Possible Suspension and League Review Reported In Response To Harrison Hit On McCoy

I was at the game on Thursday in Pittsburgh, seated approximately twenty rows from the top of the stadium.  Our seats were on the opposite side of the field from where the Harrison hit on McCoy took place.

Without assistance of binoculars, the jumbotron, or slow motion replay from our living rooms, we all stood completely silent after McCoy was leveled.  My friend next to me then said, “I think Colt McCoy just got killed.”

Obviously he survived without any known major injuries at this time, and thank all things good for that.  But that was the way that hit felt inside the stadium, standing nowhere near the field of play.

I’ve never seen a hit like that before, and I had a hard time bemoaning the interception Colt then threw a handful of plays later as a result.  I couldn’t believe the kid was even standing, let along playing.

I don’t mean to say that in an attempt to infer any type of judgement on Harrison, McCoy as a Quarterback, or the Browns coaching staff for allowing him to go back out there and play afterwards either.  That was just my perspective on things from Section 517, Row X, seat number 2, for whatever little that may be worth.

Earlier today, Adam Shefter tweeted that the NFL is considering suspending Harrison for that hit on Thursday:

The NFL is considering suspending Steelers LB James Harrison one or two games for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Browns QB Colt McCoy.

Chris Mortensen also reported that sources say the Browns coaching staff failed to follow proper concussion testing protocol as well:

One union source called the Browns failing to perform a sideline concussion exam on Colt McCoy a “blatant system failure”. An initial league review determined the standard SCAT2 concussion test was not administerd until Friday morning, which produced abnormal results.

The Browns medical staff said McCoy initially only complained about an injury to his left hand. Sources say the incident likely will be the catalyst to assigning an independent neurologist to each game in the future.

I’m sure there will be more on this as it develops.

  • Shamrock

    Maybe the Browns training staff and doctors could have utilized some binoculars when they looked af McCoy. I mean for him to say his finger was hurt while his eyeballs were rolling around in his head and be allowed to play was crazy. Cleveland Clinic pride.

  • chuck r.

    @Shamrock, your remark about Colts eyeballs were right on the money. Look at the replay, when he came back into the game, the cameras were aimed right into his eyes on that first snap, you could tell he looked dazed and confused.

  • tsm

    Also, after watching the replay for about the 10th time, it is obvious there was no attempt to tackle, only an attempt to launch at the qb. I think the rules need to go beyond the helmet to helmet stuff and require an attempt to tackle. Kids are taught how to tackle in youth leagues, but on the way to the pros, they seem to lose that fundamental and can only make “hits”. Let’s get back to real football.

  • Harv 21

    @ #1 and #2: that’s what I saw, too, from the end zone camera as Colt approached the line after the huddle. And if we could see it on camera, shame on the Browns for missing it/ignoring it when face to face with him.

    He’s a tough kid and surely said he was fine but that means nothing. Coaches/trainers need to decide that, just like managers decide whether the reliever who just gave up two ropes in the eighth inning should stay in. Can’t help but wonder whether they compromised in the moment, because it was their QB, because it was the game’s deciding moment and because a shocking upset was in reach.

  • Big Z

    The player safety situation in the NFL is spiraling out of control and something must be done to stop it. Issue CLEARER guidance to players and front offices regarding egregious offenses such as deliberate helmet to helmet contact. a “three strikes and your out” policy would do just fine – you get two fines then you start getting suspended, what’s wrong with that? Somebody train these refs for goodness sake, the perception of what is and what isn’t a personal varies too wildly from one ref to the next.

    The failure of the Browns’ medical staff to properly evaluate McCoy after that hit, ESPECIALLY since that’s the NFL’s current #1 priority when concerning player safety, was the most blatant and ridiculous display of incompetence I’ve seen from this staff to date. How can you possibly justify that!? If somebody doesn’t fire the person responsible for making that call they don’t deserve to be in a position of leadership, POINT BLANK.

  • willson

    it is my opinion that a 1-2 game suspension is not stiff enough for this harrison character. he has made it clear that he will not change his tackling (not really tackling, but rather headshots) form for the league and will just accept the penalties. suspend him for the rest of the season AND post season. show that this issue actually means something to the nfl, and help weed out blatant head hunters from the game.

  • Ghost

    If they are serious about sending a message to Harrison, they will suspend him for the rest of the season.

  • http://serandez.blogspot.com Ezzie

    When the play first happened, I actually was surprised at the penalty – it looked like a normal pancake tackle, that Colt was opened up because he pulled up to throw. Any normal tackle in that situation would have laid him out flat on his back, hard.

    But what’s sick about the Harrison tackle is as others noted that he made absolutely no attempt to tackle normally – he specifically chose a headfirst shot.

    There have been a ton of these the past few weeks in other games as well – normal tackles would be equally if not more likely to make a tackle, but these players who seem to have been taught to go for headshots have no concept of making a tackle with their hands – just using their helmets. Anyone who does that should get a fine, forget whether it causes injury or actually connects with a head. Meanwhile, guys who try to use shoulders or hands but accidentally connect will get a penalty sometimes, though at least erring on that side is understandable.

  • Dee P

    I believe this is a career changing hit on Colt. Hope I’m wrong, but I think after he fails as an NFL QB, he will continue to come back to this hit as the point where he “lost it”.

    Yes I know he has struggled…but this one is a life changer in my opinion.

    Harrison has now knocked out McCoy, Cribbs and MoMass in 1.5 seasons…when will ONE of our Browns lay a smack down on him? Ejection, personal foul, whatever, but someone on the field needs to stick up for his teammates and say enough is enough.

    We continue to play the role of “little brother” to the Steelers…they beat the crap out of us and we shake their hands and say good job.

  • da -Z-

    Bad bad bad call by the Browns coaches. Not only did they endanger McCoy’s life, they will be scrutinized for maybe the rest of the NFL season and beyond. They’re already talking about installing neurologists to be present on the side lines. I bet you a 100 dollars that they will start calling this “the McCoy rule”. This is another bad outing for Shurmur who has had a bad rookie season. Not only is the team struggling, now he will embarass the whole Browns organization for this rule that most certainly (per Peter King) will be implemented. Not what Holmgren and Heckert were waiting for when they hired him. I hope McCoy turns into our qb, I feel that good things should be coming his way soon since he’s been hung out to dry this season

  • Kildawg

    Remember when Suh got thrown out for curb-stomping on Turkey Day? Yet Harrison WASN’T for what looked like at least assault and battery, attempted murder at the worst. Suh had a hissy fit, Harrison a DELIBERATE action. I say suspend him for the rest of this season (including playoffs) AND all of next season to include playoffs as well. That would be a clear enough message.

  • Wheel

    #9, this is exactly what I am thinking. How long are the Browns going to stand around and watch this thug decimate out team? He has knocked out Cribbs, Mass, and now Colt with illegal hits. The only thing Harrison will understand is payback. The Browns need to develop a hockey mentality when it comes to this guy. Just another extremely disappointing aspect of the Cleveland Browns. Actually, these guys are not my “Cleveland Browns.” They are a bunch of posers in Browns uniforms.

  • 5KMD

    So this will be great. Any consussion will remove player who got hit from that game at least. Independent neuro doc will make sure of that.

    Meanwhile, player who gave the concussion might get a penalty and a fine after the fact that his team will gladly pay.

    If you are going to make guys with concussions miss the game, the same has to happen to the guy who gave the illegal hit (either that game or the next depending on when it was determined to be illegal).

  • TBuck

    For those that want payback dealt out, this isn’t a high school team where as a player you live, eat, and breathe your town and school. It’s more like your job. You drive for a while to get to your job, you may not even really live all that close. You meet these guys from a different office. You compete with them for some deal. Their company is apparently vastly better than yours. Most of them are OK. One of them is a real douche, and he uses some questionable ethics to close the deal then throws it in your face. But you know what, if they offered you a raise and a move to that better company you might just want it. So instead of putting up a huge stink and reaching across the table to punch the dude in the face, you call the guy an a-hole, and hope that the legal department does their due diligence. Then you rationalize any damage to your company by saying that it happens all the time or by saying that karma will exact punishment or some garbage like that.
    It’s these players’ jobs. Not their homes or their towns or their 16 to 18 year old hormone fed angry lives. There won’t be any retribution from players. At least not until our company is as big as theirs, and the players and legal team believe it.

  • http://www.starcherconsulting.com Jason

    Another black eye (literally and figuratively) for the Browns organization. Poor management from top to bottom. Wasn’t big Mike watching the broadcast? Why didn’t he phone down and have him pulled out? Nobody thought to question sending him back in after that hit, concussion or not? Seems like the inmates are running the asylum…

  • natedawg

    Here is a good one, EYE FOR AN EYE. If Colt does not play the next 3 Games, Harrison should be out the next 3 games. Colt took two steps then turned his head towards harrison to flinch before getting pummeled. 2 steps!!!

  • ben

    @13: It seems lame, but that is probably the best way forward. It has become apparent this season that sideline medical staffs are not taking the concussion issue seriously.

    The Colt example will get the most publicity b/c of how blatantly illegal the hit was and because it was the only national game on at the time. But, there have been a number of other examples throughout this season as well. (ex. The lineman who was obviously punch drunk but they “thought” it was just his ankle, so he continued playing.)

    I dislike “saving people from themselves” as much, if not much more, than the next guy; but this makes the NFL look really bad.

  • Joe

    Jason is DEAD ON with his comments!!!!!!!

  • Shamrock

    If I was McCoy I’d want to sit the rest of the year after the beating he’s taken.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    I mentioned it on another thread, but I’ll say it again. If Harrison doesn’t get suspended and is on the field on New Year’s Day, the Browns need to take this into their own hands. If Harrison walks off the the field unfazed, I will be greatly disappointed. Wheel’s comment (#12) is right. A “hockey mentality” is needed when we play the Steelers. Harrison pulls this crap every time he plays us, and we do nothing.

    I also like the idea that if a played sustains a concussion due to a blatant illegal hit, the player that inflicted the concussion must sit out the same number of games as the concussed player.

  • OmegaKing

    Re: Revenge on Harrison.

    How, exactly, should the offense retaliate against Harrison? Based on the roles of the offense, the only way they are designed to initiate contact is by blocking, whereas Harrison’s job is to initiate contact with the ball carrier.

    Short of sending someone out there with the sole purpose of attacking Harrison (which would be ridiculous, for the record), I’m not really sure how they would go about seeking retribution. Further, who on offense has the size to make that happen? I guess I’m just lost on the details.

  • http://www.starcherconsulting.com Jason

    I have to agree with OmegaKing. The time to make a point would have been directly after the hit. A scrum, a fight, whatever. But trying to “headhunt” Harrison? Maybe on a block or something, but how often do those “Hines Ward type” blindside blocks happen? That’s why they always make the highlight reels.

  • stin4u

    @20 – I don’t think we need to do any head hunting but honestly when that play happened there was a lot of standing around. There was zero outrage…even from the oline…the guys charged with protecting McCoy on a weekly basis. Everyone just kind of stood around McCoy and were like “oh dude, are you ok? That looked really painful” instead of at the very least getting in Harrison’s face for the REPEAT cheap shots he’s taken at players on their TEAM. It seems like there is zero pride/fire with this group.

    I’m not asking for retribution, I am asking for an appropriate reaction.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    @ stin4u – that’s fair enough. I just want to know how much longer were are going to let the “bullies” push us around before we pop them in the nose. They aren’t only beating us on the scoreboard…they are physically beating/injuring and intimidating us. Like you, I just want to see some players stand up and say “hey, you might beat us on the scoreboard, but we have had it with the headhunting…”

  • Wheel

    Buckeye Dog, that’s exactly what I’m saying. At the very least, someone should have immediately been in Harrison’s face. Where was Joe Thomas, Alex Mack and other supposed ‘leaders’? Violence is the only thing Harrison understand, and unfortnately, it is the only thing that will make him stop. The Browns’ reaction was LAME! Your quarterback just got leveled with an illegal hit by this thug, and you do nothing????