Blog Entry

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:49 am
Edited on: December 13, 2011 5:27 pm
  •  
 
Harrison's physical style finally caught up to him. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The NFL announced Tuesday that Steelers linebacker James Harrison has been suspended one game for his hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy last Thursday night, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman confirms.

Harrison can appeal the NFL's ruling, but based on head coach Mike Tomlin's comments Tuesday afternoon, the team is planning to be without him in San Francisco. 

James Harrison suspended
"We have to prepare as if he is not going to play, of course," Tomlin said, according to the Steelers.com Twitter feed. "We will move forward, James will move forward." 

More Tomlin, via the CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Chuck Finder: "We're disappointed. We're disappointed for James because we know how hard he's worked to play within the rules, [but] he has to be accountable for that so we accept the judgment rendered by the league office." 

While the Steelers are planning to be without their Pro Bowl linebacker, Harrison's agent says he will appeal. 

"James and I will have a discussion and figure out our next step," agent Bill Parise told the Post-Gazette. "The procedure would be to appeal. James and I will work through that and ask for an expedited hearing because we're dealing with a suspension. 

"My job right now is to continue to read this and talk to my client and he and I together will make an intelligent decision and we'll move expediently." 

It was Harrison's first roughing-the-passer penalty of the season. A year ago, he was fined $100,000 for flagrant hits on then-Titans quarterback Vince Young ($5K), Browns' receiver Mohamed Massaquoi ($75K), and Saints quarterback Drew Brees ($20K).

At the time, Harrison said "I don't know. I guess try and be more aware about the placement of my face mask. I don't know how you tackle someone and not use any part of your head, especially if you're trying to see what you're hitting. I mean, your face mask is going to touch them."

On Monday, Harrison said he shouldn't be suspended.

"I don't think it's suspension-worthy," he said after practice, according to Finder. "I don't think it's worthy of anything, but that's just my own personal thoughts."


CBS' NFL insider Charley Casserly beaks down James Harrison's hard hit on Colt McCoy.

The NFL determined that the hit was illegal because even though McCoy had tucked the ball to run, and had taken five steps before deciding at the last second to throw the ball, he's still considered a quarterback and afforded the rules that protect them. At no time during the play was McCoy, in the league's eyes (and according to the rules), considered a runner.

"They didn't even call helmet-to-helmet; they called roughing the passer," Harrison said. "He took off running with it and, at the last second, he like chuck-and-ducked. He tucked the ball and made like he was about to run. So I was going to tackle him."

CBS Sports' Charley Casserly said Sunday that ignorance of the rules wasn't an excuse.

"The league office told [Harrison]: next infraction, escalating discipline, including a possible suspension," Casserly said on The NFL Today. "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."

Sports Illustrated's Peter King thought there might be a chance Harrison would avoid suspension:

“A league source tells me there will be one major mitigating factor in deciding whether to suspend or fine Harrison and that is this: Colt McCoy took five full strides with the ball as a runner, leading Harrison to believe that he could hit him as if he were a running back. I believe he should be only fined and not suspended.”

So would Harrison change anything on the play that left McCoy with a concussion?

"Knowing I got a penalty, yeah I would have did it differently," he said.

Harrison missed four games earlier this season with an eye injury. Pittsburgh went 4-0 over that stretch with some combination of LaMarr WoodleyLawrence TimmonsJason Worilds and Chris Carter taking snaps at the two outside linebacker positions.  Woodley, who suffered a hamstring injury against the Patriots on October 30 and has been on the field for just a few series since, is set to return against the 49ers

Shortly after the NFL's ruling, Harrison tweeted: "Thank you to all my fans and supporters, I'm just going to move on from here and get ready for my next game." 

In all likelhood, that next game will be on December 24 when the Steelers host the Rams

Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark was fined $40,000 earlier this season for a hit on Baltimore tight end Ed Dickson (head coach Mike Tomlin was said to be furious about the punishment). Troy Polamalu was also fined, once for a horse-collar tackle in Week 1, and again in late October for using a cell phone on the sidelines during a game.

                                                                                                                                                                                          (Getty Images)
This is only the third time NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended a player since replacing Paul Tagliabue in 2006. Albert Haynesworth was suspended five games after stomping on the head of center Andre Gurode. Ndamukong Suh was suspended two games last month for stepping on the arm of a Packers player.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
  •  
Comments
brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:40 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Mar 4, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:28 pm
 

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

WRONG!!! Harrison is a loose cannon and SOMEONE has to protect the players to KEEP the game with any credibility! way to go commish shoulda made it 3 games- send the MESSAGE!





Since: Mar 4, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:26 pm
 

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

WRONG!!! Harrison is a loose cannon and SOMEONE has to protect the players to KEEP the game with any credibility! way to go commish shoulda made it 3 games- send the MESSAGE!



Since: Dec 11, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:22 pm
 

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

Scotacular, I'm so glad you can read peoples minds, must be a gift! Can you tell the future as well? You can no more tell a persons intention then what team will win the 2040 SB. He did it on purpose? Yeah I'm sure he was looking for a chance to give away his money to a fine. You stated he wouldn't tackle Steve Jackson, Hills or Sproles this way? You obviously don't know James Harrison! James Harrison will hit anyone, as hard as he can, and in whatever manner it takes to bring him down while bringing the pain.  



Since: Oct 13, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:21 pm
 

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

Its the Browns, does it matter?



Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:19 pm
 

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

Hey Harrison, you must have a Kindergarten Diploma at best.

There is no such thing as a "Kindergarten diploma", and James Harrison graduated from Kent State.

 This wasn't about the placement of your face mask. 

Actually, it was about the placement of his facemask and the rest of his head.  The supposed violation was for a helmet-to-helmet.

It also wasn't about looking at what you were tackling because your head is down.

This right here proves to me you have not played a single down of real football in your life (no, Madden 2012 does not count).  He was going in at waist level, in accordance with the rules.  When doing so-- your neck mobility is limited by the back of your helmet and the top edge of your shoulderpads in the back.  His head was upturned as far as it can humanly bend at that angle.

If he went in with his head held up at normal level, it would have been labelled an "intentional helmet-to-helmet" hit.

Physics 101.

Oh well, the more hits like this the closer you get to prison

You can't go to jail for NFL penalties, numbskull.  Still working on your "Kindergarten diploma", I see....

if not for the NFL what would you be as stupid as your are?

Funny to hear someone insult another person's education level when they post something embarrassing like the above statement.  For some reason, glass houses, and black pots & kettles come to mind.....




Since: Dec 13, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:18 pm
 

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

Well said SteelPlatoon.  That's why we need a boycott of the NFL Network or some other action to get the league's attention and bring back some fairness and accountability.  Where's Tagliabue when you need him? 



Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:10 pm
 

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

In 2008, just 3 years, ago, James Harrison was being described by pundits and former defensive players and coaches as a "prototypical 3-4 OLB" or displaying "perfect, textbook form and intensity".

He won 2008 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR for his spirited and aggressive style of defensive play.  Repeat...D-E-F-E-N-S-I-V-E  P-L-A-Y-E-R- OF THE Y-E-A-R!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now fast-forward to 2011-- that same, exact style of play is being labelled as "dirty", or "malicious".  Not surprisingly, those labels are not being employed by any former defensive players of note that have played the position-- no, they are flowing freely from the Commissar's office, a hotbed of needless bureaucracy, hopeless metrosexualization of our favorite sport, and a den of lawyers and bureaucrats who have for the most part, never played a single day of organized team sports in their entire pencil-pushing lives.

James Harrison did NOT change-- the sport we once called "football" changed.  180 degrees as a matter of fact....so much so that a former great is now being assessed as some sort of criminal.

This huge and glaring dichotomy showcases the hypocrisy of today's NFL and front office.

How can you go from singing someone's praises for their style of play one year, to calling them a "criminal" just 3 years later, when they CHANGED NOTHING ABOUT THE WAY THEY PLAY?

This ^^^^ is the one glaring reality that NFL historians will be able to look back at years from now, and know without any doubt-- the current Commissar is a farce and is turning the sport of football into a mockery.

James Harrison was absolutely correct this summer when he called GODell a "devil" and "hypocrit".  Some folks find that Harrison's comments are too forward for their metrosexualized tastes-- I, on the other hand, find his honesty and candor very refreshing.

If the Commissar were on fire, I wouldn't p1zz on him to put it out either, James.



Since: Nov 23, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:05 pm
 

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

Dudestra,

Why would I make it a point to read your 3 posts or however many you claim to have written?  I read one already and it made no sense, why in the world would I read another?  Personally I don't care what you like.  If you are not from Philly or are not a Philly fan why would you display their logo? I don't really care it just doesn't make sense to me.  Neither does saying "we do have Men's men in Philly" if you are not from there either.  "Men's men" makes no sense either.  Now you should be able to figure out why your other posts were not worth reading.  This isn't the movies fella, that Rocky Balboa crap jsut don't cut it either.  My post is regarding a thug from Pittsburgh hitting another player illegally and not getting punished for it.  Make a movie about that. 



Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:01 pm
 

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

Hines Ward. Now there is a guy who really needs to get hit and buried. ----

You might want to want some earlier football games of Hines Ward. he's been jacked up alot cutting across the middle. It goes with the territory..


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com