Tag:James Harrison
Posted on: December 21, 2011 9:46 pm
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NFL won't punish Browns for handling of McCoy

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 CBSSports.com'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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Posted on: December 19, 2011 10:22 am
 

Suh: 'I made a mistake...and am moving past it'

Suh redeemed himself in Oakland Sunday after serving a two-game suspension. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh returned to the field against the Raiders Sunday after serving a two-game suspension for stomping on a Packers offensive lineman back on Thanksgiving day. Turns out, Suh has pretty good timing because he ended up blocking Sebastian Janikowski's game-winning field-goal attempt as time expired. (Granted, it was 65 yards -- and would've been a new NFL record -- but if anyone's going to make that kick it's Janikowski)

But after the game, Suh had more on his mind than that last play.

"I wanted to address this," he said, via CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter John Kreger. "It's something that I've dealt with and am trying to move forward with. I have apologized about it, obviously on my Facebook page, but also after the game.

"I made a mistake. The biggest thing for me is that I've dealt with and am moving past it, and happy to be back on the field with my team. The biggest thing for me is just wanting to sincerely move forward from it. … I’ve spoken to [Packers lineman] Evan Dietrich-Smith, and I feel we’re on very good terms. He’s a great guy."

So maybe Suh's time away from the game gave him a chance to reflect on what he had done and where his career might be headed if he didn't reevaluate his after-the-whistle behavior. And who knows, maybe we'll be saying the same about Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who will miss Monday's night's game against the 49ers while serving a one-game suspension for a Week 14 helmet-to-helmet hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy.

For now, Suh is happy to be able to help his team win an important late-season game. He called the block a "great moment,"

"I put my hand up and it hit my thumb and I looked back and saw it twirling and that's when you see me run off and I take my helmet off," he said, via the Detroit Free Press. "I'm usually not that excited about things, but it's what you play the game for."

The Lions are now 9-5, the No. 6 seed in the NFC, and two games clear of the Seahawks, Bears, Giants and Cardinals with two games to go.

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Posted on: December 18, 2011 2:07 pm
 

Report: McCoy almost recovered from concussion


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.


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By Ryan Wilson


The Browns organization has been heavily scrutinized for their decision to insert quarterback Colt McCoy back into December 8's Thursday night Steelers game only a few plays after suffering a helmet-to-helmet hit courtesy of Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison (who was subsequently suspended one game).

On Sunday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke with CBS Sports' Jim Brown, suggesting that "We want to make sure someone -- a medical professional -- has his eyes on that field at all times and can see when an injury occurs to somebody so that the proper medical care is being given."

ESPN's Adam Schefter now reports that, even though McCoy was declared out for Sunday's game against the Cardinals, he's nearly recovered from what was eventually diagnosed as a concussion.

"McCoy is expected to take and pass his concussion test early this week, putting him on pace to play the final two games against the Baltimore Ravens and Steelers,"Schefter writes. "Meanwhile, the NFL Players Association will decide early this week whether to file a grievance against the Browns, publicly criticize the NFL or ask for reforms in how players with concussions are treated during games, calling for an independent neurologist stationed on the sideline. Each option is being considered this weekend."

Meanwhile, as Schefter notes, the NFLPA remains baffled by how five groups -- the Browns’ coaches, the officials, the league observer in the coaching both, Cleveland’s medical and training staff, and McCoy’s teammates -- all overlooked the fact that McCoy needed to be tested for a concussion before taking the field.

"The NFLPA believes the protocol was broken and it wants to take steps to ensure it won't happen again."

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Posted on: December 18, 2011 12:18 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2011 12:46 pm
 

Goodell: NFL wants doc eyeing game 'at all times'

By Will Brinson

Last Thursday night, Colt McCoy suffered a nasty concussion that's stirred up plenty of debate about the NFL's policy for how teams handle on-field medical evaluation, because McCoy was never tested for a concussion yet he had one and still came back in the game.

Roger Goodell spoke with CBS Sports James Brown during a "Conversations with CBS Sports" sit down and said that the league is committed to keeping a doctor on hand to watch and then evaluate plays in which a player suffers an injury like McCoy's.

"I think that's one of the keys, JB," Goodell said. "We want to make sure someone -- a medical professional -- has his eyes on that field at all times and can see when an injury occurs to somebody so that the proper medical care is being given."


Presumably, said doctor will be positioned up high near the press and/or coaches box, but sequestered enough to ensure objectivity. He or she will then watch the game and have access to replays and slow-motion footage to ensure that a player who might have suffered a concussion won't be allowed to return to the game until properly and objectively evaluated.

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Posted on: December 16, 2011 1:48 pm
 

Colt McCoy sent home with concussion, out Sunday

By Will Brinson

The Browns are taking a more cautious approach with McCoy this week. (Getty Images)

Browns quarterback Colt McCoy took a nasty hit from Steelers linebacker James Harrison on Thursday of Week 14 (Harrison was suspended a game for the hit and his appeal was denied Friday) and the concussion he suffered when Harrison decleated him was the subject of a major controversy because the Browns allowed him to return.

There won't be any controversy this week, as McCoy was seen leaving practice in his pickup truck on Friday. The Browns sent the quarterback home with concussion symptoms for the fourth time this week and have ruled the quarterback out for Sunday's game.

Backup Seneca Wallace, who's completed 100 percent of his passes this season, will get the start for Cleveland, who's looking to avoid a four-game losing streak when they travel to Arizona on Sunday.

McCoy won't even make the trip to Arizona, Browns coach Pat Shurmur said, and that's a good thing. As much flak as the Browns (rightfully) received for missing McCoy's concussion on a pretty obvious play, they deserve credit for making sure that their erstwhile franchise quarterback isn't being rushed back out on the field.

Additionally, the Browns announced that tight end Ben Watson, who's suffered three concussions this season, was going on injured reserve, ending his season.


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

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

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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Posted on: December 15, 2011 2:45 pm
 

Tomlin wants players mum on Harrison suspension

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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Posted on: December 15, 2011 9:00 am
Edited on: December 15, 2011 2:06 pm
 

Browns Taylor fined $15K for hit on Big Ben

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