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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday with Tomlin

As I'm sure everyone now knows, James Harrison has been suspended by the NFL for one game.

Harrison will not be permitted to be at the team facility until Dec. 20 - pending an appeal, if there is one.

Harrison Tweeted Tuesday: "Thank you to all of my fans and supporters, I'm just going to move on from here and get ready for my next game."

Harrison and his agent had earlier talked about appealing any fine/suspension, but that statement makes it sound as if Harrison will not do so. We'll see where this goes.

© I didn't think what Harrison did rose to the level of a suspension - given that he has not been fined this season.

And in that regard, the NFL has been inconsistent this season.
The league came out with a chart detailing its fine process this summmer.

Here is the link:

The fines listed are the minimums.

As we've seen this season, other "repeat offenders," which is what Harrison - who has been fined five times since the start of the 2009 season – was not given the same leeway the league gave some other repeat offenders, teammate Ryan Clark among them.

You can't help but wonder if Harrison's statements in a magazine article released in the offseason had an affect on this.

© Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that he expects LaMarr Woodley back again this week, which will help lessen the blow of losing Harrison.

Woodley and Jason Worilds would likely start at OLB for the Steelers against the 49ers next Monday night.

Troy Polamalu (hamstring), Ben Roethlisberger (ankle) and Maurkice Pouncey (ankle) are among those who are questionable.

Tomlin said he expects Emmanuel Sanders (foot) to play as well.


Robert K said...

And I like watching football less and less as this goes on...

If the league wants to protect QB's how about they take away the no downfield contact rule? If QB's weren't throwing the ball 50 times a game they wouldn't get hurt so much.

Dale Lolley said...

Good point

Anonymous said...

Aside from the QB issue, if all cornerbacks were allowed as much leeway as Revis is to be physical, the defenses would have a more of a chance against Rodgers, etc.

Not to knock Revis, he's great, but there seem to be different rules for him.

marc said...

i told you he would be suspended one game. there was no doubt about it.

i don't necessarily disagree with it either. imo, he intentionally hit the QB helmet-to-helmet after the QB passed the ball. mccoy did not "chuck the ball" just before harrison hit him as harrison seems to think.

given harrison's history and he made this bed himself. now he has to sleep in it, and ultimately hurt his team.

instead of head hunting, a big hit to the chest and wrapping up works just as well.

DAVE said...


Unless you're London Fletcher.

Marshall said...

I really don't understand how some people can judge intent. Helmets are going to hit. It's football. Why would Harrison INTENTIONALLY hit a player helmet to helmet, especially given all that happened last season? There's a thing called incidental contact. When big strong men are running full speed, incidental contact is going to occur.

Say what you want about the hit itself, but be careful when you try and say what Harrison did or didn't intend to do.

Nate said...

This is the standard now, right? If Harrison is suspended for a hit to a QB where he is a borderline runner, than any helmet-to-helmet hit in the pocket should be considered a suspendable offense.

The NFL just dropped a suspension on a player for his first offense in the 2011 season. To me, regardless of past history, that is pretty extreme.

If Vince Wilfork goes helmet-to-helmet on Tebow this weekend, will he be suspended? Based on this, he should.

Dan G. Switzer, II said...

I'm just curious as to why Richard Seymour doesn't get suspended for throwing punches, when Harrison gets suspended for making a tackle between the whistles.

Seymour's a repeat defender of action after the play, yet he just gets fined.

Incidents that occur after the whistle blows are a much more severe issue than tackles that occur during play.

Anonymous said...

I think the difference between "incidental" helmet-to-face contact and something that at the very least looks intentional, is nicely illustrated by comparing:

Harrison's hit on Ryan Fitzpatrick last year (incidental / I don't think he should have been penalized or fined, just a huge hit and the head-to-head contact was because of the force of the hit)


the McCoy hit the other night (which I think definitely looks dirty, although I'm not inside Harrison's head, fortunately).

It's frustrating that he was also screwed in the first example but the league is, well, the league...

I don't see how anyone can think that Harrison had NO control over the helmet-to-face part of that hit.

Anonymous said...

Marshall, about intent, this may sound whiny but I always hear the same people who hate the steelers for any reason possible saying Harrison's intent was to hurt. And as we know, steelers haters grow on trees. They in fanbases the media and the nfl itself

thus, Harrison is seen as a headhunter that literally wants to kill every QB in his view

Yes, it's almost impossible to know the intent of a hit. I don't know it, you don't know it, so why would haters know it?? Because it's easier to go through that path

Anonymous said...

Next time James...Go for the knees

TarheelFlyer said...

I understand where the NFL is on this from the perspective of wanting to protect the QB, but it is clear that Harrison didn't get the same amount of rope to hang himself with as many other players have gotten.

Here are my issues:

1. It appears that this helmet to helmet repeat offender rule only applies to QBs, otherwise maybe Ray Lewis should be suspended for what he did to Hines Ward.

2. Repeat offender gets somewhat cloudy and here is why. I hit someone helmet to helmet, but the player ducked. I tried to let up, but I still made contact. I get fined. It happens again, I get fined again. In both cases I argue and most fans agree they were beyond my control, I wasn't being dirty. Now a season later, I hit a guy in the head, who I thought was a runner not a QB, I get suspended for a repeat offender.

3. This puts defenses in a position where it is hard to protect yourself from these fines. You don't always control how you connect with the runner.

Marshall said...

Obviously, people are going to say what they want to say, even if their comments are totally ridiculous. It's just a shame that a suspension was enforced based on history instead of what happened in the moment.

That hit was not deserving of a suspension. The name on the back of the jersey made this decision.

marc said...

i have watched that video a hundred times. mccoy is standing almost straight up. the ball is clearly out of his hands and harrison is looking right at him. there was nothing last minute about it. harrison took 2 full steps, lowered his head and blasted mccoy. he didn't try to tackle him one bit.

i'm steeler fan just like all you, but that was a dirty hit, no doubt about it and i don't like it.

most importantly, harrison's inability to properly tackle has now potentially cost the steelers very important positioning for the playoffs.

it's the same old story. how do you keep the refs (or the league in this case) from dictating the outcome? don't put yourself in a position where they have that power.

Anonymous said...

whatever raven fan

Tim said...


I don't want to call you an idiot, but how can we trust you once we know you can't count to two? It was one step, unles you're counting the time the ball was still in McCoy's hand, which I'm not. It's a pump fake until it leaves his hand. A QB that does what Colt did on that play can expect to be blasted, much like a QB that carries out a fake on an option play.

And hitting is a form of tackling, by the way. There's no rule that says you have to hug a guy to take him down. You're allowed to body check people like in hockey. Harrison was doing his job, and that hit won us the game. Unless you think McCoy would have tossed that floater straight to Gay without a concussion.

I have a bigger issue with the fact that the league would rather guys punch or step on people than tackle guys they way they did two years ago. Harrison misses the "new" tackle by one inch and he gets 50% of the punishment given to the guy that grinds a heads into the ground and steps on bodies [i]after[/i] plays end? He gets a bigger punishment than the guy who likes to throw punches? I don't see how this is worse than taunting, let alone worse than non-football related violence.

Anonymous said...

I watched the video several times. I don't think Harrison could stop himself. He did take a step and a half, but I don't think he "launched" himself as many have said. It looks like he put his head down out of instinct and pushed the QB. I don't think it was intentional helmet to helmet, I think he just didn't have time to figure out the proper helmet placement. To me it was a bang-bang play, not sure a player can realistically adjust in that situation.

Having said all of that, it should have been a penalty under the letter of the law, perhaps even a fine, but I don't think it deserved a suspension.

marc said...

ok, i'm a raven fan because i don't like guys on the team i cheer for laying dirty head shots. of course. (sarcasm)

how about this. i also don't like it when an idiot for a player refuses to adjust to the rules and puts his team at risk.

it doesn't matter if you/he or anyone else likes the rules or not. they won't change. and there's more, they will be tougher on harrison than anyone else!

why, you ask. oh, i don't know, maybe because the selfish idiot said he "wouldn't piss on goodell if he was on fire." not to mention other absolutely stupid remarks.

harrison has provided the league with every bullet it has needed along the way. it is his own doing and now the steelers have to pay for it.

adamg said...

I don't know how you can keep insisting Harrison hasn't changed his game when he has had NO flags thrown on him in any other game, including 5 divisional, he's played this season.

I have absolutely no doubt Harrison was suspended because who he is and that the league office wants to make an example out of him.

Mark W said...

It seems the Steelers play Troy Polomalu differently against some teams. They tend to blitz him and play him up on the line alot in some games and back as a true safety in others.

How do you think they will play him against the 49ers???

bruinmann77 said...

This was crazy call today and the Steelers should be outraged.That hit was not worthy of a suspension ..

John Kang said...

Goodell is a small-minded tyrant who is Jerry Jones' and Bob Kraft's little b!yatch. He plays favorites and hates the Steelers. It's evident from the irregularities of fines: Troy fined $10k for calling his wife to tell her he's OK while Clay Matthews gets the same amount, the same week, for flipping the bird.

bruinmann77 said...

yes the fines are totally unreal like you said . Btw what was the browns lineman fined for his hit on Ben

HACK said...

Read #2 a few times. I heard it many times growing up...See what you hit. Put your facemask right between his numbers...and wrap up.

Facemask to the chest...puts top of helmet into the offensive players lower facemask....its going to happen.

Harrison did that to Fitzpatrick last McCoy...and suspended.

The players play at full speed, but the League governs in slow motion.

John Kang said...

HACK: I see where the problem is. Harrison didn't help McCoy up or pat him on the back. SUSPEND HIM!

DAVE said...

Great Comment HACK: "The players play at full speed, but the League governs in slow motion."

marc said...

i agree with you the league is making an example of him. that's why i said he would be suspended. but it's his own fault. his past comments stoked the fire. he gave them a reason to target him.

and keep in mind, he has met directly with goodell at least once, but i think twice, and we have no idea what harrison said. for all we know, he told goodell to jump off a cliff and he doesn't care what goodell thinks.

you are right he has less flags this season. good for him. but, harrison did not lead with his shoulder or try in any way to wrap up and tackle mccoy. that is a fact. and, if you are the league trying to determine intent, what would you think?

it's just my opinion, and i am clearly in the minority on this chat board, but i think harrison intentionally went high and intentionally tried to hit mccoy with his helmet. and i also feel harrison's own remarks afterwards support that.

what bothers me the most is how it affects the team. harrison was unfairly targeted last year. but his remarks this offseason put an even larger target squarely on his back. now the team has to deal with it.

this horse has been beaten to death. more importantly, can woodley play a whole game against the 49ers?

adamg said...

marc, I'm increasingly of the opinion that the league wants to take the "intimidation factor" out of football. And who exemplifies intimidating defense better than the Steelers? And who's the most intimidating current player on the team? James Harrison. I do think that's a big part of why the Steelers, and Harrison in particular, seem to be targeted with unusually high numbers and amounts of fines for their hits.

BTW, the league isn't above making a buck off Harrison's hit as the picture of McCoy after it are reportedly for sale on the official NFL website.

marc said...

i don't doubt that.

kyle said...

The rules for quarterbacks are completely outrageous. In the pocket, I get it. Same for "defenseless" receivers. They are put in vulnerable positions by the sake of their duties on the field. But when you leave the pocket that should be it. It isn't. Not even close. As a quarterback you can leave the pocket as a runner but get more protection than any other player who might be running the ball. You can't be hit certain ways. You can slide and not be hit. You can pitch the ball at the last second and have even more protection. Defenders should not have to read the number on a jersey to determine how to hit someone. And if you think you can wrap/hug/tackle every player in the open field then you've never watched a kick return in your entire life.

kyle said...

Oh, almost forgot, after an interception, if you're a quarterback, you aren't allowed to be blocked unless it looks clearly like you're trying to make a play (which is asinine, not to mention impossible to accurately determine)and even then you can't be blocked too roughly.

Anonymous said...

What about running backs who are throwing (on trick plays)? Do they get quarterback protection? What if they are between the tackles (in the "pocket")?

Anonymous said...

Lambert's quote of “they should just put a skirt on the quarterback to distinguish him from real players.” is starting to become true in todays NFL. Unless your Tim Tebow or Ben Roethlisberger than defenders can do whatever they want. Lead with the head, punch to the face, knee diving...

KT said...

I agree that the suspension is unwarranted. I also think that it would have been difficult for Harrison to stop, but I do agree that he was leading with the head.

This is another example of arbitrary justice administered by Roger Goodell and his lackey Ray Anderson. Justice in the NFL is anything but blind.

Kudos to you Robert K for pointing out the obvious. I would not go as far as you to repeal the Mel Blount rule, but the truth is the NFL makes it harder and harder to cover receivers downfield, which leaves defenses with no choice but to compensate by putting more pressure on the QB.

Anonymous said...

Everyone forgets how earlier in the season Vick was complaining about being hit so much. The "talking heads" said that he was out of the pocket and should expect to get hit outside of the pocket.

The NFL really needs to figure out what the rules are for QBs in the pocket and outside. You can't expect players to figure out what the rules should be if they haven't been pre-defined already.

This situation reminds me a little bit of the game we lost to Jacksonville a few years back. I believe it was David Garrard, who took off running, he was way down field and looked like he was going into a sliding position. At the last second, after the defender pulled up, Garrard pulled up from his slide and continued down the field for 10 more yards.

I'm about ready to give up on the NFL altogether.