|"Man!! ... After while the NFL will be 2 hand touch," Taylor tweeted Wednesday. (US PRESSWIRE)|
By Ryan Wilson
James Harrison and Colt McCoy were the storylines from last Thursday's Browns-Steelers game. The Steelers linebacker blasted the Browns quarterback; the former was eventually suspended while the latter was immediately concussed. But Harrison wasn't the only player to be fined in that game. Browns rookie defensive tackle Phil Taylor is now $15,000 lighter in the wallet for his hit to Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
The penalty took place late in the first quarter with the Steelers leading the Browns, 7-3, and facing a 3rd and 9 from their own 11-yard line. Taylor drove Pittsburgh left guard Doug Legursky into the backfield and just as Roethlisberger released the ball, Taylor hit him in the helmet with his left arm.
Clearly, Taylor was trying to bat down the pass, and clearly, Taylor missed. The blow to Roethlisberger's head knocked him to the ground, and referee Ed Hochuli promptly flagged Taylor for roughing the passer.
"Really no question on that one," NFL Network color commentator Mike Mayock said at the time.
"That one might be a paycheck," play-by-play man Brad Nessler added.
And that's exactly what happened. According to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot, Taylor, who will appeal, said he "only put [his] hands up," and that he "doesn't deserve [the] fine."
In general, we think that the NFL has embraced the "throw the flag first, ask questions later" enforcement strategy and it's led to some bad officiating. And the league's fining schedule appears to be written in pencil. But it's hard to argue that Taylor clubbing Roethlisberger in his head wasn't a) a personal foul and b) fine-worthy.
|It's hard to argue that Taylor didn't deserve to be flagged and a fined.|
This was the second time Taylor had been fined this season. He was docked $7,500 for a hit on Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne back in Week 3. On Wednesday, Taylor tweeted, "Man!! All these fines is crazy! After while the NFL will be 2 hand touch."
Colt McCoy sure wishes that was the case.
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