December 13, 2011 by staff
James Harrison, The NFL announced Tuesday that Steelers linebacker James Harrison has been suspended for one game for his hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy last Thursday night, CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman confirms.
It was Harrison’s first roughing-the-passer penalty of the season. A year ago, he was fined $100,000 for flagrant hits on then-Titans quarterback Vince Young ($5K), Browns’ receiver Mohamed Massaquoi ($75K), and Saints quarterback Drew Brees ($20K).
At the time, Harrison said “I don’t know. I guess try and be more aware about the placement of my face mask. I don’t know how you tackle someone and not use any part of your head, especially if you’re trying to see what you’re hitting. I mean, your face mask is going to touch them.”
On Monday, Harrison said he shouldn’t be suspended.
“I don’t think it’s suspension-worthy,” he said after practice, according to the CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Chuck Finder. “I don’t think it’s worthy of anything, but that’s just my own personal thoughts.”
The NFL determined that the hit was illegal because even though McCoy had tucked the ball to run, and had taken five steps before deciding at the last second to throw the ball, he’s still considered a quarterback and afforded the rules that protect them. At no time during the play was McCoy, in the league’s eyes (and according to the rules), considered a runner.
“They didn’t even call helmet-to-helmet; they called roughing the passer,” Harrison said. “He took off running with it and, at the last second, he like chuck-and-ducked. He tucked the ball and made like he was about to run. So I was going to tackle him.”
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