Blog Entry

NFL won't punish Browns for handling of McCoy

Posted on: December 21, 2011 9:46 pm
Harrison wonders if Cleveland should be punished for their handling of McCoy. (Getty Images/AP)

By Ryan Wilson

Steelers linebacker James Harrison, fresh off a one-game suspension for an illegal hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy in Week 14, questioned Wednesday why Cleveland let McCoy back in the game only a few plays after he suffered what would later be diagnosed as a concussion.

"If he was hurt so bad I don't know why they let him back in ... two plays later," Harrison said via wire reports. "Something should be done to them, I would think. I don't know. I got a game, what should they get?"

Fair question. The answer, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer: nothing. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the Browns won't be disciplined for their handling of McCoy.

Last week, team president Mike Holmgren admitted that there was "no indication" that McCoy had suffered a concussion, and subsquently was never checked out before being sent back into the game. More Holmgren: “Our medical staff and our training staff, they are the best in football. These guys are really good. So one of the things that is troubling to me in this whole process is that they’re getting slammed a bit, along with the head coach. ...And it’s unfair.”

Also unfair: risking McCoy's life because the people in charge of his safety somehow missed one of the biggest collisions of the season.

The NFL Players Association hasn't decided if it will file a grievance against the Browns, but the incident has led to changes in the way teams deal with head injuries. Last Sunday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told CBS Sports' James Brown that he wanted doctors eyeing each game and its players "at all times."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke with James Brown about the recent concussion that Cleveland Browns QB Colt McCoy suffered from a hit by Steelers LB James Harrison. Goodell also goes into depth about the NFL cracking down on concussions.

Starting this Saturday, that will be a reality.

"NFL contacting teams asking them to put a Certified Athletic Trainer in the Press Box for this weekend's game," CBS Sports Charley Casserly reported Tuesday. "College trainers may be used."

More details via's Will Brinson:
The league will send a memo to all 32 clubs Tuesday or Wednesday to break down the new protocol for using the trainer during the game.

The trainer will be situated in the press box and monitor the entire game while having direct communication to the sideline to ensure that anyone who may have suffered a concussion will receive proper medical treatment.
Harrison, meanwhile, appears to have learned his lesson, too.

"I'm doing everything [the league] asks me to do," Harrison said. "I've lowered my target area, that's it. … I'm not worried about anything. I can't foresee the future. I'm not a fortune-teller. I'm going to deal with it as it comes."

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Since: Dec 13, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 3:20 pm

NFL won't punish Browns for handling of McCoy

Well said deucedynamite - I'm a Pirates fan, so your 'go ahead, laugh it up' did make me laugh, but more in a sympathizing way. I can remember the Browns being good (or the Indians for that matter) - not so much for the bucs. I like Holmgren, but what else could he say, short of 'oops'?

Since: Dec 22, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 1:27 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: December 22, 2011 12:41 pm

NFL won't punish Browns for handling of McCoy

As a Cleveland fan (good ahead laugh it up) I hate the Steelers and thier players. That said, Harrison is right to question this decision by the league. If the NFL is concerned with the concussion issues than why not give a punishment to a team who totally ignored an obvious concussion situation? Holmgren held a press conference with probably the sorriest excuses I have ever heard from any human being, EVER. The hit was not seen? McCoy didn't show symptoms? The hit occured after a 3-5 yard pass, McCoy was still in the viewpoint of the whole bench when Hardesty caught the ball. Then he was on the turf looking dead, it was obvious that Holmgren lied. I say make a point and either hand down a fine or something else that shows the league really cares. This is making the retired veteran players' case for brain injuries easy, the league is more concerned with TV time than player health. In a time when rules are becoming strict and you can be fined for ANYTHING, this does not give a good look to the dictator or his league.

Since: Dec 13, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 12:16 pm

NFL won't punish Browns for handling of McCoy

Didn't the NFL fine Troy Polamalu 10 grand for 'calling his wife to say he was ok'? Aren't fines doled out for wearing the wrong socks?

Remember, you have to keep players safe - its all about player safety.

As usual, cynical, wrong-footed Harrison says something kind of dumb - and admittedly gangsterish, but there is some whiff of truth in thehypocrisy of what the NFL does. Its hard to be on Mr. Harrison's side (even tho' I'm a Steeler fan), but to me the hit was bang-bang, and it looked like he was running. In the split second reaction I think he hit too high - but the entire Cleveland team and coaching staff had plenty of time to consider what they were doing and they were not reacting.

Think of the suspension Harrison would have had if he was wearing the wrong colored socks! 

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: December 22, 2011 12:07 pm

NFL won't punish Browns for handling of McCoy

Crap happens. I know Harrison has a record of headhunting and whatnot but this hit did not seem like it warranted a game suspension.(purely my opinion). Each hit like this should be taken on a play to play basis and right now it appears the NFL is jumping on a chance to issue "authority" and try to prove a point where in all honesty they are preaching to the choir. If they want to worry about hits on the QB, they should have a seminar on how to run with the ball. WTH was McCoy doing on that play? 

Since: Dec 21, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 11:42 am

NFL won't punish Browns for handling of McCoy

Again, Harrison running his mouth where it isn't any of his thug business. Hey Harrison! James! Bud! Listen, if you ever have. You're just another player, and that is it. You are not an owner and you are not hired by anyone to get involved for anything other than playing linebacker. And you wouldn't be anything but average if you didn't violate the rules to get noticed. Try this my friend. Get off the HGH, you know, the brand you get from Balco who has a scientist that knows more about tricking the substance abuse tests. Come on bud. Get off them and let's see if you can even make one tackle without them. Heck, you wasn't even visible at all in the Cleveland game, you knew you were on national tv, and you just couldn't stand it. You just had to resort to your LATE, (because you were too slow getting there) hit. Again. And Again. Admit it for once. Cleveland was killing your players and they had you on the ropes. And a decent clean kid from Texas was playing fair and it was just eating you up alive. Should Cleveland be punished? Keep your nose out of it. And when you come to Cleveland New Years Day I think me and my thug buddies will drive around your motel all night and blow the horn and take your sleep away. That will balance with your HGH use and we can have a fair game. 

Since: Aug 21, 2008
Posted on: December 22, 2011 11:39 am

NFL won't punish Browns for handling of McCoy

For starters Harisson should not have been punished. Its football people get hit i do believe thats why they ware the pads. The Browns should not be punished either. I believe McCoy is 18 or other which in my book makes him an adult able to make his own decisions. And now i see a that ex players are going to sue the NFL for concussions this is bull crap. Anyone and everyone who has ever played any form of football knows it comes with some risk i dont care if its flag. This is getting freakn ridiculous.

Since: May 14, 2007
Posted on: December 22, 2011 11:30 am

NFL won't punish Browns for handling of McCoy

I feel sorry for Colt because he's a good guy, a good football player, and a spunky kid who will be OK, it's his Dad and his whinning who made me puke, Common man it's part of the game , it's tough, rough, and can be vicious! In Good ole boy terms Daddy should recognize " If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch! There are bigger dogs then Harrison who will now check Colt's fortitude. Please Go home Dad, let the boys play!

Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: December 22, 2011 11:06 am

NFL won't punish Browns for handling of McCoy

Until the NFL makes it mandatory to sit a player after a hit that knocks him out or wobbly, to test for a concussion, then mistakes like this is going to happen.  If you take any hit to the head where the trainers have to come onto the field to check the player, then the Referee should have the right to tell the team the player must go to a "dark room" where a physician awaits and remain there a minimum of 15 minutes then be cleared by the doctor before the player returns to the game. 

Now some may say the Referee has no say, but I think he does if the trainer has to come onto the field.  If the player walks off after a helmet to helmet hit, or gets up and ready for the next play without delay then play continues.  It's only when the trainers have to enter the field for injury, that the dark room is mandatory and if not adheard too the Ref can call a delay of game penalty and then eject the player for the game for his own health. 

Since: Jun 22, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 10:46 am

NFL won't punish Browns for handling of McCoy

All this concussion talk is giving me a headache......I'll be here all week.

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