View Full Version : Upset Harrison expected back for Steelers

10-20-2010, 11:35 PM
Upset Harrison expected back for Steelers
By Mark Kaboly
Thursday, October 21, 2010

Is James Harrison really contemplating retirement?

The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year felt so strongly about not being permitted to play football the way he always has, thanks to fallout from knocking out receivers Joshua Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi, Harrison arrived early at the team's practice facility Wednesday for a meeting with Mike Tomlin to talk about his future.

After that, Tomlin sent his starting outside linebacker home for the day.

"He didn't go home. I asked him to," Tomlin said. "At that time, I thought it was beneficial for him and us if I give him a little time to cool off. I'm sure he'll be back in the building and ready to play football (today)."

Harrison was fined $75,000 for the hit on Massaquoi one that Tomlin still believes was legal and faces a suspension with any future helmet-to-helmet incidents.

After the game, Harrison said he did nothing wrong. Tuesday, Harrison announced on a pair of national radio shows that he was thinking about quitting.

"James is a very good athlete, and he takes pride in what he does," Steelers tackle Max Starks said. "It is not unexpected, but everybody deals with things differently."

Harrison was fined for unnecessarily striking a defenseless receiver in the head and neck area and, according to the NFL's vice president of football operations Ray Anderson, he didn't give Massaquoi enough time to protect himself after making the catch.

Anderson's reasoning has confused players in the Steelers locker room.

"We all have the same concerns of what is legal and what is not legal," team captain James Farrior said. "I don't think it is defined right now."

Harrison, who rarely talks openly to the media, was upset enough to pitch his "retirement" story to Fox Sports Radio and Sirius XM, which led to his meeting with Tomlin yesterday.

"Very productive conversation," said Tomlin, who declined to discuss specifics of the meeting. "He's a very disciplined and regimented guy who is passionate about playing football. It bothers him that maybe he's being perceived as a dirty player. He doesn't want to be. He simply wants to play the game and play it extremely well."

Harrison had two sacks and 11 tackles against the Browns and leads the team with five sacks. Being in the prime of his career, playing at a high level and in the midst of a lucrative $51.175 million deal that he signed before the start of last season makes it a long shot that he would follow through on retirement.

"But you never know," Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley said. "I expect him here (today). He loves the game too much."

While a large contingent of defensive players such as Casey Hampton, Larry Foote, Ryan Clark and Aaron Smith refused to talk about Harrison's fine or absence, Farrior said he doesn't believe Harrison will retire.

"Nah, I am sure he just needs some time to calm down," Farrior said. "He is an emotional guy. You can imagine how he feels now."

In Harrison's absence at practice, Lawrence Timmons moved to right outside linebacker with Foote replacing Timmons on the inside.

Harrison is expected back for today's noon practice.

"I hope so," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. "I love as him as a friend and a teammate, and we need him back."

And when Harrison returns, no change in the way he plays is expected.

"At the end of the day, no," Tomlin said. "We just have to take a conscious effort in terms of safeguarding players as much as we can."

Mark Kaboly can be reached at mkaboly@dailynewsemail.com or 412-664-9161.

Lady Steel
10-21-2010, 03:25 PM
He's baaaaaaaack! :tt02:


10-21-2010, 04:34 PM
hes not going anywhere....just took a "cooling down "day

10-21-2010, 04:52 PM
I love Harrison.. To see him go would be crushing. We need that kind of force.

Stu Pidasso
10-21-2010, 05:57 PM
I feel so sorry for the Dolphins this week. Even I'm scared for them...

10-21-2010, 06:19 PM
I really dont like how the nfl is going after the defensive players right now. I really think that some of the blame for these hits has to fall on the shoulders of the offense. For instance if massaquoi would have caught the ball instead of juggling it then he would have had lots of time to protect himself. Then you also have to blame the quarterbacks, colt mccoy basically led massaquoi right into harrison.

10-21-2010, 06:22 PM
...or Harrison could learn to run like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFfrOQ75X0o)

10-21-2010, 10:16 PM
Like I said in earler posts...our steelers are a pissed off team and it will show...just hope we can play within the "so-called rules" !!! **** the commish!!!!!!!:tt02:

10-21-2010, 10:19 PM
...or Harrison could learn to run like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFfrOQ75X0o)

:sofunny: You joined almost 2 years ago and choose this as your first post? You've been holding out on us.

10-21-2010, 10:57 PM
hes not going anywhere....just took a "cooling down "day


Harrison has always been emotionally impulsive.

Just wish this would die down and the media will leave him be, or like today it might just be best if he kept himself unavailable to the press.

10-22-2010, 12:37 AM
:sofunny: You joined almost 2 years ago and choose this as your first post? You've been holding out on us.

Timing is everything.:tt04: