Monday, October 18, 2010
Rodney Harrison talking about players needing to be suspended for helmet to helmet hits on other players screams of hypocrisy.
This is the same Rodney Harrison, after all, who routinely won the vote for being the dirtiest player in the game when he still played. This is the same Rodney Harrison who was fined over $200,000 during his playing career and suspended himself for illegal hits.
And some of the hits he pointed to were made by Steelers linebacker James Harrison Sunday against the Browns.
I sat in, as I do every year, on the officials meeting with the media when they come to training camp to explain rules interpretations and points of emphasis.
One of the new ones this year was put in place to protect receivers from dangerous hits. Defenders are no longer permitted to launch themselves into those receivers and must aim their hit to the torso.
Take a look at the hit by Harrison on Mohamed Massaquoi in the photo that is posted here and you see he's not launching himself. He simply lowers his shoulder moments after the ball arrives. It's a legal hit - as explained to me this summer by the NFL officials who attended the Steelers training camp.
As for the hit on Josh Cribbs, he's a running back on that play and there are no rules in place to protect them from helmet-to-helmet plays. In addition, that play was more of a freak happenstance than anything. Cribbs happened to turn into Harrison just as he arrived to help LaMarr Woodley get Cribbs to the ground.