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Tag:Colt McCoy
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 2:18 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 8:07 pm
 

McCoy's dad angry at Browns; NFL 'will review'

By Will Brinson

On Friday's podcast, Ryan Wilson and I wondered whether or not Browns quarterback Colt McCoy should have re-entered the game against the Steelers on Thursday night (a contest Cleveland would ultimately lose anyway).

We weren't the only ones curious -- McCoy's father believes his son "never should've gone back in the game" and the Browns never checked the quarterback for a concussion on the sideline.

"He never should've gone back in the game,'' Brad McCoy told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. "He was basically out [cold] after the hit. You could tell by the rigidity of his body as he was laying there. There were a lot of easy symptoms that should've told them he had a concussion. He was nauseated and he didn't know who he was. From what I could see, they didn't test him for a concussion on the sidelines. They looked at his [left hand.''

CBSSports.com reached out to the Browns first thing on Friday morning for a comment on the decision to put McCoy back in the game but as of this writing hadn't heard back.

An NFL spokesman told CBSSports.com that "We will review [the decision] with the team." The league would not speculate on any potential disciplinary outcomes for Cleveland based on the findings of their sideline medical evaluation.


Our initial decision to inquire about the decision to the team stemmed from a report that the Browns public relations team asked reporters to not use flashes on their cameras during McCoy's press conference. McCoy's father pointed to that as a problem as well.

"After the game, the [public relations staff] made sure Colt's interview was brief and he couldn't face the lights in his press conference,'' Brad said. "The TV lights and the stadium lights were killing him. Why would you say he was fine? That makes it even worse.''

The NFL's review of this incident will be interesting. According to Brad McCoy, his son told him that he didn't remember losing the game or playing in

"I wouldn't have put him back in the game," Browns coach Pat Shurmer said when asked about whether or not McCoy exhibited concussion symptoms. "I definitely don't want to put a player out there that's putting himself at risk if we know it.''

According to Shurmur, per Cabot, McCoy didn't begin exhibiting concussion symptoms until he was "leaving the locker room." Shurmur now says the Browns are "proceeding" as if McCoy has a concussion but insists that the Browns didn't know about it when he returned to the game.

"I feel very confident that if he wasn't able to play we would have stopped him," Shurmur said. "I can assure everyone that we followed protocol."

Shurmur also said that McCoy told the Browns coach "I'm ready to go" and added that he understood Brad McCoy's stance since Shurmur is also the father of a young quarterback.

Now seems like a good a time as any to remind folks that the NFL should look into researching and developing a sideline, handheld and objective concussion test.

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Posted on: December 9, 2011 12:17 am
Edited on: December 9, 2011 12:19 am
 

Injury not enough to stop Roethlisberger in win

A high-ankle sprain wasn't enough to keep Roethlisberger from playing the 2nd half against Cleveland. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

For the fourth time in five seasons, head coach Mike Tomlin has the Steelers at 9-3. On Thursday night, however, it required something more than your typical Ben Roethlisberger performance. On most nights, that means holding the ball too long in the pocket, fighting off would-be tacklers, taking more hits than anybody should be able to take, and making plays. On most nights, he comes out the other side bruised but no worse for wear.

Against the Browns, it was a different story, one that takes Big Ben, football player, from cult hero to legend in the span of the halftime intermission. With 6:02 to go in the second quarter with the Steelers leading, 7-3, two Cleveland defender made a Roethlisberger sandwich, and he turned his ankle badly in the process.

Big Ben, in obvious pain and unable to put weight on his left leg, needed two Steelers' assistants to help him to the tunnel, where he took a cart to the locker room. Charlie Batch, who has started for Roethlisberger six times since 2004, played two series before the half.

Roethlisberger-ankle_medium

And then, minutes after NFL Network's Alex Flanagan reported that the Steelers had "positive" news about Roethlisberger's ankle injury, Big Ben, with his ankle heavily taped, limped out onto the field to begin the second half and didn't miss another snap.

Pittsburgh leaned heavily on Rashard Mendenhall to start the second half and he averaged 5.5 yards per carry. But the Steelers are a passing team, even with a one-legged quarterback. So that's what they did … even with a one-legged quarterback.

By the time it was over, Roethlisberger was 16 of 21 for 280 yards and two touchdowns, the last a 79-yarder to Antonio Brown with 2:52 remaining to put the game away for good.

For the Browns, it was more of the same: an offense unable to score points, protect the quarterback or avoid dropped passes in critical situations. Colt McCoy ended the game 18 of 35 for 209 yards but threw two interceptions, the back-breaker coming two plays before Roethlisberger-to-Brown broke the game wide open. A pass into the end zone intended for Mohamed Massaquoi was intercepted by William Gay.

A touchdown there would have given Cleveland a 10-7 lead with three minutes on the clock. Instead, Pittsburgh got the ball at the 20, still leading 7-3, and in the time it took cornerback Joe Haden to fall down, Brown hauled in a Big Ben pass and streaked 79 yards down the sideline.

After the game, Tomlin said Roethlisberger has a high-ankle sprain, but unlike just about anybody else on the planet, it wasn't enough to keep him on the sidelines.

"The doctor said he was okay to go, he wanted to go," said Tomlin. "I'll always give him an opportunity to show what he's capable of. We know what kind of competitor he is, we know his pain tolerance, we know what he's capable of."

Brown, quickly becoming one of Big Ben's favorite targets, called Roethlisberger's return to start the second half "rejuvenating."

"The guy exemplifies toughness … we needed him out there and it was exciting to have him back," he continued. "He persevered through the situation and made the plays we needed to win the game."

The Steelers now have 10 days off to prepare for a Monday-night matchup against the 49ers, and if Thursday night was any indication, Big Ben will be on the field in San Francisco.

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Posted on: December 7, 2011 11:11 pm
 

Colt McCoy could really use a big-play WR

Turns out, Little might be better as a No. 2 receiver. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

The Cleveland Browns are in desperate need of a big-play wide receiver. They had a chance to land such a player during the 2011 NFL Draft. Instead, they traded the sixth-overall pick to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for the Falcons' 2011 first, second and fourth-round picks, as well as a first and fourth-rounder in 2012.

Atlanta promptly selected Julio Jones, who along with A.J. Green were considered can't-miss prospects. Green has been that and then some this season -- 50 catches, 832 yards, seven touchdowns. Jones has battled hamstring issues but has started nine games, catching 34 passes for 566 yards and two touchdowns.

The Browns, meanwhile, used their first-round pick on defensive tackle Phil Taylor and took wideout Greg Little in the second round. Little has struggled with drops this season and is considered something of a project. This has to be disconcerting to Cleveland's second-year quarterback Colt McCoy.

After playing well as a rookie, the expectations were that McCoy would continue to get better in Year 2, especially if the Browns gave him a legit downfield threat to complement Peyton Hillis and Josh Cribbs. That didn't happen.

Instead, McCoy has regressed, the offense has stalled, and the Browns (4-8) are one of the worst teams in the league. On Thursday, they'll face the 9-3 Steelers on NFL Network. Draft guru and color analyst Mike Mayock, who will work the game, spoke about the Browns' offense and McCoy and Little in particular.

"I think the kid's got the deck stacked against him a little bit right now," Mayock told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot. "They don't really have anyone like a [Mike] Wallace or [A.J.] Green that can stretch the field for them vertically, and that's a difficult thing when you're a quarterback. Basically, you're kind of playing small ball. You're trying to run the football and move the chains with a lot of play-action and underneath stuff. And at some point, you've got to be more than that."

Mayock was also troubled by the Browns' unwillinginess (inability?) to throw the ball down the field.

"[McCoy's] not making the downfield throws and what's really happening is that teams are starting to squat on the wideouts, and it's difficult to watch when your offense is so compressed. It's an old-school West Coast offense -- a lot of three- and five-step drop, get the ball out of your hand. I understand it, but at some point you've got to watch this kid throw the ball. You've got to see more of the intermediate routes that demonstrate arm strength."

And that goes back to not having a premier pass catcher.

"Maybe the wide receivers aren't getting as much respect as you'd like," he said. "Greg Little is having a good year, but he's dropped four or five passes [actually six] in the two games I've watched. Mohamed Massaquoi is a pretty good receiver and Josh Cribbs obviously has the 'wow' factor, but he's certainly not a polished receiver."

It's hard to fault the Browns for making that deal with the Falcons. After all, on draft day, New England coach Bill Belichick told Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff, "Thomas, I'm just telling you as a friend. I wouldn't do it."

Belichick added that he thought Jonathan Baldwin was "just as good if not better" than Jones. Which leads us to this: the Browns weren't wrong to trade out of the No. 6 pick, but they really could've used a playmaker.

As it stands, their offense is so predictable that people half-paying attention know what's coming.

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Posted on: December 2, 2011 3:46 pm
 

Cribbs is fed up with losing, Shurmur understands

Cribbs is tired of losing but he's not tired of Cleveland.  (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

In Josh Cribbs' six NFL seasons prior to 2011, the Browns have averaged fewer than six wins. Currently, Cleveland's 4-7 and manages just 15 points a game. Next up: the Ravens, a team they haven't beaten since 2007.

So it stands to reason that Cribbs, in his words, is fed up with losing.

“I’m tired of losing," he said this week, according to the Associated Press. "Everybody in this locker room, they’ll say they’re tired and they want to win every game. I want to win this year. Everybody says we’re building, we look good. I don’t really care about the building process because I want to win now. I’ll worry about next year next year. I want to win now.”

Head coach Pat Shurmur, in his first year on the job after replacing Eric Mangini, not only understands Cribbs' frustration, he doesn't have an issue with it.

"I have an open door and I expect if they have an issue, they come see me man-to-man about it," Shurmur said, via the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. "That's the way we handle things here."

Shurmur encourages players to have an open dialogue with him as well as the media, and that's the case with Cribbs.

"I talk to coach all the time," Cribbs said. "I just finished talking to him. I talk to him casually, through the hallway, at the beginning and end of practice."

Cribbs, whose 29 receptions and 358 yards (4 TDs) this season are career highs for the former Kent State quarterback who went undrafted after college. Those totals are third on the team behind rookie Greg Little and Benjamin Watson.

But Cribbs' remarks aren't about getting more involved in the offense, they're about -- stop us if you've heard this before -- winning.

"That doesn't mean that I want to leave [because] I am sick and tired of losing like everybody is," he said. "Me being sick and tired doesn't mean I want to leave. It means I want to win now. So we're going to focus all our energy in trying to win. I'm tired of losing."

Unfortunately, the Browns have played some uninspiring football this season. Whether it's the unusually predictable offense or the sudden collapse on special teams, there's little reason for optimism. Shurmur looks like he's aged 20 years in three months and second-year quarterback Colt McCoy has regressed from his rookie form. And in two days they'll face Baltimore, an outfit they haven't beaten in six tries.


After a big win over the 49ers last week, the Baltimore Ravens hope to repeat this Sunday as they take on the Cleveland Browns. Jason Horowitz and NFL.com's Pat Kirwan preview this upcoming game. Watch the game on CBS at 4:05 PM ET.

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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