Blog Entry

Report: James Harrison could face suspension

Posted on: December 11, 2011 12:42 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2011 2:35 pm
Will Harrison's hit on McCoy lead to a suspension? (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The big storyline from Thursday's Browns-Steelers game was that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returned after suffering a high-ankle sprain and led Pittsburgh to their 10th victory of the season. A subplot that has since taken center stage: James Harrison's fourth quarter helmet-to-helmet hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy. CBS Sports NFL insider Charley Casserly said Sunday that "I would not be surprised at all if the league suspended [Harrison] for one game, the cost being $73,500 for one game check."

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the NFL is considering suspending Harrison for "one or two games" for the infraction.

Here are Casserly's full remarks on the Harrison situation from Sunday's The NFL Today.

"Let's take a look at the facts: last year he was fined four times with the largest fine being $75,000 which was reduced to $50,000," Casserly told James Brown. "This hit [against McCoy Thursday] is worse than the $75,000 (hit).

"The second thing is, the league office told [Harrison]: next infraction, escalating discipline, including a possible suspension. Head coach Mike Tomlin went to the league office this year to do what I call 'a review of the rules.' From the league's point of view, there's no excuse for any Steeler not knowing the rules.

"In my opinion," Casserly continued, "I would not be surprised at all if the league suspended him for one game, the cost being $73,500 for one game check. And, in my opinion, if I was doing this, I would absolutely suspend him. Either he doesn't know the rules, or doesn't understand the rules. A stronger message than a fine has to be sent in this situation."

Charley Casserly beaks down James Harrison's hard hit on Colt McCoy on Thursday night, which may lead to a possible suspension.

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Since: Dec 12, 2011
Posted on: December 12, 2011 11:55 am

Report: James Harrison could face suspension

If you take the time to watch the replay, it was not bang, bang. Harrison clearly lined him up as McCoy broke the pocket and delivered an intentional shot just under the chin.

Since: Aug 30, 2010
Posted on: December 12, 2011 11:53 am

Report: James Harrison could face suspension

There is no difference in what Suh did and what Harrison continues to do.

Since: Oct 15, 2008
Posted on: December 12, 2011 11:42 am

Report: James Harrison could face suspension

Earlier in the game some scrub on the browns hit rashard mendenhall helmet to helmet. collinsworth quickly explained that running backs are not protected under the rules as they are not defenseless. Mccoy had tucked the ball and showed intent to run the ball. At this point mccoy should be treated as a a running back. quarterbacks are football players too. If they start to run you are allowed to hit them. if harrison gets suspended this ruling will be a mockery of the rules

Since: Jul 11, 2011
Posted on: December 12, 2011 11:17 am

Report: James Harrison could face suspension

What is most telling about Casserly's "analysis" is that he did not do any.  That is, he never breaks down what happened on the play, and the context surrounding the hit.  If McCoy broke the pocket, then he is a runner, and is treated like one.  The "bang bang" nature of the play in real time appeared as if the hit was legal.  Also, unless i am wrong, James Harrison and Colt McCoy are comparable in height.  How exactly does James hit him but in the manner in which he did?  is he supposed to shrink down? Like many Steelers fans, i have grown tired of the 'talking heads' in the media doing an incomplete and superficial analysis of the game they are supposed to be experts at analyzing.

Since: Mar 5, 2009
Posted on: December 12, 2011 11:13 am

Report: James Harrison could face suspension

casserly missed one other option.....Harrison is just STUPID!!!!

Since: Mar 5, 2009
Posted on: December 12, 2011 11:10 am

Report: James Harrison could face suspension

to steelerfan39.....WWWAAAAHHH!!   u sissy cry baby.  git some!!!

Since: Feb 16, 2007
Posted on: December 12, 2011 11:06 am

Report: James Harrison could face suspension

Copying from another poster on the steelers board but this simply can't be put any better than what beachbum has said.

"I've posted this on other sites but not here. I've googled my butt off to find another helmet-to-helmet fine for other than the one he received for Massaquoi last year and have come up empty. If you remember correctly the practice of fining players for these hits started after the AFC championship game in January 2008 where laid out (a perfectly legal hit at the time).

What I have been able to find is that has been fined THREE TIMES for helmet-to-helmet hits:

His first was the H to H hit on Ochocinco that most people remember. Ochocinco was standing completely upright on that hit. If that had occurred the same weekend of the Harrison, Meriweather and D. Robinson hits it would have been a $50,000 fine. Instead it was the $25,000 variety. Timing is everything I guess ... ... 
One fine is for Lewis' helmet-to-helmet hit on receiver . The other was for an incident on a pass play late in the game; the league said Lewis "unnecessarily kicked" a Bengals player. It wasn't immediately clear whom Lewis kicked.
Evidently Ray is allowed to kick people. Suh is not.

His second fine was $5000 for a H to H hit. Apparently the fines go down for a second offense within months when you're Ray Lewis ... ...
"Lewis has been fined $5,000 because, the league told the Baltimore Sun, he made helmet to helmet contact with Collie."
His third was on in November. It appears that was treated as a first offense because he only received a $20,000 fine ...  ... Last but not least remember when I said if Ray's hit would have occurred the same weekend as Harrison, Meriweather and Robinson's it would have been a big fine? I was just kidding. Ray "got himself another one" as this Youtube commentator puts it the same weekend. Ray knocked out of the game with to the head, neck and shoulder area and he the following week with a concussion. 

So let's do the math. James Harrison's upcoming fine will be his second of the H to H variety and they are talking suspension. Ray's hit in November was his third fourth in the last 24 months and it was treated as a first offense. That makes PERFECT SENSE!!!"

Difference being Harrison has told goodell GODELL really that he wouldn't piss on him to put him out from fire.. Lewis hasn't Harrison gets a bad rap while MLB gods of the position just get pats on the back for their play and ethusiams.  Pure unadulaterated favoritism and complete hypocrites.   That's all it is!

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: December 12, 2011 11:02 am

Report: James Harrison could face suspension

A Picture is worth a thousand words: Leading with the helmet, with the INTENT to injure.
Can it be anymore Black n White?

A 2-3 game suspension is looming.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: December 12, 2011 10:54 am

Report: James Harrison could face suspension

Got mixed feelings on this. For starters, the QB is a football player too, not some prized pony dancing around on the field next to the real football players.  As such, he is subject to getting hit and crushed just like everyone else.  If he chooses to stand still and deliver a pass downfield, he MAY get hit in the legs.  Before he passes it or hands it off, the rock IS in his (or her if we include Brady in the equation) hands and they are subject to being hit and tackled just like any RB or WR. This whole notion of "defenseless" or "in the pocket" is utter nonsense.  Dropping back to pass carries with it intrinsic risks, foremost among them are that the player isnt looking at his immediate surroundings and is relatively stationary.  This is a calculated risk that comes with the potential gain of advancing the ball thru the air.  Your QB may get hurt, deal with it.  Now I know the NFL is more interested in protecting the valuable player than in the integrity of the game, but the reality is they are trying to enforce a double standard that is destroying the fabric of the game.  Same thing goes with hits on WRs.  If you send a guy across the middle and throw him the ball, he is LIKELY to get lit up because he is in the center of a fast moving meat grinder. It's a high percentage pass, but it does carry risks for the player involved. 
That said, I understand the NFL trying to cut down on the helmet to helmet hits.  What was once worn for protection has been increasingly utilized as a weapon.  Heads are going to knock and the whole reason they wear helmets is to protect their melons from these collisions, but I understand them outlawing the hits that are made when players launch themselves (crown of the helmet first) at another player's head.  Yes the game moves fast, but there are many instances where it is easy to tell that the striking player MEANT to stick his head into the other guys grill or earhole.  This hit by Harrison is an example of that.  This isnt him moving in to deliver a bit hit or wrap up a sure tackle on a ball carrier.  Watch the film.  He CLEARLY lines up his shot and drops his head down to line it up with the QBs face. CLEARLY.  If he had broken down and put a big hit on the QB that crushed his midsection I would have zero issue with it. Or if he wanted to stay up high (in case he passed it short) then go in with arms high and get a hold of him.  But what he did was put his face down and struck him with the crown of his head.  He wouldn't have done that with a genuine RB; he's too good a tackler and that's a sure fire recipe for MISSING a tackle.  No, I think he intentionally tried to take a cheap shot on the QB because he had a chance to do it.
So basically I have no problem with smashing anybody who is carrying the ball, so Harrison should have hit McCoy, but how Harrison delivered the shot is definitely a rules violation and sketchy at best.  I know some of Harrison's past fines were for helmet to helmet, and some for ridiculous calls for doing his job as a player, so I'd only give weight to the former offenses but I know the NFL sees that differently.  Without going back and counting, I'm not sure his hit merits a suspension, but it does deserve a fine.
As some who has actually played before (college at least, if not in the NFL), the Browns linemen need to take care of their business. That's how you enforce that sort of situation in the real world.  Don't wait for the commish boys, protect your QB and send a message that Harrison might want to keep HIS head on a swivel rather than tattoo your boy.

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: December 12, 2011 10:38 am

Report: James Harrison could face suspension

It was as blatant as a cheap shot gets. Colt didnt even know what happened after that point. 

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