While We’re Waiting… James Harrison, Helmet-to-Helmet Headhunter

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com

Paging Roger Goodell: “It’s time to decide, NFL: You’re either serious about the concussion issue or you’re not. If you are, something needs to happen to Harrison here. A substantial fine, at the very least. A suspension is preferable. And the officials shouldn’t go without some kind of reprimand, either.

And I know that some of you are thinking, “It’s football! Hits like that are part of the game!” My response to that is yes, you’re right, hits like that are a part of the game, but that is precisely the problem.” [Shutdown Corner]

Rodney Harrison: “Only suspensions can stop dirty hits.” [Pro Football Talk]

Clarification, please: “Someone needs to explain the rules of hitting people in the head to me. I don’t think the hit on Cribbs should have been a penalty, but the hit on MoMass should have been. A wide receiver that drops a pass and has his bell absolutely rung. Somehow TJ Ward does this and he is penalized and fined. The refs allowed Harrison to skate on the flag, I wonder if the NFL lets him skate on the fine. I’m not alone here right?” [SB Nation Cleveland]

Marring the week? “I am really bothered by the number of helmet-to-helmet hits we saw in Week 6 and the subsequent concussions that were caused as a result of those hits. Some of them were legal, and some were unavoidable. But, plain and simple, they are cheap shots, and the league needs to deal with this immediately.” [Mike Pereira/FoxSports]

And finally, suspensions > Fines: “Today might have been the clearest indication yet that while the NFL is making progress regarding head injuries, the players are not. We still celebrate the big hit, and a way has to be found that keeps the “ooh” hit active while keeping players from blending their brains week after week. First, we need a clear statement from both Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith that helmet-to-helmet hits are not going to be tolerated and they’ll take the necessary steps for punishment, if warranted. Fines don’t seem to be working, so maybe suspensions will. Those can be reviewed by the league each week.” [Will Carroll/SI.com]

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

  • thebigmack67

    I have lost all respect for James Harrison, not that I had much to begin with.

    I was so mad yesterday during the game…furious mad…my wife made me leave the house mad…and for all the un-educated Steelers fan claiming the hits are legal, you just show how idiotic you are. ANY HELMET TO HELMET hit in the NFL is an automatic 15 yard penalty. This guy makes two text-book examples of HELMET TO HELMET hits, and gets nothing. WHAT A JOKE, who in the heck are these officials??????

    I couldn’t believe that he wasn’t penalized for either hit, what a joke the NFL is towards their “money-making” teams. If the Steelers can get away playing dirty with NO FLAGS, why even have rules to “Protect Player Safety.”

    Roger Godell you better step up, cause after T.J. Ward got penalized, fined, and labled a dirty player for one hit you have also lost all respect for me after watching Harrison get NO FLAGS.

    What a joke the NFL is becoming. I mean I would at least like the rules to be upheld the same for all teams, and clearly yesterday was a first class example that certain teams aren’t held to the same standards.

    GO BROWNS….at least McCoy looked impressive!

  • Tron

    He’ll probably get a 10-15K fine and that’ll be the end of it, if that even happens. This is the steelers we’re talking about, when haven’t they been allowed to do things other players get fined and flagged for? Those are the perks of your owner being active in running the NFL, instead of hiding over in europe.

  • http://www.60bpm.com/ Robbie

    Nothing else needs to be written.

  • 216in614

    i won’t be surprised if this is the last we hear of this. the NFL needs to baby their manufactured comeback story in Rapelsburger and the steelers.

  • jimkanicki

    did you know that “BY RULE” a player in possession of the ball is ‘not defenseless’?

    this is seems to be why no flags. ?!


    in a related note, chronic traumatic encephalopathy has been found only in players without possession of the the ball. i haven’t seen this study but it must surely exist. otherwise why the nfl’s ‘WERE SERIOUS ABOUT HEAD INJURIES’ policy exclude players with the ball.

  • woodsmeister

    There has been a double standard for the Steelers for years. Hines Ward and the defense are allowed to cheap shot with impunity. They are allowed to be offsides half the time. They can hold with impunity.

    It must be a living hell to officiate a Steelers game because they cheat on every play. Either you let them get away with little infractions on every play, or games became a flagfest. And, when they get away with little infractions, they step it up and see how much more they can get away with without getting a penalty. And, if the NFL were to start enforcing the rules on them, they’d bitch and moan about how they’re just playing hard, and it’s a violent game, and they’re not doing anything they haven’t done before, but now, suddenly, it’s a penalty.

    The Steelers are a big problem for the NFL, and if they don’t do anything about them soon then someone is going to be paralyzed or die on the football field. And then it will be too late.

  • JK

    Truly pathetic that there were no flags after we saw with TJ.


    The fact that after Harrison did this to our players, not once, but twice, and nobody grabbed his face mask, chop blocked him, cut blocked him, clipped him, Not even pushed him or got in his face, this tells me a lot about this team. Go back to the Suh/Delhomme situation. Pretty much the same thing. Real, real bad show of support from your team.

  • MattyFos

    Remember when Kellen sent (Farrior or Porter) five yards down field while the whistle was blowing and the Stillers/Media were complaining and calling Kellen dirty….. Good times

  • Charlie

    @ JK: We play ’em again. Should be interesting.

  • JK

    Charlie – We dont see Suh again this year…

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com DP

    I think Charlie meant the Steelers…

  • Acrossthefield11

    Did Harrison and Cribbs play together at KSU or did Cribbs graduate before harrison started? Just an interesting side note.

    I have to agree with JK on this. We retaliated in high school baseball for Christ sakes. If a dirty play in the base line was made or one of our players was hit by a pitch and it seemed intentional it didn’t go unreciprocated. Look at the Cavs of old. When LeSuck got knocked down Andy and Z were in somebodies face in like .3 seconds. I thought the same thing when TO and Carson Palmer were getting in Ward’s face… Somebody shoulda gotten in there and stuck up for the rookie.


  • MC

    I agree that the first hit was arguable spearing since he put his head down, but as to the first poster, no not all helmet to helmet hits are illegal, as Cribbs was a runner. However, I think there is something to be said when a guy puts his head down(even though that is a force of habit to most tacklers). On the other hand, if he’s not supposed to lead with his helmet, what’s he supposed to lead with? His legs? So you can see the difficulty here.

    The second one to me was unwuestionably a legal football hit. It wasn’t even helmet to helmet. It was shoulder to helmet. What’s he supposed to say “READY OR NOT HERE I COME!!” before he hits someone?

  • JM

    No one reacted because this team is soft. Besides TJ Ward, who was probably begging Mangini to let him go out and run some routes to nail Harrison. That would have been fun to see.

  • Matt

    I don’t see the big deal here, I mean Harrison was being honest when he said I’m out to hurt people, you know how many nfl players think that and talk that way in the locker room but play the political correct game on camera? Helmet to helmet, it should be noted, is a risky manuever for both players, Harrison can easily paralyze himself as well, so I don’t think it’s a play he’s intentionally trying to make to ‘hurt’ someone anyway… the game is so fast its too hard to make adjusments and sometimes people get hurt. The defense is already limited too much anyway with the qb and some of these pass interference calls so I don’t see suspensions helping the game. Its a tough situation and no easy answer but Harrison is not a dirty player, I’ve been watching him closely for years.

  • perce

    when the steelrs play the browns next perhaps 2 hand touch would be in order. luckily harrison is held on every play or colt would be in a hot tub all week for sure it is a mans game that they get paid to play knowing all the risks involved sure no one wants anyone injured but injuries happen that is not going to change the hit on todd heap was clearly dirty there is a difference between hard and dirty