Blog Entry

Tomlin wants players mum on Harrison suspension

Posted on: December 15, 2011 2:45 pm
Not every Pittsburgh player offered 'no comment.' Some remain confused by the league's punishment policies. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

The league suspended Steelers linebacker James Harrison one game on Tuesday. Harrison promptly appealed and the expedited hearing was held Wednesday. A ruling could come as soon as Thursday afternoon.

In the meantime, the Steelers are preparing for Monday night's matchup with the 49ers as if they will be without Harrison. During head coach Mike Tomlin's Tuesday press conference, he said "We have to prepare as if he is not going to play, of course. We will move forward, James will move forward. …

"We're disappointed," Tomlin continued. "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."

And according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette, Tomlin has also instructed his players not to talk about Harrison's suspension publicly. Dutifully, safety Troy Polamalu offered up a "no comment."

But Bouchette points out that many Steelers players disagreed with Harrison's punishment because of the arbitrary nature with with the league hands down sanctions.  For example:
Other [players] thought it unfair that Harrison was suspended for trying to make a tackle while Oakland defensive lineman Richard Seymour was only fined $30,000 for punching Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito earlier this month, even though it was the second time he had punched another player in two seasons. Seymour punched Ben Roethlisberger last year and was fined $25,000. He was ejected on both occasions.

So repeating a mistake trying to make a tackle cost a suspension while a repeat in throwing a premeditated punch after a play -- which would get a player arrested if he had done it on the street -- drew a fine of only $5,000 more than the first time?
Cornerback Ike Taylor said slightly more than "no comment" on the matter.

James Harrison suspended
"Man, they're tripping," he said of the NFL. "I don't know what it is. [Harrison's] getting it handed to him in the NFL way ... He didn't stomp on nobody, he didn't punch nobody's private area."

"We have to continue to try to play within the rules, try to do the right things because it's a battle we really can't win," said safety Ryan Clark, who has already been fined twice this season and could be in line for a suspension if it happens again. "The NFL is going make the decision on who plays and who doesn't and, for us, we have to try to find a way to play within the rules and still be able to maintain a physical presence out there."

Whatever the NFL's enforcement strategy, Polamalu thinks that it's too late for many players to change.

"I don't think any football player is going to go out there and change the way they're playing. I think it's too late in our lives to really do that. Of course, we're professional athletes and we try our best to adjust, but it's tough."

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Since: Aug 14, 2006
Posted on: December 19, 2011 12:12 am

Tomlin wants players mum on Harrison suspension

Stokomo and Sweet,
You're both wrong.... Watch more football.  You can lead with your helmet into the RBs helmet with no call.  IT IS LEGAL!!!  Read the rules and watch the game.  Happened tonight with Ray Lewis hitting Mathews and even Chris Collensworth said it is legal on a RB.  SORRY YOU ARE WRONG AND RETARDS!!!!!!!!  Yeah ME!!!  I'm always right!

Since: Jun 3, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2011 2:43 pm

Tomlin wants players mum on Harrison suspension

I never said Harrison had to back off. Harrison "LEAD WITH HIS HEAD" and caused helmeet to helmet contact.  That is what the penalty was for; Harrison put his head down after he saw McCoy had released the ball. If he had made contact without his helmet, there would be no foul on the play. I never said it was a late hit.

Since: Jul 10, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2011 12:26 pm

Tomlin wants players mum on Harrison suspension

I Understand your point stokomo and appreciate you looking up the rules. But where does it say in there that he MUST throw the ball...say he pulls it back down and decides he wants to run again cause he knows Harrison has to back off and he can just run around him

Since: Jun 3, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:54 am

Tomlin wants players mum on Harrison suspension

I looked at the video in slow motion and froze it at several different places to see certain situations. The penalty on Harrison (one game suspension) is just and fair. McCoy scrambled out of the pocket but regained his throwing stance and got rid of the ball. When Harrison was at the 42 yard line, he had his head up and could have avoided ANY contact with McCoy. At that time, McCoy had released the ball and Harrison's head was up, so he knew the ball was released. Harrison continued and right before he hit McCoy dropped his head to spear him. Under this rule:


(8) When the passer goes outside the pocket area and either continues moving with the ball (without

attempting to advance the ball as a runner) or throws while on the run, he loses the protection of the

one-step rule provided for in (1) above, and the protection against a low hit provided for in (5) above,

but he remains covered by all the other special protections afforded to a passer in the pocket

(numbers 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7), as well as the regular unnecessary-roughness rules applicable to all player

positions. If the passer stops behind the line and clearly establishes a passing posture, he will then be

covered by all of the special protections for passers.

Everyone that says a QB loses his right if he moves out of pocket is only partially correct. If he throws the ball, no matter where he is on the field, the QB retains his protection. Even if that weren't  the case, Harrison clearly speared McCoy, so both defenses are invalid.

Since: Jun 3, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:19 am

Tomlin wants players mum on Harrison suspension

Also Dead...... you should have posted the 1st part of Article nine where it states......
"(1) A player in the act of or just after throwing a pass;" So it is still considered a penalty either way.....

Since: Jun 3, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:16 am

Tomlin wants players mum on Harrison suspension

@ DeaderThenAx..... It was a nice use of wording the rules to fit your cause, but the exception is talking about whipping with the leg nad launching @ a defenseless player. The spearing and helmet to helmet contact are still penalties no matter who, what and where they happen. But nice try.....

Since: May 18, 2008
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:00 am

Tomlin wants players mum on Harrison suspension


a tad too emotional on this one. The law suit against Harrison and the Steelers would go no where given the language in the players contract (ie assumed risk on the field of play)....if it did succeed, just think of the precedent not only for the NFL but for the NHL and about a bean ball in baseball?

Seems to me he has a better case against the Cleveland Browns for possible screwups on the medical side.

Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2011 10:59 am

Tomlin wants players mum on Harrison suspension

Well "sweetluny" lets get this straight. By looking at your name, YOU never hit anyone. I never said about how we were taught to hit was the right way. It's how we were taught. Sure the hit leading with the shoulder is certainly the subscribed "perfect form tackle". In a high speed game such as football, something your not inclined to understand, perfect form tackles aren't always possible. How many safety's and corners form tackle? Not many. Most go for the legs or fly to the ball with their shoulder and their head, which by the way, is attached to your shoulders. Most RB's are hit helmet to helmet on every play. Get a big HD TV and you might see this. Like the other commentors have stated, stick to games played in white puffy clouds. Your not qualified to discuss a big boys game, YOU SIMPLETON!

Since: Jul 10, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2011 10:53 am

Tomlin wants players mum on Harrison suspension

And i can tell your one of "those people" sweet

If things dont go my way, and all else fails SUE!!

Since: Jul 10, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2011 10:51 am

Tomlin wants players mum on Harrison suspension

I will say it again also sweet..


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