Blog Entry

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:49 am
Edited on: December 13, 2011 5:27 pm
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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.

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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.

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Comments

Since: Dec 13, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:57 pm
 

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

For the record TJCONEY a/k/a Bug Dummy, my first post at 8:13 p.m. was a 137.  I don't see you getting close to that score.  And you still haven't said what team you follow.  Must be too embarrassing, huh? 



Since: Nov 23, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:55 pm
 

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

"At the time, Harrison "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."

Hey Harrison, you must have a Kindergarten Diploma at best.  This wasn't about the placement of your face mask.  It also wasn't about looking at what you were tackling because your head is down.  Oh well, the more hits like this the closer you get to prison becaue if not for the NFL what would you be as stupid as your are?


Whodat587
Since: Dec 13, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:53 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Mar 30, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:52 pm
 

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

I never one time mentioned I was from Philly.  This is my opinion.  Thanks for lumping me in with a bunch of other people from the same geographic area that you know nothing about, except for what you read (at least I assume you can read) or heard from the national media.  I have posted 3 times on this subject today.  Maybe you should take the time to read them (again, assuming you can).  Personally, I don't like the Steelers.  But Roger has made this one personal.  And we do have Men's men in Philly.   I don't remember anyone making a movie about a box from the "Queen" City.  Nuff said.  Enjoy your white wine spritzer.




Since: Dec 13, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:52 pm
 

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

When it counts - in the playoffs - we own the Ravens, just like I'm sure we own whatever sorry team you follow.  Don't take out your frustrations on Harrison and the Black and Gold because we put out a consistently superior product season after season.  Despite the adversity, we'll rise to the top again this season.  You can bet on that!    



Since: Nov 23, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:50 pm
 

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

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



Since: Nov 23, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:48 pm
 

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

Stirs Forever,

34, must be your IQ.  Come on the Ravens, of which I am not a fan, kicked the Steelers butts twice.  Enough said on that.



Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:47 pm
 

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

Penalty should be until McCoy returns or it just means nothing. When this type of penalty occurs during a game the player should be banished from the game until the disabled player returns - in addition his team must play a man short (like hockey).



Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:46 pm
 

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

Ray Lewis was fined for his hit on Ward, but Ward gets away with a lot of cheap shots and never gets fined.  Maybe if Ray Lewis made a habit of leading with his helmet, he'd get suspended.



Since: Nov 23, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:45 pm
 

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

Sure Einstein, 240 pounds standing still.  You can keep him on the Steelers.  That is until some lineman falls on him or his knees and you might not ever see him again accept on your local prison chain gang.  By the way, your first post was 1, your second (this) post is minus 5.  You must be trying to the Stirs Forever IDIOT Award!


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