NFL fines Steelers' Harrison $75,000; Harrison: 'It was a legal hit'
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Linebacker James Harrison hits Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi. The NFL fined Harrison $75,000 for the hit.
Steelers linebacker James Harrison has been fined $75,000 by the NFL for his helmet-leading hit that caused Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi to receive a concussion. Harrison was not suspended.
Browns wide receiver Joshua Cribbs also sustained a concussion on a helmet-first hit by Harrison on a running play a few minutes before the Massaquoi hit. The Cribbs tackle was not reviewed by the NFL.
"It was a legal hit," Harrison maintained in an interview today with the Post-Gazette, before the fine was levied by the NFL, as did Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.
"All you have to do is look at the tape," Harrison said.
He said he was not aiming for Massaquoi's head and actually tried to pull off of him. He believes he's being targeted because of media opinion against him.
"If I get fined it's because anybody out there who has a camera in their face or a pen in their hand is writing their opinion and it's all the same. I just happened to be one of the bigger names who hit somebody last weekend."
The fine came as the league announced it would begin suspending players for dangerous and flagrant hits. Harrison was not penalized on the play.
The NFL also fined New England's Brandon Meriweather and Atlanta's Dunta Robinson $50,000 each for "flagrant violations of players safety rules" in games Sunday, according to a league statement($50,000)
In letters to each player, Ray Anderson, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, said: "Future offenses will result in an escalation of fines up to and including suspension."
The statement noted that Harrison is a "repeat offender", having been fined $5,000 for unnecessary roughness for roughing the passer in Pittsburgh's Sept. 19 game against Tennessee.
A handful of blows to the head in Sunday's NFL games prompted league officials to react, promising a crackdown with fines and/or suspensions for such hits. Harrison even cited the hit by Patriots defensive back Brandon Meriweather on Baltimore tight end Todd Heap as "a nasty hit."
"My hit was nowhere near the magnitude of that," Harrison said. "That was a nasty hit."
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10292...#ixzz12r4RrtM4