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Thread: Is James Harrison being unfairly profiled for dangerous hits? NFL players think so

          
   
   
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  1. #1
    Your Brother In Christ Scorp's Avatar
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    Is James Harrison being unfairly profiled for dangerous hits? NFL players think so

    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.

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    steelersbabex25's Avatar
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    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?

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    Starter Goodfrom55's Avatar
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    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.

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    I am pretty great. Rampage's Avatar
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    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.

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    Rookie Free Agent steelers40xl's Avatar
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    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.

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    I am pretty great. Rampage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelers40xl View Post
    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.
    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.

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    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.

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    Ratbird Slayer Farrior Fan's Avatar
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    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.

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    Starter Goodfrom55's Avatar
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    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.

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