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Blog Entry

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

Posted on: December 16, 2011 10:54 am
Edited on: December 16, 2011 2:48 pm
 
By Will Brinson

The NFL denied Harrison's appeal of his one-game suspension(Getty Images)

Steelers linebacker James Harrison was suspended one game by the NFL this week. He also filed an expedited appeal, and the NFL announced on Friday that his appeal was denied, meaning Harrison will miss the Steelers game against San Francisco Monday.

James Harrison suspended

It's hardly a surprise that Harrison's suspension held up, although because of the way of the hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy unfolded (McCoy became a runner and then decided to pass at the last second), there was a possibility of the punishment being overturned.

"It is clear from the video that you squared up and led with the crown of your helmet when you contacted Colt McCoy," on-field appeals officer Ted Cottrell, who heard the appeal, said in a letter to Harrison. "This is precisely the technique that you must avoid using as a defender. I have determined that your actions were particularly egregious and warranted the discipline imposed by Ray Anderson."

The linebacker's history of violent and/or flagrant hits (the NFL says Harrison's been punished five times for illegal hits on a quarterback) contributed to his punishment and clearly the appeal as well.

 "I'm not surprised. You're appealing to the same people who put the suspension in place, so no, I'm not surprised at all," Steelers safety Ryan Clark said. "I don't care about the league's message anymore. It's about us as a football team playing the type of football that's going to help us win championships, despite who gets suspended, despite who gets fined.

"We're going to try to play within the rules. We're going to stop fighting this battle of talking to them. That's what this is about."

Harrison's hit on McCoy led to plenty of controversy -- not only with Harrison's suspension and Mike Tomlin telling Steelers players to keep quiet, either. McCoy was never checked for a concussion and re-entered the game.

Additionally, the NFL is reportedly set to start handing out lengthy suspensions for on-field violations.

"Like I said on Wednesday, my disappointment is for James," Clark said. "He's been trying really hard to comply with what's being asked of him. For him to be suspended for this situation, to us, is disheartening. To me, it was a between-the-whistle play. They're making an example out of him for it this year. I don't think it's right.

"We have to continue playing and just roll with the punches and try to win games without one of our best players."

Harrison's suspension was the first for an "illegal hit" and he could potentially miss multiple games if he doesn't change his approach to playing defense.

"Oh well. It is what it is," Harrison told Josina Anderson of ESPN. "That's the decision I was expecting anyways. I'll deal with it and move on."


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Comments

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:57 am
 

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

@Facesmashers -- I will agree with you that Seymour should have been suspended.  A punch out to be an automatic 1 game suspension in my opinion.  As for Harrison, or any player with a history of illegal hits, I don't think you can say across the board that you have to have more than 1 illegal hit each year before you get suspended.  Why give a player "one free shot" each year to possibly seriously, and permanently, injure an opponent before you are suspended?  If its illegal, its illegal, and, in my opinion, past illegal hits should not be "forgiven" after the end of the season. 



Since: Jul 21, 2008
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:57 am
 

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

Spearing has been a penalty in the rules for years.  If just seems the last few years it is being enforced.  Harrison does not try to tackle.  He wants to blow players up and hopefully jar the ball loose.  A good tackle can jar the ball loose.  Harrison will not change.  He does not know how to hit a player with his shoulder and wrap up.  If he continues to play this is likely not his last suspension.



Since: Jan 29, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:52 am
 

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

There must be something in the water in the Pittsburgh area. Harrison, as well as all of his appologists here, feel that helmet to helmet contact is okay. Maybe if Harrison would learn to tackle instead of hit some of this would go away.




Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:51 am
 

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

The league makes judgments based on a camera shot. This is a fluid game but the league evaluates it as if it was in a static environment.
Oh come on, you dont think the NFL looks at the tape?  They have tape of every game, from multiple angles.  They review the tape not still photos.




Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:49 am
 

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

If you watched the game and if you actually saw the play you would have realized that he chucked the football away at the last moment to avoid getting hit. That is where the football was previously
Sorry, I did watch the game...the football was never in McCoy's face mask.  It was in lots of places, and even it was was in front of McCoy's face "previously, you cannot really believe Harrison was trying to hit the football with the top of his helmet can you?  Harrison was just looking for the "big hit" --if that caused McCoy to drop the ball, fine, but Harrison was not aiming for the ball.  He squared up McCoy, lowered his head, and launched creating ILLEGAL helmet to helmet contact.  Sorry, but on this hit, I think Harrison was completely in the wrong.



Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:46 am
 

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

I can understand both sides of the issue, but in all fairness how should Harrison react should he be up againsts a mobile quarterback like Tebow in the playoffs? 
Aim for the body and hit with your shoulder-wrap him up and take him down, do not aim for the head with your head in a effort to "make the big hit".  In other words "tackle", don't just "hit".  How is that so hard for Harrison to understand? 



Since: Dec 16, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:45 am
 

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

If you watched the game and if you actually saw the play you would have realized that he chucked the football away at the last moment to avoid getting hit. That is where the football was previously. This game is played at incredible speed. When you take aim and fire, the other player may have changed psotion. The league makes judgments based on a camera shot. This is a fluid game but the league evaluates it as if it was in a static environment.



Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:43 am
 

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

 I agree with another post that Roger Goodell has to go. He is nothing more than a mouthpiece of the owners. He and his band of lawyers that run the NFL these days are ruining the sport.
Of course Goodelli s a "mouthpiece of the owners" (which would include the owners of the Steelers by the way) -- that is who he works for.  Keep in mind though that the appeals officers are jointly hired by the NFLPA and it was this appeals officer that upheld the suspension as well.  Also keep in mind that "player safety" was a big issue with the players in the recent lockout (look at their arguments against a longer schedule --player safety, and the recent suits filed by ex-players over concussions and similar) so its a little disengenous of the players/fans to put this all on Goodell/owners.  You can't complain about  player safety and then object to the rules designed to create increase the player's safety.



Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:38 am
 

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

 It is why it is called tackle football. As players got bigger and stronger, the hits needed to get bigger in order to jar the ball loose. James Harrison was taught at a very young age by coaches at all levels that this is how to be successful in this game. And just because he does it better than most, he has suffered fines and now a suspension.
It is called "tackle" football -- it is not called "lead with the crown of your helmet and hit the other player in the head" football.  See the difference.  "jar the ball loose"?  Really?  Was Colt McCoy holding the ball with his face? No.  Even if the ball had not already been thrown -- Harrison's hit was not designed to "jar the ball loose" as it was not aimed at the ball, it was aimed at McCoy's head.  Harrison as "suffered fines and now a suspension" because is one of the biggerst offenders for helmet to helmet contact.  Play by the rules-don't lead with your helmet, don't hit the other player in the head--and you won't "suffer" fines and suspensions.  Continue to play outside the rules and, guess, what, your "suffering" will increase with larger fines and longer suspensions.



Since: Sep 24, 2008
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:31 am
 

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

Let the whimpering and whining commense. Oh never mind, Black and Gold  Posse has already posted. Hey Posse, need some cheese with that Whine. Still on the Ray Lewis kick I see.


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