Tag:James Harrison
Posted on: July 13, 2011 9:49 am
Edited on: July 13, 2011 10:14 am

James Harrison targeted for being James Harrison

Posted by Will Brinson

In an August issue of Men's Journal -- one that will be the most-read issue of the mag in history based on how much it's being talked about -- Steelers linebacker James Harrison tirades against Roger Goodell in an absolutely stunning number of ways.

I don't want to get into the hypothetical urine-less fire encompassing Roger Goodell or the fact that Ben Roethlisberger just had a Pittsburgh-area bus run over his back. Because something else stands out to me.

Namely, that Harrison, per the Associated Press, wonders "whether a black player is punished more for a hard hit on a white player than the opposite."

Now, I don't have any mathematical data or statistical models to back me up on this, but I do have a photo of a bare-chested Harrison holding a pair of guns -- posing, mind you -- for the very same magazine in which he called Roger Goodell a "clown."

This isn't problematic because the guns and name-calling make him look dangerous. This is problematic because it makes Harrison look like an absolute psychopath, who just so happens to tackle other men for a living, and oftentimes do so in an illegal -- per the league's rules -- manner.

And when you abandon decorum and common sense by taking a spin over the border into Crazytown with your credibility flying out the window, you lose the right to comment on social issues. You lose the right to comment on prejudice in situations like this, because you're already too prejudiced yourself. (This doesn't take into account the use of homophobic slurs in a derogatory manner, either.)

Harrison can't be "targeted" anymore -- he's walking around painting the target on himself with his incendiary comments, name-calling and unwillingness to pee on the commissioner.

Look, Harrison's a smart dude because he's getting attention for his comments and a lot of times, as Mike Freeman pointed out, he's got salient points about the way that the NFL does business.

But most of the time his biggest beef is with the fact that he's getting singled out and fined for things he does on the football field.

Unfortunately for Harrison, once you acknowledge that you're a "hitman" and pose on a magazine holding guns and call high-ranking people in the NFL inflammatory names and don't do any of this off the record, well, you lose your right to complain.

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Posted on: June 10, 2011 5:37 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 5:50 pm

Woodley not worried about Ravens in Super Bowl

LaMarr Woodley Posted by Ryan Wilson

Even if we weren't in the middle of a lockout, June is typically the slowest month on the NFL calendar. The draft is over, training camp is still six weeks off, and it's the only time coaches can take extended vacations.

It's the NFL's version of golf's silly season, except there aren't any contrived made-for-television events … unless you count players guest-appearing on NFL Network's Total Access. On Thursday, it was LaMarr Woodley's turn. The wide smile, easy manner and sunny disposition made the Steelers linebacker a natural in front of the camera. (If nothing else, it broke up the monotony of just seeing the NFLN regulars on a nightly basis.)

But behind those unnaturally white teeth, Woodley managed to take a few friendly shots at the AFC North competition, starting with whether quarterback Joe Flacco can lead the Ravens to the Super Bowl.

"No, not at all because they have to go through one team -- that's the Pittsburgh Steelers in that AFC championship," Woodley said. "So in order for them to get to the Super Bowl, they have to beat us, and we're not gonna let that happen once we get that close. So that's not gonna happen in this lifetime."

And so far, he's right. Since 2008, the Ravens have twice lost to the Steelers in the playoffs. Once in the AFC Championship game during Flacco's rookie season and then in the AFC Divisional get-together last January. Both times, Flacco looked out of sorts, and both times, critical second-half turnovers proved to be his undoing.

Woodley, like everybody else (including current Bengals players), seems unconcerned with whether Carson Palmer returns to Cincinnati. "Well, honestly, when they play against us, it really doesn't matter whether he's there or not," Woodley said. And he thinks Colt McCoy is going to "be a great quarterback," although he didn't specify a time frame.

Woodley then unveiled his list of the NFL's top-10 linebackers, just in case there were any doubts about where his allegiances lie. For those of you too lazy to click the link, here's the breakdown:

10. Larry Foote
9. Lawrence Timmons
8. David Harris
7. Brian Cushing
6. James Farrior
5. Clay Matthews
4. LaMarr Woodley
3. Ray Lewis
2. Patrick Willis
1. James Harrison

Because of the sheer absurdity of it, we wouldn't blame you if you stopped reading after seeing the words "Larry" and "Foote." That said, while the list is heavy on Steelers and Wolverines, Matthews and Willis clearly belong, as does Lewis, even if he's closer to No. 10 than No. 1. 

Somewhere Bart Scott is outraged at being snubbed -- even though, you know, he shouldn't be.

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Posted on: June 6, 2011 8:40 am
Edited on: June 10, 2011 12:51 pm

Cortland Finnegan latest to question new NFL rule

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan is annually considered one of the league's dirtiest players. In 2010, he was fined $40,000 for various forms of unnecessary roughness, including $25,000 after he and Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson staged an impromptu, mid-game throwdown.

Finnegan seems to do most of his talking -- both within the rules and well outside them -- on the field. So maybe it isn't a surprise that he doesn't think Roger Goodell is well-positioned to make decisions regarding player punishments since the commissioner doesn't regularly settle his disputes by going all Neo on adversaries

Specifically, Finnegan tells The Tennessean's Jim Wyatt that Goodell is “A guy who has never played the game.” He said that Goodell doesn't understand the impact of the latest rules on illegal hits.

“You have milliseconds — not even seconds — and it’s not like you try to do it. It just so happens in that split-second you have a chance to tackle a guy and sometimes it happens to be that way,” Finnegan told Wyatt. “Last year having to dive at guys’ knees because you’re not sure … If they duck, and you’re still helmet-to-helmet with them, then it is your fine, it is a penalty on you.

“It has sort of taken the edge of the players who really like the physical play. But I’m not surprised. It’s crazy.”

The "You've never played the game!" talking point is typically the last refuge of the meathead. But whatever you think of Finnegan's style of play (and I think we can all agree any description will be prefaced with synonyms for "dirty"), he has a point. It's the same point Steelers linebacker James Harrison made recently, although he took it a step further than accusing Goodell of never playing football -- he just called the rule makers "idiots."

This probably won't make Finnegan feel any better, but Goodell doesn't make these decisions alone. NFL VP Ray Anderson and former 49ers defensive back Merton Hanks play some part in all this, as does former NFL coach-turned "appeals officer" Ted Cottrell.

Whoever is contributing their two cents to these conversations, the current players are right to question the NFL's motives as well as the rules' effectiveness. The conspiracy theory regarding the former is that the league is making a PR push to show the game is safer so at some point in the future they can argue for an 18-game season. ("We've addressed concussions, now we can play more games. More fun for everybody!")

As for the latter, here's a question no one is asking: does the NFL have the data to support their claim that all these rule changes will increase player safety? Because arbitrarily meting out punishments doesn't magically mean that offending behaviors disappear. If it did, the United States prison system wouldn't be full of small-time drug dealers incarcerated under the mandatory minimum sentences introduced in the 1980s. The law was intended to curb the drug problem and all it did was clog up cells with mostly non-violent offenders. And illegal drugs are still pervasive in this country.

Put differently: it's important to know what effects -- intended and otherwise -- a policy change will have before you implement it. We're all for player safety, it's just not clear if Goodell knows the best way to achieve it.

via PFT

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Posted on: May 30, 2011 8:00 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 8:26 pm

James Harrison clarifies comments on new rules

Posted by Ryan Wilson

James Harrison is known for a lot of things, almost all of them related to punishing poor souls who happened to be in possession of a football while in his vicinity. He's made a handsome living out of tackling people, although to his credit he does it better than just about anybody on the planet. Harrison's style of play has also caught the attention of NFL rule makers who, depending on your perspective, made an example of him to the tune of $100,000 in fines last season (small victory: the league returned $25,000, so there's that).

Turns out, Harrison is also thoughtful. He may disagree (vehemently) with the recent rule changes, but it's not because his intent is to injure and maim opponents and the NFL is now making that more difficult. It's that the rule changes don't make sense in his mind and he tweeted as much last week.

"I'm absolutely sure now after this last rule change that the people making the rules at the NFL are idiots."

Presumably, Harrison felt like he needed more than 140 characters to make his case so, like teammate Rashard Mendenhall (for completely different reasons), he started a blog.

"I want to make it clear that I am all for player safety. I don’t disagree with all of the rule changes," Harrison begins. "But come on…REALLY? Now you have to wait until a guy catches, or even worse, you have to let them catch the ball before you can even attempt to tackle him. Along with that, you cannot let any part of your helmet or facemask touch any part of them basically from the chest up. If you are following the letter of the rules exactly, now most tackles, if not ALL tackles can be flagged, fined and/or result in ejection from that game, or future game(s)."
Safety Rules

If you're able to separate Harrison the football player from Harrison the author, the man makes a good point. He was just getting warmed up.

"I understand the intent behind making the rules, but in their attempt to make the game safer, they are actually clouding what is allowable. Even the referees are confused. A close look will show you that the referees were calling things that were not even supposed to be called, and NOT calling things that were actually illegal."

Harrison also suspects that the name on the back of the jersey has something to do with how often a player is penalized. And he fleshes out his "people making the rules at the NFL are idiots" tweet with the following observation: "After my meeting this past fall with Roger Goodell, Ray Anderson, and Merton Hanks and some others, who I now have absolutely no respect for (to keep it PG), I definitely believe there is no equality in their enforcement of these rules."

Leaves little room for interpretation. Then again, as Shutdown Corner's Doug Farrar notes, "Harrison's point of view [is] quite a bit deeper than, 'The rules guys are idiots,' though it doesn't exclude that point from being correct as well."

Finally, Harrison acknowledges that the quarterback clarification rule (Rule 12, Section 2, Article 13) "is a great change," but closes with one more parting shot. "I wonder why the NFL is suddenly coming down so hard on player’s safety issues. I can’t help but think it’s not actually for the safety of the players."

Conspiracy theorists might tell you that the NFL is laying it on thick with the rule changes to not only show they care about player safety, but to say at some point in the near future, "See, thanks to our foresight, there are fewer concussions and serious head injuries … which clearly means we should expand the season to 18 games!" Even though, you know, fans emphatically oppose expanding the schedule.

“When it comes down to it, it’s an assumption of risk that you take when you play the game,” Harrison said during a recent appearance on ESPN's NFL Live. “If it’s not worth it to you, then you get out of it."

Makes sense to us. Coal miners face inherent risks associated with mining coal. You take precautions, make it as safe as possible, but at the end of the day, people in that line of work face danger every time they clock in. Some have long, injury-free careers, and some aren't as lucky. Some decide that the hazards aren't worth it and find other means of employment. That's all Harrison's saying.

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Posted on: May 25, 2011 1:03 pm
Edited on: May 26, 2011 7:00 am

Harrison: Rule-makers at NFL 'are idiots'

Posted by Will Brinson

Roger Goodell took to the podium at the NFL owners' meetings in Indianapolis on Wednesday to address the lockout. He also talked about the new rule changes in place to improve player safety.

Unfortunately, no one asked him specifically about James Harrison hopping on Twitter Tuesday night and calling the NFL's rule-makers "idiots."

"I'm absolutely sure now after this last rule change that the people making the rules at the NFL are idiots," Harrison tweeted.

Harrison was referring to the new "club accountability" rule the NFL announced Tuesday. Under that rule, teams with a certain number of players (currently undetermined) who violate player safety rules will be fined a certain amount of money (also currently undetermined).

Harrison wasn't the only Steeler who took umbrage to the NFL's recent decision.

"Thoughts on "the Steelers rule"??? lol im sorry that im not sorry we hit 2 hard," LaMarr Woodley tweeted Wednesday morning.

Referring to the NFL's implementation of club accountability as the "Steeler rule" probably won't win Woodley any fans on Park Avenue, but it's probably pretty accurate.
Safety Rules

After all, Art Rooney acknowledged that the Steelers would have been one of the "three or four teams" who received a fine in 2010 had the rule been in place.

And you can expect Steelers fans to get upset, and Steelers players to accuse the league of targeting their franchise. The reality is, though, that you'll be hard-pressed to find a team that more flagrantly violated the helmet-to-helmet and defenseless receiver rules than Pittsburgh in 2010.

Many people will call that "just playing real football" or some other cliche. But it won't matter if the league doesn't agree.

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Posted on: March 3, 2011 10:34 am

Hot Routes 3.3.11: Lesnar's conquerer retires

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • It’s always nice to see a player, after he retires or is released, take out a full-page color advertisement in the local newspaper to thank the fans and city. That’s what former Bears DE Tommie Harris did today in the Chicago Tribune. Classy move.
  • Perhaps another reason why former Chiefs offensive coordinator Charlie Weis left the organization to take the same position at the University of Florida: he didn’t want his salary slashed because of the potential lockout.
  • Former Alabama WR Julio Jones, who took part in the NFL combine with a fractured freakin’ foot, will have surgery Saturday so doctors can insert a screw into his foot. Jones should be healed in six to eight weeks.
  • This isn’t football-related, but I thought it was relevant to the continued concussion storylines. Former hockey enforcer Bob Probert, who died last year at the age of 45, was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Just like Dave Duerson and a host of other NFL players who have died recently.

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Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:21 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2011 4:52 pm

Agent: Harrison OK after back surgery

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Steelers LB James Harrison underwent back surgery this morning, and his agent reports he came through the procedure just fine.

Harrison “Very successful,” agent Bill Parise said Monday afternoon, via Rapid Reporter Chuck Finder. “We’re pleased. Any surgery’s serious; they don’t cut you open for nothing. But he did well. ‘Textbook’ is what the doctor called it.”

Now, Harrison will lay low for a few weeks as he recovers.

“The good news is, he’ll be fine,” Parise said. “If we can play football this year, he’ll be playing football.”

According to Finder, Harrison played through the pain of a herniated disc throughout his Pro Bowl season, and today’s surgery was a procedure to remove part of that disk.

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Posted on: February 14, 2011 6:11 pm

James Harrison's surgery

Posted by Andy Benoit
J. Harrison
Turns out the routine shoulder surgery that Steelers linebacker James Harrison was supposed to undergo Monday is actually a routine back surgery. (The surgery wound up being postponed because Harrison had a fever.)

The routine of a shoulder vs. the routine of a back can be drastically different (back’s tend to be more enigmatic). Still, the 32-year-old Harrison should be just fine.

"They do not anticipate any difficulties," his agent, Bill Parise, told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

But Parise says the surgery involves the lower back, which tends to be even more enigmatic than the upper back. Presumably, Harrison battled back pain at some point this past season. He still started all 19 of Pittsburgh’s games, recorded 10.5 sacks and made his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl.

Harrison is expected to be on the shelf four to six weeks.

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