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View Full Version : Is James Harrison being unfairly profiled for dangerous hits? NFL players think so



Scorp
11-29-2010, 08:42 PM
It's becoming every bit the Sunday tradition as laughter-filled pregame shows, thrilling games called by Gus Johnson and "60 Minutes" coming up next except on the West Coast: James Harrison(notes) getting flagged for a personal foul and then complaining about it after the game. The only difference is, this time the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker might have a point.

Some thoughts:

1. This is a close one. It's not a clear penalty, but it's not definitely clean either. (You can vote on this below.) However, I'd wager a good chunk of change that Brian Urlacher(notes) or Ray Lewis(notes) doesn't get flagged for making the same exact hit. Fairly or not, James Harrison is being profiled for his past behavior. In this case, he made a clean hit and was flagged for it because of the name on the back of his jersey.

[Rewind: James Harrison threatens to retire over dirty hit rules]

2. Don't cry for him, though; Harrison is by no means an innocent bystander in this. He brought this scrutiny upon himself with years of actual dirty play, high-profile condemnations of Roger Goodell's new policies and vows of defiance of new rules. He's been fined $80,000 this year already but said before this week's game that he was no longer worried about calls. Harrison didn't just put the microscope on himself, he adjusted the slide and focused it too.

3. That being said, the fact that Harrison is usually guilty doesn't mean he's always guilty. This was a bang-bang play. Fitzpatrick took the snap from the shotgun and released the ball in 1.25 seconds. Harrison blitzed up the middle and was tasked with sacking the quarterback. What was he supposed to do? He didn't launch himself, he didn't hit Fitzpatrick in the chin (despite what Solomon Wilcots said on the CBS broadcast) and he didn't hit him late. Of course, he hit him with the crown of his helmet. Would Goodell prefer that he used a throw pillow to make the tackle?

4. Harrison after the game: "[The flag] isn't going to change the way I play. There was nothing wrong about the play."

5. There's no good way to go about this. Profiling is effective when done properly. Andre Johnson(notes) shouldn't be suspended for beating on Cortland Finnegan because of his past history; if that was Hines Ward(notes), I'd say ban him for a game. But Harrison can't be expected to play like he's in an intramural flag football game. It's a familiar refrain, but this is football. Forget the emphasis on dirty hits and tell refs to watch the game with an open mind and police the game accordingly.

steelersbabex25
11-29-2010, 08:47 PM
Harrison is by no means an innocent bystander in this. He brought this scrutiny upon himself with years of actual dirty play, high-profile condemnations of Roger Goodell's new policies and vows of defiance of new rules. He's been fined $80,000 this year already but said before this week's game that he was no longer worried about calls. Harrison didn't just put the microscope on himself, he adjusted the slide and focused it too.

News to me. Since when is Harrison dirty?

Goodfrom55
11-29-2010, 08:51 PM
The tackle he executed on Fitz on Sunday was TEXTBOOK. How are you supposed to "unlearn" what you learned? It's like forgettting the standard alphabet and having to learn a new one.

What going to happen when one day, Harrison "lets up" on a QB, the QB breaks away and throws a 20 yard pass for a 1st down that leads to the winning FG? He can't win.
These are clean hits, but because he's got a big mouth, he draws attention to himself and all the scrutiny that comes with it.

He makes 7 figures, a 100k fine? Well, silver lining here is these fines go to charity so at the very least, he will get a nice tax write-off in 2010.

Rampage
11-29-2010, 08:53 PM
How about they just wrap Dirty Harry's helmet in foam rubber? He can hit QBs as hard as possible and nobody can complain about being hit with a helmet. Problem solved.

steelers40xl
11-29-2010, 09:04 PM
Has anyone watched the replay of the roughing the passer call he received yesterday, If you get a chance to look at it take notice the ref has the flag in his hand before Harrison even hits him.:willybs::cursin:

roosterray
11-29-2010, 09:19 PM
This one - http://www.twitvid.com/N1EL5

Rampage
11-29-2010, 09:48 PM
Has anyone watched the replay of the roughing the passer call he received yesterday, If you get a chance to look at it take notice the ref has the flag in his hand before Harrison even hits him.:willybs::cursin:

Noticed that yesterday. Pretty soon the refs are going to have to automate the flag throwing process, otherwise all the refs that officiate Steeler games will come down with tennis elbow.

BlitzburghRockCity
11-29-2010, 11:02 PM
Whoever thinks James is a dirty player should turn in their Steelers card right now and go cheer for the Browns. Harrison has never been a dirty player, and has never gone after anyone with the intent to injure them. Harrison is a throw back player from the 70's, a guy who has been taught to do whatever it takes to separate the ball from the player. To do whatever he has to do to make a play. People whine that he's dirty but that's because he made a big play against their team and they want to call sour grapes.

Get over it, he's not dirty. Now, is carrying a label as a dirty player, sure he is by some. Is the NFL more apt to toss a flag at him regardless of whether his hits are legal or not, absolutely. He's not dirty though.

Farrior Fan
11-29-2010, 11:42 PM
My cousin who watches a lot of football but is a Redskins fan called Harrison the scariest man alive. I asked him if he thought he was dirty and he said hell no, the guy plays with a fire that I wish the Skins played with.

As simple as it sounds this is exactly the case, I think the Steelers coaching staff has handled this perfectly by acting like "we don't know what the rules are, we have taught our guys the rules and expect them to play within them" then tell the players - go out there and play clean but do not under any circumstances let up. Hit them so hard the ball pops out because they do not want to sustain another beating. I think 92 is having another phenominal season, screw public opinion and screw the fines - lets get wins.

Goodfrom55
11-30-2010, 12:07 AM
Let's not confuse physical play with dirty play. Wanna see dirty play? Go watch any Titans game and that piece of garbage Courtland Finnegan.

MattyVfromCT
11-30-2010, 02:10 AM
Let's not confuse physical play with dirty play. Wanna see dirty play? Go watch any Titans game and that piece of garbage Courtland Finnegan.

:plus1: seriously. it's pathetic how soft and sensitive most football fans have become. what most people consider "dirty" and "cheap shots" these days was called FOOTBALL 20 years ago! what the raiders did back in the day, now THAT was dirty!

HUNT4SEVEN
11-30-2010, 07:57 AM
Harrison hit FP waste up like the No Fun League says to do, that was a clean hit and the Ref who had the flag ready before the actual play should be FIRED or at the least fined for his DIRTY actions...This is getting ridiculous , IMO Harrison is not a dirty player, Harrison can help though by not saying anything else because every time he talks he get's flag, Be ready Steeler nation because he gonna get flagged alot next sunday because he's gonna blast FAGGO errrrrr Flacco...:tt02::tt02:

BlitzburghRockCity
11-30-2010, 12:17 PM
Is anyone surprised that NFL has not addressed the fact that the official was reaching for the flag before the play even finished? Where is the rationalization for that?? Harrison must be ready to just explode...

LatrobePA
11-30-2010, 12:25 PM
No
F****ing
Love

It's a joke really!! Yes the ref seen it coming and was prepared!!

Steel Trap86
11-30-2010, 12:30 PM
At 0:31 looks like the ref already had the flag in his hand before Harrisson hit him

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwS8Clfp2vM

BLACKnGOLD58
11-30-2010, 12:42 PM
Has anyone watched the replay of the roughing the passer call he received yesterday, If you get a chance to look at it take notice the ref has the flag in his hand before Harrison even hits him.:willybs::cursin:

no he didn't, the ref reaches for his flag after Harrison hits him, not before.....watch it again

--- Added 11/30/2010 at 10:42 AM ---


At 0:31 looks like the ref already had the flag in his hand before Harrisson hit him

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwS8Clfp2vM

http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2010112801/2010/REG12/steelers@bills#tab:watch


if you watch it slowly, you'd see that the ref isn't reaching for his flag until fitzpatrick is on his way down to the ground....it was still a BS call but Im just sayin

Steel Trap86
11-30-2010, 12:59 PM
I don't know man, he throws the flag after the hit yes, but it looks like he was watching Harrisson with the flag already in his hand before contact was made

jnes1216
11-30-2010, 12:59 PM
After watching the replay on youtube, I think I have to change my view that Harrison slid up and hit Fitz in the chin. It doesn't look like Harrisons helmet moved after he planted it in the chest of Fitz. Right in the numbers, textbook. No spear or crown either. The youtube version seemed much more clear than the gamecenter one.

SteelDad
11-30-2010, 01:17 PM
It was the most questionable of all of his 'questionable hits' simply because his helmet does come up under his chin, however, still BS.

Also, it is not totally clear to me if he has pulled the flag or not, but what is clear is that he had it and threw it pretty damn quick. Also, there is a lot of psychology at work here too IMO. Notice how the ref throws the flag directly at Harrison and with plenty of emphasis? I thought they weren't supposed to do that after that incident in Cleveland?

chisteeler
11-30-2010, 01:29 PM
I remember a snippit one time of Cower in the huddle before a game and I apologize for not getting the exact quote, but it always stuck with me. He said, " You play smart and fast, but above all, YOU PLAY PHYSICAL!" My point is that PHYSICAL football has been a tradition and mindset in Pittsburgh for decades. So now all of a sudden we should expect our team to change?

Blazedby92
11-30-2010, 02:30 PM
Has anyone watched the replay of the roughing the passer call he received yesterday, If you get a chance to look at it take notice the ref has the flag in his hand before Harrison even hits him.:willybs::cursin:

It didn't look like he had the flag in his hand to me but he was real quick to grab it off his belt though.

V_83
11-30-2010, 02:42 PM
It doesn't look like Harrisons helmet moved after he planted it in the chest of Fitz. Right in the numbers, textbook. No spear or crown either.

So you think he planted his helmet in Fitzs chest but didn't lead with the crown of the helmet? To me that is why he got flagged, just for leading with the top of his helmet. Had he not done that, then it would have been clean. If the man actually learned to lead with his shoulder rather than his head, he would get flagged way less.

jnes1216
11-30-2010, 02:47 PM
So you think he planted his helmet in Fitzs chest but didn't lead with the crown of the helmet? To me that is why he got flagged, just for leading with the top of his helmet. Had he not done that, then it would have been clean. If the man actually learned to lead with his shoulder rather than his head, he would get flagged way less.

It looks to me the first point of contact with his helmet is the open space of the face mask (eye level).

steelersbabex25
11-30-2010, 03:47 PM
So you think he planted his helmet in Fitzs chest but didn't lead with the crown of the helmet? To me that is why he got flagged, just for leading with the top of his helmet. Had he not done that, then it would have been clean. If the man actually learned to lead with his shoulder rather than his head, he would get flagged way less.

I don't think Harrison even got flagged for leading with his helmet. It didn't even look like the ref could see. He was standing behind both Harrison and Fitzpatrick. They called unnecessary roughness, which leads me to believe that they may have called him not for helmet to helmet, but for hitting the QB late, in which case that would be totally bull. Just putting that out there. I'm no expert on the way they call penalties, but I feel like if it was helmet to helmet they would have said something in the explanation.

Farrior Fan
12-01-2010, 01:13 AM
I don't think Harrison even got flagged for leading with his helmet. It didn't even look like the ref could see. He was standing behind both Harrison and Fitzpatrick. They called unnecessary roughness, which leads me to believe that they may have called him not for helmet to helmet, but for hitting the QB late, in which case that would be totally bull. Just putting that out there. I'm no expert on the way they call penalties, but I feel like if it was helmet to helmet they would have said something in the explanation.

I think he got flagged because he had #92 on the back of his jersey

chisteeler
12-01-2010, 02:38 AM
I still can't get over the fact that this man has scratched and clawed his way to be where he's at...on an NFL team! A former defensive MVP, that's been cut several times and on the practice squad as well as coming out of a D IAA school. He has worked his *** off to be a football player and Goodell is screwing with his passion and intensity for the game, all to satisfy his own ego as the guy in charge! What an *******! Sorry for beating a dead horse, but I'm just pissed. It'd be different if 92 was intentionally trying to end a guys career as opposed to just playing physical football, which he is doing.

greg1964
12-02-2010, 08:54 AM
with that in mind: I through everyone would enjoy this:

http://www.bangcartoon.com/2009/skirt.htm

This was done last year, but it funny anyhow

harpo
12-02-2010, 09:05 AM
The cartoon is funny as hell......LOL!!!!


Suggs says that Harrison has been "red-flagged":

Suggs says that Harrison is being targeted (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/breaking/s_711752.html)

He also speaks about how the league favors Manning and Brady later on in the article.

Rampage
12-02-2010, 12:11 PM
The cartoon is funny as hell......LOL!!!!


Suggs says that Harrison has been "red-flagged":

Suggs says that Harrison is being targeted (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/breaking/s_711752.html)

He also speaks about how the league favors Manning and Brady later on in the article.

See, this is why I have respect for the Ravens; don't get me wrong, I hate them with a passion, but they are a respectable foe. Suggs calls it like it is, something that is refreshing to see. If more teams like the Steelers, Ravens, Jets, and Packers won by being physical instead of fancy, maybe this wouldn't be an issue. :thinking:

Goodfrom55
12-02-2010, 05:43 PM
Perhaps it's just me trying to rationalize the importance of the upcoming game this weekend, or preparing myself for a let down, but am I the only one who is more than a little concerned that all this attention being paid to the "NFL is targeting the Steelers and james Harrison, etc." will create a major distraction to the Steelers this week and somehow cause them to make a fatal error in this game against the Ravens?

While I am sure they will play as physical as they ever have, I'm just worried that they are more concerned about the "unfair" calls / treatment against themselves and Harrison (to which I think there is merit) and less focused about the game albeit unintentionally.

Of course, they can make this moot by going out there and bringing the wood to the Ravens, which would make me very happy, but to me, it's cause for concern.

steelfury455
12-02-2010, 06:46 PM
I don't think so but you can definitely feel the build up (james harrison, rule enforcing, etc) to this point. James is tackling lower if you notice so he has tweaked his game a bit. There's so much attention like you said, you'd have to think that some of these guys have to be thinking twice before taking someone down AND when that's when this game suffers.
The commish can not be a very popular dude among the players league wide...or fans for that matter...

BlitzburghRockCity
12-02-2010, 08:18 PM
The Steelers are not distracted because they think the NFL is targeting them. Pissed off though? Definitely!

They are more focused than ever and listening to all the players you can tell they are rallying around each other and are going to go out and give it all they got.

Zachintosh66
12-02-2010, 08:53 PM
How many threads do we need of this topic... just sayin

steelerdave
12-02-2010, 08:53 PM
You are right. Things I have heard on 93.7 the fan says that most of the team if not all of them are pissed off about this . I think that they all are going to rally and pull together using this as a fuel. I like to think they could come out and play like they did with the Raiders.

franchise3
12-04-2010, 10:21 AM
I think that Obama has his fingers in this because Harrison refused to meet him in the White House :tt02:

Blazedby92
12-04-2010, 03:42 PM
please don't mix football with politics, especially if you aren't from here, Just sayin'

franchise3
12-05-2010, 08:36 AM
please don't mix football with politics, especially if you aren't from here, Just sayin'

Excuse me? Who is not from here? Chill out man, it has nothing to do with politics...

JensK
12-05-2010, 08:47 AM
please don't mix football with politics, especially if you aren't from here, Just sayin'


Location: Pittsburgh :thinking:

But yeah, SA have a forum for talking politics etc. Let's leave Obama out of this one, even though I know it wasn't serious!

LarryNJ
12-05-2010, 08:57 AM
Excuse me? Who is not from here? Chill out man, it has nothing to do with politics...


It was very obvious that it had nothing to do with politics. Not sure why he reacted like that.