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Thread: Steelers still insist they were targeted by NFL

      
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    Default Steelers still insist they were targeted by NFL

    Steelers still insist they were targeted by NFL
    By Ralph N. Paulk, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Saturday, August 6, 2011







    Again, NFL officials are putting an emphasis on helmet-to-helmet hits and illegal contact to defenseless players.

    Perhaps it was a coincidence, but league officials began making their rounds to all 32 teams with a visit Friday to the Steelers' training camp at St. Vincent College. In 2010, the defending AFC champions were assessed a league-high six roughing-the-passer penalties.

    However, the Steelers thrust themselves in the middle of a heated debate with commissioner Roger Goodell after linebacker James Harrison was assessed a league-high four fines, mostly for illegal contact and helmet-to-helmet blows.

    Harrison, and many of his teammates, suggested the league targeted the Steelers. Rick Patterson, a 16-year NFL official, vehemently denied those charges following a presentation of this year's rule changes.

    "We don't have players who are targeted, but we're no different than teams who study film," Patterson said. "If I see tendencies, we inform teams of that beforehand.

    "We do a lot of preventive officiating because our objective is not to throw the flag. We are aware of what players have done, but it doesn't influence how we officiate."

    Still, linebacker James Farrior insisted game officials were persistent in making an example of the Steelers.

    "I definitely think they targeted us," Farrior said before last night's practice at Latrobe High School. "I understand (officials) are supposed to say they don't target anybody, but we had a feeling they were putting us out there. We were mainly the only team getting these fines.

    "(Harrison) is an aggressive player, and it's how he's always played. To come in at midseason, and tell the guy to change the way he's played his entire life is kind of unreasonable."

    The Steelers rejected the 10-year collective bargaining agreement that received the majority of the NFLPA's support during Thursday's vote, in part, because of their reluctance to strengthen the commissioner's hand in determining fines and suspensions.

    While many of the rules concerning illegal contact remain the same, there were several clarifications such as hits to the head of a passer by an opponent hands, arms or other parts of the body will not be fouls unless they are forcible blows.

    In defining what constitutes a defenseless player, league officials made a significant change that includes quarterbacks as defenseless "any time after a change of possession" and kickers and punters "during the kick or during the return."

    Also, the league made an effort to protect receivers by prohibiting launching into a defenseless player. It extends the protection for a receiver who has completed a catch so that he's a defenseless player until he becomes a runner.

    "Basically, what (the league) is trying to do is take the helmet out of all hits, especially if you launch," Patterson said. "They don't want any contact with a defenseless player, specifically quarterbacks, placekickers and punters."

    "It's good for us to try to get a baseline on what's legal and not legal," Farrior said. "Once we have a clear understanding, we can move forward. I understand the changes because we're trying to make the league safer."

    Safety Will Allen said he understands the league's desire to protect players, mostly because of the growing number of concussions. Yet, he insisted defensive players are feeling somewhat handcuffed by the rules changes.

    "They are making it harder every year because they want this to be an offensive league," Allen said. "But we have learned to roll with the punches.

    "It's difficult to change because you've been trained to hit a certain way. We have to retrain ourselves, but it's hard to break old habits."



    Read more: Steelers still insist they were targeted by NFL - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1UFmJG8jZ
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    Default Re: Steelers still insist they were targeted by NFL

    It is hard to dispute what comes across as fairly obvious. The Helmet to Helmet contact they were fined for was incidental contact made when a facemask was buried in the chest of the tacklee. What burned me was that they got fined for plays they weren't penalized for. On some plays, the ref WAS reaching for the flag as Harrison was about to make the Tackle and yet Ben was beaten and battered and was clubbed in the face and had his nose shattered. With all the late hits he took only one of them resulted in a fine of $25,000, which was the hit he broke his nose. I think the Steelers are justified in thinking they got targeted by the league.
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    Default Re: Steelers still insist they were targeted by NFL

    Not trying to be a homer but I honestly thought the Steelers had the target on their backs last season.

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    Default Re: Steelers still insist they were targeted by NFL

    Quote Originally Posted by fezziwig View Post
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    Not trying to be a homer but I honestly thought the Steelers had the target on their backs last season.
    Nothing homerish about it, they did have targets on them. Can't remember the opponent off hand, but I remember Wood rushing the QB, he pulled up when the ball was thrown and barely touched the guy.........the QB plays drama queen and falls on his *** and Wood gets fined $15,000 for a late hit. It's blatantly obvious the QB was acting and really embellishes the contact. Yet nobody ever held Wood or especially Harrison except maybe once every 44 games or so.
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    Default Re: Steelers still insist they were targeted by NFL

    Man, this issue really needs to be dropped, even though the media idiots continue to press it...

    ... Yea, there were a few (only a few) bad calls... But the more this goes on, the more they are coming-off like little whiney crybabies. When Harrison & co. flat-out say that they won't change, then lead hits with the crown of their helmets, they deserve to be fined.
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    Default Re: Steelers still insist they were targeted by NFL

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    Man, this issue really needs to be dropped, even though the media idiots continue to press it...

    ... Yea, there were a few (only a few) bad calls... But the more this goes on, the more they are coming-off like little whiney crybabies. When Harrison & co. flat-out say that they won't change, then lead hits with the crown of their helmets, they deserve to be fined.
    I agree that it is time for them to drop it because it ain't gonna help their cause any to bring it up. just for ****s and giggles, i went back through every game and came up with 16 calls that were pure bull****. it equals one per game, but always at a crucial juncture in the game which is what irked me as a fan the most.
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