Tag:James Harrison
Posted on: December 14, 2011 1:57 pm
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Holmgren: Colt McCoy never checked for concussion

By Will Brinson


The controversy surrounding the Browns handling of Colt McCoy on Thursday against Pittsburgh -- he re-entered the game after sustaining a concussion -- received a lot of scrutiny, and it will probably get worse, as the Browns said on Wednesday that McCoy was never checked for a concussion during the game.


Team president Mike Holmgren said, via our Browns Rapid Reporter Marty Gitlin, that there was "no indication" that McCoy suffered a concussion and so McCoy was never checked out prior to being sent back into the huddle.

Additionally, Holmgren said the medical staff never saw the hit James Harrison laid on McCoy (one that eventually led to a one-game suspension), which "would have alerted them to a possible concussion."

James Harrison suspended

The fact that the coaching and medical staff missed the hit on Harrison is both disturbing and hard to believe -- Harrison was flagged on the play and McCoy didn't exactly pop right up and walk off on his own power immediately.

If the team has a process for reviewing plays (in replay instances), that same process should have caught the distinct possibility that McCoy suffered a concussion and someone should have alerted the coaching staff.

Holmgren added that it wasn't "business as usual" for the Browns to handle the concussion this way, and reports are that Cleveland was concerned with other players who were also dealing with concussions. He also called the Browns medical staff "the best in the NFL," and said they felt that McCoy was "lucid and talking" when they met with him on the sidelines.

It's fantastic that the Browns are being honest about the process now, but figuring out how they missed a potential diagnosis of a concussed quarterback that was obvious to anyone sitting at home is still hard to grasp.

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Posted on: December 13, 2011 8:54 pm
 

NFL to hand out 'substantial' bans to violators?

By Will Brinson

Harrison's physical style finally caught up to him. (Getty Images)

Roger Goodell's handed out just a few on-field suspensions during his tenure as NFL Commissioner, but two of those came in the last three weeks, as both Ndamukong Suh and James Harrison were suspended. And if either of those gentlemen cross the line again, they could reportedly face "substantial suspensions."

James Harrison suspended

That's according to NFL.com's Steve Wyche, who reported Tuesday night that "there might not be much latitude" for guys like Harrison and Suh who have already been suspended once by the league.

"Three games, four games, five games, six games? It could happen depending on the circumstance," Wyche's source said. "They are repeat offenders, which mean suspensions are more likely."

Wyche's source also indicated that had Harrison not hit Browns quarterback Colt McCoy in the head, Harrison "probably have been fine" and avoided a suspension from the league.

Suh finished serving his two-game suspension on Sunday and will return to the field this week. Harrison was suspended on Tuesday morning and is waiting on an expedited appeal to determine his status for Monday night's game against the 49ers.


There's no mention of a specific timeline that encapsulates the not-quite-official warning for Harrison and Suh in Wyche's article, but as we talked about on Tuesday's podcast, Harrison actually played fine-free for quite some time, one has to assume it's permanent.

Additionally, the headline on the league's homepage at NFL.com -- "Harrison facing lengthy ban for next hit" -- doesn't leave much to the imagination when it comes to what will happen to the Steelers linebacker (or the Lions defensive tackle or any other player who's suspended) with continued violations of on-field policy.

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Posted on: December 13, 2011 4:26 pm
 

Pick-6 Podcast: Harrison suspended, coaches fired

By Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Tuesdays are usually pretty slow during the regular season. But last week Jack Del Rio got canned, and today the NFL suspended Steelers linebacker Jame Harrison one game for blasting Browns quarterback Colt McCoy.

Oh, and on Monday, Todd Haley and Tony Sparano got the Del Rio treatment and now the Chiefs and Dolphins are in the market for head coaches, too.

So, yes, we have plenty to talk about on the latest edition of the podcast.

Did Harrison's punishment fit the crime(s)?

Who's on the head-coaching short list in Miami and Kansas City?

As always, we're joined by ProFootballTalk.com's Michael David Smith. We talk playoffs for the Lions and Bears, the latest Tebow awesomness (specifically: can the Steelers win a wild card game in Denver? We couldn't believe we asked that either), the Haley news, and T.J. Yates' accomplishment in Cincinnati Sunday.

All right, let's get to it...

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Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:46 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 2:16 pm
 

Harrison could appeal, Tomlin 'disappointed'

If history is any guide, the league is unlikely to overturn Harrison's appeal. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

On Tuesday, the NFL suspended Steelers linebacker James Harrison for one game after his hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy. It was Harrison's first personal-foul penalty of the season, but he was fined $100,000 a year ago for three illegal hits.

James Harrison suspended
Pittsburgh faces San Francisco on Monday night in a game that could determine whether they enter the playoffs with a first-round bye or as a wild-card team. (If the Ravens lose to the Chargers on Sunday, and the Steelers wins its three remaining games -- against San Francisco, St. Louis and Cleveland -- then they would win the AFC North.) 

Harrison can appeal the NFL's ruling, but based on head coach Mike Tomlin's comments Tuesday afternoon, the team is planning to be without him in San Francisco.

"We have to prepare as if he is not going to play, of course," Tomlin said, according to the Steelers.com Twitter feed. "We will move forward, James will move forward."

More Tomlin, via the CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Chuck Finder: "We're disappointed. 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."

Harrison missed four games earlier this season with an eye injury. Pittsburgh went 4-0 over that stretch with some combination of LaMarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons, Jason Worilds and Chris Carter taking snaps at the two outside linebacker positions.

Woodley, who suffered a hamstring injury against the Patriots on October 30 and has been on the field for just a few series since, is set to return against the 49ers.

While the Steelers are planning to be without their Pro Bowl linebacker, Harrison's agent says he will appeal.

"James and I will have a discussion and figure out our next step," agent Bill Parise told the Post-Gazette. "The procedure would be to appeal. James and I will work through that and ask for an expedited hearing because we're dealing with a suspension.

"My job right now is to continue to read this and talk to my client and he and I together will make an intelligent decision and we'll move expediently."


CBS' NFL insider Charley Casserly beaks down James Harrison's hard hit on Colt McCoy.

Shortly after the NFL's ruling, Harrison tweeted: "Thank you to all my fans and supporters, I'm just going to move on from here and get ready for my next game."

In all likelhood, that next game will be on December 24 when the Steelers host the Rams.

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Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:49 am
Edited on: December 13, 2011 5:27 pm
 

NFL suspends James Harrison one game

Harrison's physical style finally caught up to him. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The NFL announced Tuesday that Steelers linebacker James Harrison has been suspended one game for his hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy last Thursday night, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman confirms.

Harrison can appeal the NFL's ruling, but based on head coach Mike Tomlin's comments Tuesday afternoon, the team is planning to be without him in San Francisco. 

James Harrison suspended
"We have to prepare as if he is not going to play, of course," Tomlin said, according to the Steelers.com Twitter feed. "We will move forward, James will move forward." 

More Tomlin, via the CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Chuck Finder: "We're disappointed. 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." 

While the Steelers are planning to be without their Pro Bowl linebacker, Harrison's agent says he will appeal. 

"James and I will have a discussion and figure out our next step," agent Bill Parise told the Post-Gazette. "The procedure would be to appeal. James and I will work through that and ask for an expedited hearing because we're dealing with a suspension. 

"My job right now is to continue to read this and talk to my client and he and I together will make an intelligent decision and we'll move expediently." 

It was Harrison's first roughing-the-passer penalty of the season. A year ago, he was fined $100,000 for flagrant hits on then-Titans quarterback Vince Young ($5K), Browns' receiver Mohamed Massaquoi ($75K), and Saints quarterback Drew Brees ($20K).

At the time, Harrison said "I don't know. I guess try and be more aware about the placement of my face mask. I don't know how you tackle someone and not use any part of your head, especially if you're trying to see what you're hitting. I mean, your face mask is going to touch them."

On Monday, Harrison said he shouldn't be suspended.

"I don't think it's suspension-worthy," he said after practice, according to Finder. "I don't think it's worthy of anything, but that's just my own personal thoughts."


CBS' NFL insider Charley Casserly beaks down James Harrison's hard hit on Colt McCoy.

The NFL determined that the hit was illegal because even though McCoy had tucked the ball to run, and had taken five steps before deciding at the last second to throw the ball, he's still considered a quarterback and afforded the rules that protect them. At no time during the play was McCoy, in the league's eyes (and according to the rules), considered a runner.

"They didn't even call helmet-to-helmet; they called roughing the passer," Harrison said. "He took off running with it and, at the last second, he like chuck-and-ducked. He tucked the ball and made like he was about to run. So I was going to tackle him."

CBS Sports' Charley Casserly said Sunday that ignorance of the rules wasn't an excuse.

"The league office told [Harrison]: next infraction, escalating discipline, including a possible suspension," Casserly said on The NFL Today. "Head coach Mike Tomlin went to the league office this year to do what I call 'a review of the rules.' From the league's point of view, there's no excuse for any Steeler not knowing the rules."

Sports Illustrated's Peter King thought there might be a chance Harrison would avoid suspension:

“A league source tells me there will be one major mitigating factor in deciding whether to suspend or fine Harrison and that is this: Colt McCoy took five full strides with the ball as a runner, leading Harrison to believe that he could hit him as if he were a running back. I believe he should be only fined and not suspended.”

So would Harrison change anything on the play that left McCoy with a concussion?

"Knowing I got a penalty, yeah I would have did it differently," he said.

Harrison missed four games earlier this season with an eye injury. Pittsburgh went 4-0 over that stretch with some combination of LaMarr WoodleyLawrence TimmonsJason Worilds and Chris Carter taking snaps at the two outside linebacker positions.  Woodley, who suffered a hamstring injury against the Patriots on October 30 and has been on the field for just a few series since, is set to return against the 49ers

Shortly after the NFL's ruling, Harrison tweeted: "Thank you to all my fans and supporters, I'm just going to move on from here and get ready for my next game." 

In all likelhood, that next game will be on December 24 when the Steelers host the Rams

Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark was fined $40,000 earlier this season for a hit on Baltimore tight end Ed Dickson (head coach Mike Tomlin was said to be furious about the punishment). Troy Polamalu was also fined, once for a horse-collar tackle in Week 1, and again in late October for using a cell phone on the sidelines during a game.

                                                                                                                                                                                          (Getty Images)
This is only the third time NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended a player since replacing Paul Tagliabue in 2006. Albert Haynesworth was suspended five games after stomping on the head of center Andre Gurode. Ndamukong Suh was suspended two games last month for stepping on the arm of a Packers player.

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Posted on: December 12, 2011 4:31 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 9:25 am
 

Harrison doesn't think he should be suspended

Will Harrison's hit on McCoy lead to a suspension? (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Linebacker James Harrison, who was fined $100,000 for illegal hits a year ago, is again in the league's crosshairs after leveling Colt McCoy with a helmet-to-helmet hit during Thursday night's Browns-Steelers game. The play left McCoy with a concussion, and the NFL could consider suspending Harrison even though it was his first roughing-the-passer penalty of this season.

On Monday, Harrison said he shouldn't be suspended or fined.

"I don't think it's suspension-worthy," he said after practice, according to the CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Chuck Finder. "I don't think it's worthy of anything, but that's just my own personal thoughts."

On Monday evening, ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted that the sense in Pittsburgh and around the league is that Harrison will be suspended. The ruling is expected Tuesday morning.


Charley Casserly beaks down James Harrison's hard hit on Colt McCoy on Thursday night, which may lead to a possible suspension.

The NFL considered the hit illegal because even though McCoy had tucked the ball to run, and taken five steps before deciding at the last second to throw the ball, he's still considered a quarterback and afforded the rules that protect them. At no time during the play in question was McCoy, in the league's eyes (and according to the rules), considered a runner.

"They didn't even call helmet-to-helmet; they called roughing the passer," Harrison said. "He took off running with it and, at the last second, he like chuck-and-ducked. He tucked the ball and made like he was about to run. So I was going to tackle him."

CBS Sports' Charley Casserly said Sunday that ignorance of the rules wasn't an excuse.

"The league office told [Harrison]: next infraction, escalating discipline, including a possible suspension," Casserly said on The NFL Today. "Head coach Mike Tomlin went to the league office this year to do what I call 'a review of the rules.' From the league's point of view, there's no excuse for any Steeler not knowing the rules."

And then there's this, from Sports Illustrated's Peter King:

“A league source tells me there will be one major mitigating factor in deciding whether to suspend or fine Harrison and that is this: Colt McCoy took five full strides with the ball as a runner, leading Harrison to believe that he could hit him as if he were a running back. I believe he should be only fined and not suspended.”

So would Harrison change anything on the play that left McCoy with a concussion?

"Knowing I got a penalty, yeah I would have did it differently," he said.

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Posted on: December 11, 2011 12:42 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2011 2:35 pm
 

Report: James Harrison could face suspension

Will Harrison's hit on McCoy lead to a suspension? (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The big storyline from Thursday's Browns-Steelers game was that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returned after suffering a high-ankle sprain and led Pittsburgh to their 10th victory of the season. A subplot that has since taken center stage: James Harrison's fourth quarter helmet-to-helmet hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy. CBS Sports NFL insider Charley Casserly said Sunday that "I would not be surprised at all if the league suspended [Harrison] for one game, the cost being $73,500 for one game check."

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the NFL is considering suspending Harrison for "one or two games" for the infraction.

Here are Casserly's full remarks on the Harrison situation from Sunday's The NFL Today.

"Let's take a look at the facts: last year he was fined four times with the largest fine being $75,000 which was reduced to $50,000," Casserly told James Brown. "This hit [against McCoy Thursday] is worse than the $75,000 (hit).

"The second thing is, the league office told [Harrison]: next infraction, escalating discipline, including a possible suspension. Head coach Mike Tomlin went to the league office this year to do what I call 'a review of the rules.' From the league's point of view, there's no excuse for any Steeler not knowing the rules.

"In my opinion," Casserly continued, "I would not be surprised at all if the league suspended him for one game, the cost being $73,500 for one game check. And, in my opinion, if I was doing this, I would absolutely suspend him. Either he doesn't know the rules, or doesn't understand the rules. A stronger message than a fine has to be sent in this situation."


Charley Casserly beaks down James Harrison's hard hit on Colt McCoy on Thursday night, which may lead to a possible suspension.

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Posted on: December 9, 2011 12:40 pm
 

Pick-Six Podcast: Week 14 NFL preview

By Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

The Steelers handled the Browns on Thursday night, but it was a bizarre game -- on today's podcast we break down Ben Roethlisberger's injury, how he managed to keep playing, whether the Steelers should be concerned, and if James Harrison is going to get fined and/or suspended.

Then we take a spin around the NFL action scheduled for Sunday, wondering if Oakland is a sleeper to take down Green Bay (no, really!), if Chris Johnson can keep running against the Saints, whether the Falcons are playoff-worthy, if Tim Tebow can take down the Bears, if Jim Schwartz can wrangle the Lions and whether we'd rather have Tony Romo or Eli Manning for the rest of their careers.

Did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes?

If you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.



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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