple games.

    The only reason they are trying to stop what they are is so when the NFL gets sued they can say we tried everything possible. They dont really care about the players because the only way to make the game safer is by not playing.

  63. bluefan204 says:
    Dec 11, 2011 7:08 AM
    Regardless of whether or not McCoy was running or throwing, Harrison lowered his helmet just before impact with the intent of injuring McCoy. Considering his past, and his comments, he should get at LEAST 2 games and a hefty fine

     12 9 
    How the hell is that possible when mcoy is taller

  64. The crown of the helmet is its absolute top; i.e. the part of the head where one would wear a crown, hence the term. It is NOT the forehead, which is the part of Harrison’s helmet which contacted McCoy’s facemask. Furthermore, the prohibition on leading with the crown of the helmet (i.e. spearing) is to protect the defensive player from a potentially fatal or crippling injury due to hyperflexion of the spinal cord. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with protecting the ball carrier. This rule has been around for decades and is the reason football players are taught to tackle with their heads up, their necks bulled and their eyes on the ball carrier. In the NFL, it is highly unlikely that one would ever actually see a player leading with the crown of his helmet to make a tackle, as this is such fundamentally bad technique that the perpetrator would have a very difficult time making an NFL roster; in fact, he’d probably have trouble making a high school team.

    With respect to Harrison’s hit on McCoy, I have watched the video in slow motion several times. McCoy rises up to release the ball and, after doing so, his head comes down several inches a split-second before Harrison hits him. Harrison appears to notice this as he dips his head slightly at the last instant to try avoid helmet-to-helmet contact. He is not successful in doing so, as the top of his facemask collides violently with McCoy’s facemask, leaving him concussed.

    Notwithstanding all the hyperventilating to the contrary on this forum, this was not a dirty play. There is no evidence of any manifest intent on the part of Harrison to initiate helmet-to-helmet contact with McCoy. This was nothing more than a bang-bang play between two highly-skilled athletes which had an unfortunate outcome.

  65. Bottom line, the NFL under Goodell is becoming a travesty. This is FOOTBALL people! We watch and love the game BECAUSE it’s violent, and the only people I see bitching obviously never played the game! The last thing a defensive player needs is to be second guessing what it is he’s supposed to do rather than just seek and destroy! Goodell has GOT to go. Everybody here whining about hits should just agree with Goodell and make it flag football and end the sport as we know it. Jack Lambert saw this coming and said it appropriately WAY back in the 70’s when he decried the “Protection” of QB’s…”Put a skirt on ’em”….I’m thinking Goodell is the one wearing a skirt these days….I’m quickly losing interest in this sport….keep up the good work Goodell….MORON!

  66. “darthvoter says:
    Dec 11, 2011 10:05 AM
    Bottom line, the NFL under Goodell is becoming a travesty. This is FOOTBALL people! We watch and love the game BECAUSE it’s violent, and the only people I see bitching obviously never played the game! The last thing a defensive player needs is to be second guessing what it is he’s supposed to do rather than just seek and destroy! Goodell has GOT to go. Everybody here whining about hits should just agree with Goodell and make it flag football and end the sport as we know it. Jack Lambert saw this coming and said it appropriately WAY back in the 70′s when he decried the “Protection” of QB’s…”Put a skirt on ‘em”….I’m thinking Goodell is the one wearing a skirt these days….I’m quickly losing interest in this sport….keep up the good work Goodell….MORON!”

    It’s obvious you have no business sense at all. When your former employee’s sue you for benefits claiming that this game is turning them invalids, or making them take their own life, or having to live in the looney bin, you tend to take steps to insure that your current and future employee’s are protected, literally from themselves. You can thank Ditka and the other old timers for the way the league is now. That said, guys like Harrison need to step in line or step out of the league. Fines are not helping this guy, a suspension won’t help. My vote is to remove him from the league. It’s not a right to play in the NFL, it’s a privilege, one he no longer deserves.

  67. Suspension is not gonna stop how Silverback plays the game. He has no reason to be suspended or even given a fine. Go ahead and suspend him a game, the steelers will treat it as time to continue resting his back. We’ll plug someone else in there and continue to win. Unlike other team we know how to win with our backups. Been doing it for years. Make your move RG, you lame commissioner.

  68. Proper form has always been to put your facemask on the ball when making a tackle and drive through the ball carrier. That is what they call a form tackle. It’s not to put your forehead into the numbers.

    The idea of putting your helmut on the ball is to wrap up with the arms and hopefully dislodge the ball from the ball carrier.

    Using your forehead on the opponents head or numbers is an attempt at injury to the ball carrier or the qb after he has released the ball. It is an attempt to cause extra pain to the opponent.

    Harrison is a very good athelete. He had plenty of time to avoid the contact or at least minimize it.

    Harrison choose to take a chance on the hit. He was wrong. His gamble didn’t pay off. Now Harrison can pay the fine and/or suspension.

    I like to watch games with teams at full strength. That’s why I like the direction of the newer rules.

    Sometimes the refs get it wrong but not this time.

    The coaching staff of Cleveland should get fined and suspended as well.

  69. PFT, when people no longer attend football games of which you and yours write, what will you do then, go back to the court room? You and others like you who never played the game will never understand how it is supposed to work. If McCoy or Harrison had not been wearing a helmets, think of the bone crunching effect that hit might have caused. Its very hard to focus on where exactly the crown of the helmet will actually strike. footballers are in constent motion, so to actually want a tackler to hit a certin target or spot on a players uniform is assinine. Goodell is gay, not that theres anything wrong with that. How about a peter pan league for thos of youss who want football to be more nice, non violent.

  70. For all of you retards saying the game is being diminished by advocating clean hits – get real. You do know that the game has changed numerous times over the years to protect human life? In the earliest times of the game, the POTUS actually got involved because people were getting killed playing the game.

    Now, with a better understanding of concussions, the league is once again trying to save lives.

    Everyone patting Harrison on the back for his flagrant foul will be up in arms when their own QB gets some of the same.

    Suspend him and anyone else stupid enough to lost their sense of decency when on the field – Suh, Harrison, Farrior, etc…

  71. Harrison screwed up and hit the guy in a helmet to helmet fashion, there’s no denying that, however, the league should think of themselves in a bit of a quandary here. McCoy was NOT a passer at the time of the hit, he was a runner. We’ve all seen runners getting blown up at the LOS every week. Harrison is no angel and has skirted the rules in the past. There are some hits that seem to be malicious and due players to not wanting to heed the rules. This wasn’t one of them. The only thing the league can get him for is a helmet to helmet hit on a defenseless player, loosely based on their wording, not for roughing the passer as it was called. The league has to clarify more, however, these borderline hits are inherent to the nature of the game. This was not malicious… It was however, by the letter of the rules, illegal. That doesn’t mean this guy is out of control, unlike the Boy Named Suh….

  72. @ditka im not a steelers fan, im a football fan. the kind that involves men being allowed to hit men without every incidental helmet to helmet collision resulting in rule changes and fines.

    still dont know where everyone expects the tacklers head to go when making contact. put your shoulders fowards and your head comes with them. im not endorsing launching, or spearing. this incident was neither

  73. This is aimed that those who say he should lead with his shoulder. He got fined last year for for doing exactly that, go back and watch the videos. A player lowers his head or moves a few inches and its a devastating helmet to helmet hit. It appears to me he didnt know exactly what to do so he kinda half lowered his head on McCoy and I think he did pull up. Its not spearing. Im sure he could have hit him harder if he wanted to.

    All helmet to helmet hits can be illegal no matter if its a quarterback or not. Just go back and look at the fines to Ryan Clark and you will see he is fined for hard hits even if he doesnt hit the oponents helmet.

    The Steelers play hard nosed football and the NFL is being totally ridiculous. Also Harrison was injured on a helmet to face block that broke his orbital bone. No fine not even a penalty. Whats up with that? You didnt hear Harrison crying its a mans game. Most of you must have never seen Butkus play.

    I dont like the gun picture either BTW. I would like to know where it came from.

  74. “If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out,” Harrison said of Commissioner Roger Goodell, “I wouldn’t do it. I hate him and will never respect him.”

    Harrison also posed for a photo with a pair of guns, called Goodell a “crook” and a “devil” and a “puppet” and a “dictator,” and Harrison described Goodell with a gay slur.


    Tell us what you REALLY think James! What an angry angry man. I think James will have “issues” adjusting to life after football. How will he deal with his insatiable rage without being able to kill people on the football field? I don’t think I’d want to be anywhere near this ‘rage-bomb-waiting-to-explode’ when he goes postal.

  75. I think that everyone on here defending the hit, steelers fan or not, must have not watched the video. It has nothing to do with this being football and all the other bs reasons that y’all are giving. He literally hits McCoy with the crown of his helmet in the head. He isn’t looking at the target he is hitting. That has been illegal for a long time now. Instead of acting like the NFL has it out for the steelers or the NFL isn’t manly enough any nore, how about you learn the rules. Instaed of suspending him, let him keep hitting like that and see what it’s like living the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

  76. Absolute, cold, had FACT: All of these yahoos defending Harrison would be the first ones to be outraged if someone else on another team lowered his helmet and smacked the crown of it into Harrison’s facemask and knocked him out. Total hypocrites.

  77. td40 says: Dec 11, 2011 12:45 PM

    Absolute, cold, had FACT: All of these yahoos defending Harrison would be the first ones to be outraged if someone else on another team lowered his helmet and smacked the crown of it into Harrison’s facemask and knocked him out. Total hypocrites.


    Actually, that’s pretty much how his eyesocket got broken earlier this year resulting in him missing 3 games. Of course, the lineman that busted him didn’t draw a flag. And I don’t have a problem with it – it was football and a freak accident occurred.

  78. Runner, passer, blocker, whatever, NFL rules have long said hitting with the crown of your helmet is a penalty.

    It’s ironic that two very different defensive players, Jerome Harrison and Asante Samuels, have never been able to not lead with the crown of their helmets when making tackles and consistently take aim at runners/receivers at the head level.

    Given Harrison’s inability to play within the rules concerning hitting with the crown of his helment despite a long history of being fined for such instances, a suspension is the logical next step as it would be in any workplace disciplinary situation.

  79. If you fools watched any Steelers football other than whats on the Redzone channel you would know that Harrison makes hundreds of clean tackles every season. Its only when someone points out the dirty ones that you jump on your soapboxes like you have any idea what you are talking about..

  80. If Brady got hit in the lower leg the same way Ben got hit and spained his ankle, would that not generate a fine? Oh, but Ben was scrambling , you say. So why the double standards? Ben was looking for a receiver and scrambling behind the pocket. Why the inconsistency in the rules?

    Also, the hit by James Harrison was not as forceful as the one on Heath Miller a defenseless receiver in the Bengals game or the one against Ravens last year. No suspensions there. A track record for Harrison , you say? Do you know one of the major hits he got fined on was a CLEAN hit to the midsection of Fitzpatrick? The league came up with the ridiculous explanation that he was leading with the helmet when it was clear that it was a textbook tackle.

    Harrson does play on the edge and let him get fined for it. But a suspension? Give me a break. Also, if refs called half the holds on the OL guys who hogtie Harrison, maybe Harrison wont feel the need to be so jacked up where he can fight through holds and can play the game in a more “civilized” manner. The tapes do not lie. Watch an entire game Harrison plays.

  81. Regardless of whether he was considered a runner, helmet to helmet contact was made and THE BALL WAS ALREADY THROWN.

    Ridiculous. Suspend his ignorant ass.

  82. There’s not much for Harrison to defend here. McCoy doesn’t lower his head and is standing upright. Harrison was looking him in the eye when the throw was made so he hadn’t started his move to make the hit. He could have easily gone into his midsection or even pulled up and pushed McCoy in the chest. Instead, he saw the QB let the ball go and ducked his own head and put it right under McCoy’s chin. If nothing else he should know by now that a QB taking a hit like that will get a fine. Had he gone low and broken 8 ribs on McCoy we’re allt alking about what a great player he is but his actions, and subsequent attempt to defend them speak to how little regard he has for other players.

  83. Everyone on here harping about helmet to helmet hits being illegal across the board need to fact check.

    They’re not.

    The reason the NFL is saying it is in this case is because the way the rule is written, even though McCoy was ‘running to advance the ball’ (which affords a QB NONE of the rule protections that being in the pocket does) the fact that he was ‘running to advance the ball and eventually threw’ means he has the rules protection of getting hit in the head/neck area.

    Harrison didn’t “launch”. It’s because Colt threw the ball (albeit at the very last second) and Harrison hit him in the head (with his helmet). If McCoy had taken one step more, he’d have crossed the line of scrimmage and therefore a true-to-the-rule-runner and this would all be a non-issue.

    Running backs DO NOT have the rules protection against helmet to helmet hits, so people need to stop slinging this “rule” around like they know what they’re talking about.

  84. Please keep playing like you do James. The more time you miss, the better. Your almost as bad as the player in rock city. Sorry that last part was pretty low.

  85. The league is afraid of the Steelers. They won’t do anything to put the Steelers playoff hopes in jeopardy. They like to give them fines so that they can complain and whine, but not lose games. It is the opposite for the Ravens. The Ravens get players tossed. They get roughing penalties, that are textbook tackles, that decide the games.

    The first time that James Harrison affects the W-L of the Steelers, is when he will FINALLY learn the rules. Until then, it is the same old favoritism for the Steelers.

    How is this guy not suspended. He purposefully trys to take out the other QB to win the game with his helmet. Then after the game, the guy who is always in trouble with helmet hits, STILL doesn’t get it right?

  86. st1llerz1 says: Dec 11, 2011 12:10 AM

    Harrison dipped his helmet, perhaps an inch. McCoy is a runner when he breaks the pocket. I’m not even sure the hit should have drawn a flag, let alone this ridiculous talk about a suspension.

    Roethlisberger has taken FAR worse and not even drawn a flag. He just happens to be as big as a linebacker, while McCoy is about the size of Peter Pan.

    Sorry, SteelersFan, but it doesn’t matter whom you’re rooting for. Harrison dipped his helmet and drilled McCoy in the chin. That’s a vicious shot against anyone, by anyone. Didn’t know helmet-on-helmet contact was justified by whether or not a player was out of the pocket.

    I like James Harrison as a player. I know he isn’t that tall either, but he deserves a fine for that hit.

    Roethlisberger has been the recipient of some cheap and dirty shots. FWIW, the Steelers oppenents deserved fines as well.

    Feel better?

  87. McCoy was a running back on that play, not a defenseless receiver or a QB entitled to “special” protections. The rules are the rules–as your friend Peter King pointed out on Football Night in America. And based on the rules regarding running backs, Harrison’s hit doesn’t merit a suspension.

    Of course, I have no doubt that Goodell will suspend him because James is a magnet for bad PR. The commissioner makes all his decisions based on what’s politically expedient, rather than right and wrong or the rules of the game. Why would he suddenly start behaving ethically now?

  88. “Running backs DO NOT have the rules protection against helmet to helmet hits, so people need to stop slinging this “rule” around like they know what they’re talking about.”

    I agree and think it is very telling about the majority of people who post comments to these blogs. I don’t know how many comments I’ve seen that said something like “it’s helmet-to-helmet, Harrison must be too stupid to realize that that is illegal no matter what.”

    Shows how much football these loudmouths actually watch, and how little they’re paying attention when they are watching.

  89. @the anti-Harrison whiners …

    James has made hundreds of perfectly legal hits, and–like every other defender–has made some illegal hits. Overall, he plays the position with tremendous skill; that’s how he earned DPOY honors in 2009. Film shows some of the hits for which he’s been fined have been perfectly legal, while others deserved to be flagged. But it’s idiotic to act like he’s some kind of menace on the field. That’s just media overkill, Steeler hate, ignorance of the game, and Harrison’s own big mouth combining to make a mountain out of a molehill. Every aggressive defender is going to be targeted in Goodell’s anti-defense witch hunts.

  90. Sure he’s made millions. Of course what he does for a living requires only limited intelligence, obviously. I’d like to start a pool on what and when he ends up going to jail for once football is over. Ghetto T H U G.

  91. effjohntaylornorelation says:

    Sure he’s made millions. Of course what he does for a living requires only limited intelligence, obviously. I’d like to start a pool on what and when he ends up going to jail for once football is over. Ghetto T H U G.

    Why am I not surprised that you know nothing about the intellect required to be part of a complex NFL defense in 2011. You also know nothing about James Harrison, the man. As usual, you’re just making a judgment that says more about you than it does about him. We don’t have to start a pool to see what you’ll be in five years. We know now. B I G O T.

  92. Harrison has made one illegal tackle all year and it was borderline because he thought McCoy was a runner.

    So yeah, let’s suspend him but not let’s give Suh 5 violations before we do anything about him. Let’s let Dunta Robinson do another completely illegal hit this year but raise no questions about a suspension.

    Let’s let Richard Seymour punch another player without a suspension.

    By all means, let’s make sure that we blow this borderline hit out of proportion because if the media isn’t targeting the steelers, then something must be wrong.

    By far the biggest scandal of that play was that McCoy got back into the game, yet there have been more articles asking the league to suspend Harrison than there have been talking about what Shurmur did. That’s conclusive evidence that there is a target right on the organization’s back.

  93. What Harrison did or did not do in no way compares to what Suh did, who intentionally stepped on a player after the play.

    No suspension is warranted, at all.

  94. McCoy was a runner. QBs should not be able to have it both ways. I will never understand why it is not on the runner / passer to get out of the way. The haters hear are clueless or willfully ignorant of the speed of the game. Harrison would not know what MCCoys next move was….how would he know where he was going to hit him? Heck nobody knew MCCoy was going to throw the ball. We see runners all the time go helmet to helmet…and no flags. To say otherwise makes you a liar or a ballet fan.

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