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Thread: Harrison passes on making big hit

      
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    Default Harrison passes on making big hit

    Harrison passes on making big hit on Dolphins' Brown
    By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Monday, October 25, 2010

    MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. Steelers linebacker James Harrison said he knows how to play football only one way.

    [IMGR]http://i53.tinypic.com/34pi649.jpg[/IMGR]Still, Harrison said he gave pause before attempting to line up Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown for a tackle early in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game at Sun Life Stadium.

    To go for big hit or not to go for the big hit?

    Harrison passed.

    Brown turned a short toss from quarterback Chad Henne into a 5-yard gain.

    "The one where Ronnie Brown was coming across the middle, and I started to go in there and hit him," said Harrison, who recorded four uneventful tackles in the Steelers' 23-22 win in his first game after being fined $75,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit against Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi. "It looked like he might have been sliding down, sort of like the same situation with Massaquoi.

    "I had a chance to put my head in there, but it looked like he was crouching down, and I didn't want to get a helmet-to- helmet, so I just put my face in there. Luckily, he went down and didn't scamper for another 10, 15 yards."

    Otherwise, Harrison said he played his normal game. He insisted he didn't allow the national controversy surrounding his hit against Massaquoi affect how he played against the Dolphins.

    "I wasn't trying to send a message," Harrison said. "No extra motivation than it is any other game. I was just out there playing the game the way that I've been taught to play since I was 10."

    In his first public comments since appearing on several national radio shows last week, Harrison repeated that he didn't try to intentionally hurt Massaquoi. He said the helmet-to-helmet contact was unavoidable.

    "That hit with Massaquoi was something that was uncontrollable," Harrison said. "The guy ducked and crouched down on me. My angle was all ready to hit him around his waist area. We hit helmet-to-helmet. Yet they want to fault me for that. I'm a pro athlete, true. I can adjust, but I can't adjust to something at the last minute. That's unreal."

    Asked if he believes he will win his appeal with the NFL regarding his $75,000 fine, Harrison replied: "I don't know if it will be overturned, but if you look at the play, there's no way you can say I was trying to hurt the guy."

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_705984.html
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    Default Re: Harrison passes on making big hit

    Harrison adjusts, just a little
    Monday, October 25, 2010
    By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- James Harrison played his game, without incident this time. He changed his game just once, admitting he pulled up rather than knocking Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown into kingdom come because he had fines and suspensions on his mind.

    [IMGL]http://i54.tinypic.com/1056tle.jpg[/IMGL]"Other than one play, I was fine," said Harrison, who found himself fined $75,000 and at the epicenter of an NFL crackdown on hard hits the past week.

    "Ronnie was coming across the middle, and I had a chance to hit him where it looked like maybe he was going to slide or fall down and I didn't. [Larry] Foote tackled him. So, luckily, he went down.

    "I would have ended up hitting him high because he ended up sliding. Even though I would have been aiming low, I would have ended up hitting him helmet to helmet."

    And no matter who is at fault these days, the NFL has sent out a strong message that it will not stand for such hits.

    Harrison, speaking publicly for the first time since his one-day "retirement" from football Wednesday, spoke calmly about the fine and its aftermath.

    "Maybe if that was the only hit that happened, mine, it wouldn't have transpired the way it did," Harrison said of a rash of hits last week that prompted the NFL to issue 15 fines for plays last weekend. "But there were three or four other hits in the matter of 20 or 30 minutes. It caused a real media storm, and I guess they felt they had to do something and they got everybody."

    Harrison had four tackles Sunday, but no sacks nor forced fumbles nor anything close to a controversial hit. He did leap over the head of fullback Lousaka Polite on one pass rush, only to fall to the ground.

    "I thought he was going to cut me so I jumped, and he was able to catch me at the last second," Harrison explained.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Injury report[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    The Steelers lost their second starting defensive end in two games when Aaron Smith left early in the third quarter with a torn triceps muscle in his left arm. The third arm injury in his past four seasons, this one also could end his year. He missed 11 games last season with a knee injury and a rotator cuff injury and his 2007 season ended with a torn biceps, both to his right arm.

    Coach Mike Tomlin revealed the extent of the injury, which occurred early in the third quarter, and said, "it is not good.''

    Linebacker James Farrior, the defensive captain, called the injury to Smith "devastating."

    "It's heartbreaking to see a guy work so hard to get back and have an injury like this," Farrior said. "I know he's devastated, I'm devastated and I'm sure everybody else is. To see a guy come out and just do everything right and get himself back to where he needs to be and have something like this happens is definitely frustrating."

    Two other starters also left the game with injuries, both in the first half. Starting offensive right tackle Flozell Adams has a sprained ankle and linebacker LaMarr Woodley has a pulled hamstring.

    Woodley predicted he will play Sunday night in New Orleans. Jonathan Scott replaced Adams and likely would start if needed. Inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons moved to Woodley's spot on the left in the base 3-4 defense, but rookie Jason Worilds played there in the passing defenses. It was Worilds who hit Miami quarterback Chad Henne, causing his final pass to fall incomplete.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Sanders atones for mistake[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Rookie Emmanuel Sanders did a nice job returning kickoffs -- after he fumbled the opening kick that led to a quick, 3-0 lead for the Dolphins.

    Sanders returned five kicks for an average of 28.8 yards (he also caught a pass for 18). His most important return was his last one when, after the Dolphins took a 22-20 lead, he ran the kickoff back 48 yards to Miami's 48 to give the Steelers a shot at the winning drive.

    They converted it, in bizarre fashion, but he got it all started.

    "The big thing is that he bounced back," Tomlin said. "Young guys are going to make mistakes. Hopefully, they are not mistakes of that nature -- putting the ball on the ground. ... But, as an individual, Emmanuel really bounced back. He moved the chains for us offensively on third down again this week. Of course, our kickoff return game was excellent as the game wore on."

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Curious decision[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Despite the win, Tomlin wasn't satisfied. "We weren't very good today, but [the Dolphins] had a lot to do with it ... We have to be better than we were today."

    Tomlin wasn't just talking about his players. He included himself because of a curious decision he made at the end of the first half with the Steelers leading, 17-16. On third-and-12 from the Miami 36, Tomlin, despite having two timeouts, allowed the clock to run down before quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was sacked for a 3-yard loss. That's how the half ended.

    "I screwed that up," Tomlin said. "I have to give Jeff [Reed] an opportunity [to kick a field goal]. I know it was 56, 57 or 58, but I have given Jeff those opportunities before, especially with the wind at his back."

    Reed kicked the winning, 18-yard field goal after the controversial call on a fumble by Roethlisberger. "The situation was bizarre," Reed said. "It was a short one, but it's the toughest 18-yard field goal that I've kicked."

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Early achievers[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Tomlin praised his defense, which held the Dolphins to two field goals after early Steelers turnovers gave Miami possession at the Steelers' 22 and 13. "When we needed them at the beginning, when we tripped over ourselves coming out of the locker room, they gave us a shot. I can't talk enough about those first two possessions. Being down, 6-0, was big under those circumstances."

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Field-goal blues[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    The Dolphins also couldn't stop talking about those first two drives resulting in only field goals. "Obviously, we needed touchdowns," Miami coach Tony Sparano said.

    Added offensive tackle Jake Long, "Field goals aren't good enough, especially when you play a team like that."

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Hard-to-believe department:[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    The Dolphins are 0-3 at their Sun Life Stadium and 3-0 on the road.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10298/1097894-66.stm
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    Default Re: Harrison passes on making big hit

    Harrison is full of **** that he his game wasn't altered by what was in the "back of his head". The fact that he thought about helmet to helmet reprecussions before tackling Brown is enough to tell me that it had a mental affect on him the entire game whether he wants to admit it or not.

    Hopefully it was just this week where the whole "play with caution" thing was in effect. I don't want players out there thinking about getting fined when they have to make plays
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    Default Re: Harrison passes on making big hit

    Ed: Will Harrison Remain Gun-Shy?

    MONDAY, 25 OCTOBER 2010 13:31 WRITTEN BY ED BOUCHETTE


    Not many seemed to find it troubling that James Harrison acknowledged pulling up rather than tackling Miami's Ronnie Brown on a play over the middle Sunday. Larry Foote went ahead and made the tackle.

    In fact, those I've heard talk about it say it was the smart thing to do by Harrison.



    That's a clean hit: James Harrison knocks Dolphins running back Ricky Williams in the fourth quarter.
    Photo by Peter Diana / Post-Gazette

    So, here you have a linebacker not wanting to tackle a running back because he admittedly feared the NFL crackdown on big hits? Harrison, mind you, wasn't planning on making an illegal hit on Brown. He planned to aim low. He said he was lucky he did not try to make the tackle because Brown then ducked low and it might have been a helmet to helmet collision.

    So what?

    Harrison made precisely the same kind of tackle against Joshua Cribbs in Heinz Field the previous week and the NFL quickly announced that it was a legal hit, even though their helmets collided. Cribbs did not complain, either; in fact, he urged his old Kent State teammate to keep playing as he always has.

    But Harrison has apparently decided discretion is the better way, even if his plans are perfectly legal by the NFL books and their hanging judges.

    This is what the NFL crackdown has come to: Players now fear making perfectly legal hits. It is what Art Rooney feared when he spoke to me last Thursday.

    The next question for the Steelers: Is a gun-shy James Harrison as good as the one before last Tuesday, when he was fined $75,000 for a hit against Cleveland? Not if he's going to pull off making the kinds of hits he made on Cribbs, nor the kind he should have made on Ronnie Brown in Miami.

    Safety Troy Polamalu also seemed to pull back on at least one tackle. It occurred in the second quarter after Chad Henne, from his own 20, completed a 17-yard pass to Brian Hartline. Polamalu had a perfect shot at Hartline and did not take it. Go back and look if you have a DVR of the game.

    Has the NFL successfully helped neutralize two Pro Bowl Steelers defenders with its crackdown? It's just one week, but there is video evidence and an admittance from one that Harrison and Polamalu shied away from tackles because of it.

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    Default Re: Harrison passes on making big hit

    Harrison's new image:


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    Default Re: Harrison passes on making big hit



    NEW YORK--In response to a growing number of head and neck injuries occurring in the league, the NFL announced yesterday that they would be banning dangerous helmet-to-helmet hits on anyone who makes more than $10 million a year. Any player at or above that salary level will now be protected by strict rules prohibiting any dangerous physical contact. Meanwhile, rookies, non-skilled players, kickers and anyone else that doesn’t matter are still free game. “We need to protect our best players,” explained Commissioner Rodger Goodell. “The Tom Brady’s, Peyton Manning’s, Chad Ochocinco’s and Andre Johnson’s—those are the type of guys we sell week in and week out. We can’t have them on the sidelines. But we still need to keep the violent play that attracts fans. That’s why every other player we couldn’t give two craps about can still be annihilated over the middle. Those guys can be easily replaced, so go ahead and hit them.”
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    Default Re: Harrison passes on making big hit

    Good one, NKy!
    'I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ***-kickers, ****-kickers and Methodists.'

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