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Hawaii 5-0
12-21-2012, 01:10 PM
James Harrison: I’ve lowered my target, now I hit guys in the knees

Posted by Michael David Smith on December 21, 2012

http://nbcprofootballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/james-harrison-eric-decker.jpg?w=250

Steelers linebacker James Harrison became the poster boy for the NFL’s crackdown on hits to the head of defenseless players last year, and after multiple fines and a suspension, Harrison says he got the message.

Unfortunately for the Steelers’ opponents, that message isn’t necessarily one that’s going to make them any safer. Harrison said on Mike and Mike in the Morning that now instead of trying to hit players in the head, he’ll hit them in the knees.

“I’ve really lowered my target area to where it’s down around the knees,” Harrison said. “Situations come along where you could tackle the guy high. I don’t do that anymore. I tackle the guy low.”

Harrison said, however, that he doesn’t think that makes life any easier on opposing players. Harrison referenced his hit to the knee of Broncos receiver Eric Decker in last year’s playoffs, a hit that caused Decker to suffer a sprained MCL, as the kind of hit he makes now that he wouldn’t have made before he was suspended last season — and a hit that Harrison doesn’t think makes the game any safer.

“I could have tackled him high, but if I had hit him high, I probably would have gotten a helmet-to-helmet or something and gotten fined,” Harrison said. “So I hit him low and strained his MCL. . . . They’re saying it’s a life-threatening injury to hit a guy in the head and he gets a concussion and so on and so forth, but I think a life-threatening injury is to go low on a guy and blow out his ACL or whatever, and he’s not able to come back the way he was before. Now he can’t make a living, he can’t feed his family, he can’t do what he does. That’s life-threatening to me.”

Harrison has long expressed doubts that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and others in the league office are sincere about their desire to make playoffs safer.

“It’s for player safety — at least that’s what they say,” Harrison said. “But the way I see it is that it all comes down to something different. You say you want to make the game safer but yet you turn around and want to add extra games. How is that making us safer?”

That’s a good question. And whether Harrison lowering his target makes the game safer is also a good question.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/12/21/james-harrison-ive-lowered-my-target-now-i-hit-guys-in-the-knees/

pittpete
12-21-2012, 01:53 PM
At least hes honest

Fire Arians
12-21-2012, 02:17 PM
soon the NFL will start fining defenders for low hits. then fine them for hits in the midsection when they realize you can break someone's ribs doing that. then, well might as well just ditch the pads and play flag football.

teegre
12-21-2012, 03:32 PM
The #1 cause of players having to retire/leave the sport: knee injuries.

Ironic that in order to prolong players' careers, the NFL is essentially forcing them to do the exact opposite.

[Yes, head injuries have prolonged effects, but knee injuries are the most common reason for players' careers to end.]

WVABE
12-21-2012, 05:58 PM
Targeting the knees is just wrong all the way around.
When I see someone do this I automatically think that player
has intentions on taking someone out of the game.
Put Kevlar in everyones helmets and let them go back to a tradition,
bustin' heads.

Fire Arians
12-21-2012, 06:00 PM
Targeting the knees is just wrong all the way around.
When I see someone do this I automatically think that player
has intentions on taking someone out of the game.
Put Kevlar in everyones helmets and let them go back to a tradition,
bustin' heads.

the only place james can aim for and not get fined. i lost count of how many times he aimed for the chest / numbers area and the ballcarried reeled and lowered his head before impact. result = hit to the helmet

WVABE
12-21-2012, 06:17 PM
the only place james can aim for and not get fined. i lost count of how many times he aimed for the chest / numbers area and the ballcarried reeled and lowered his head before impact. result = hit to the helmetThat is true but James is also being targeted by the commieisioner.

El-Gonzo Jackson
12-21-2012, 06:23 PM
Its legit that he lowers his target and gets knees rather than head. Its a violent game and if anybody saw "Head Games" by former Harvard Football player Christopher Nowitzki, you will see that brain injury in NFL is serious.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2239400/

I dont know the answer, but there is a concussion problem in the NFL and it appears long term. The realization and congressional hearings on it pretty much forced Goodell to do something. Sadly, you can end a guys career from a knee shot, but possibly save his life by not repeatedly concussing him.

Watch the movie!!! you will appreciate what a tough line there is between making the NFL and not being ruined for life mentally.

Ricco Suavez
12-21-2012, 06:31 PM
Seriously I do not know what the answer is. Helmet to helmet hits are very dangerous and hits to the knees are career ending injuries. In the NFL's effort to increase scoring they have loosened rules regarding the secondary and that has led to "the Hit" as opposed to the bump and run type defense played. With PI's called as often as the refs do the DB now try to dislodge the pass at the moment of the catch. Players are no better than players years ago in areas like intellect, fierceness, and tenacity, but they are better trained and are stronger and faster and usually bigger than their counter parts of 5, 10, 15 years ago. Equipment to be me has to be improved drastically first and deliberate and dangerous hits do need to be outlawed. But the way the NFL is doing it they do not take into consideration the fraction of time a player has to react. With much wealth comes risk and most if not all these players would not have it any different.

PATS16N0
12-21-2012, 07:32 PM
This doesn't really surprise me coming from Harrison...

I understand he's trying to make a point but it's a stupid thing to say. NFL fans reacted to Bountygate the way they did because they think players intentionally trying to injure to clear the field of competition is wrong, and it is wrong.

If James Harrison wants to say things like this and then goes out an actually injures a star player by diving at his knees, whether the hit was intentional or not, it might kill his career and put a black mark on Steelers football.

It's hard to tell what the answer is. I'm as much a fan of Rodney Harrison style secondary play as any Steelers fan here but helmet to helmet is obviously really dangerous and diving at knee caps is pretty crummy, too.

I do think the `defenseless receiver` thing could get lifted as long as it's not helmet to helmet missiles.

PATS16N0
12-21-2012, 07:33 PM
Or we could stop with the pussification of America and just accept it's a brutal game for men and not figure skaters and go back to how it was, which I would be fine with.

EbonySteel86
12-21-2012, 07:41 PM
soon the NFL will start fining defenders for low hits. then fine them for hits in the midsection when they realize you can break someone's ribs doing that. then, well might as well just ditch the pads and play flag football.

Low hits will be fined as soon as the league starts getting sued for blown knees. This is BS and its a shame James feels he has too.hit low to avoid getting fined or suspended. It's almost impossible to hit a guy clean when he's ducking, dodging, spinning, juking, jumping, diving......

PATS16N0
12-21-2012, 08:04 PM
Another thing, and I don't think anyone here will disagree, is if the rules force every team to go in the same direction and become, say, a Patriot clone, or a Packers clone, or a New Orleans clone, and each and every game is nothing but a Quarterback slinging the ball back and forth down a field in shoot out after shoot out, the NFL will get real boring, real fast.

It's the match ups that make the NFL interesting.

Some teams are the Patriots.

Some teams are the Steelers.

Some teams are the Ravens.

Etc.

I feel like Roger Goodell is going to force one style of play and one style of play only on the entire league, thinking offense is more exciting and generates more fans, but offense is only exciting if it's unique to the league and one style of many through out the NFL.

Constant shoot outs all day long on Sunday, every single Sunday, would get just as boring as every team being a defensive power house and ending in 3-6 field goal battles.

Hawaii 5-0
12-21-2012, 08:09 PM
Or we could stop with the pussification of America and just accept it's a brutal game for men and not figure skaters and go back to how it was, which I would be fine with.

I don't think it's so much the pussification of America as it is that we live in such a litigious society where everyone is deathly afraid of getting sued.

tanda10506
12-21-2012, 08:31 PM
I don't think it's so much the pussification of America as it is that we live in such a litigious society where everyone is deathly afraid of getting sued.

It's both. No doubt the runaway lawsuits have "pussified" the country, but there is seemingly a movement to pussify men in this country and it starts at a young age. Boys in school are encouraged to not do anything that all of us guys here did at a young age. I remember playing with cap guns outside with my brother in BDU"s we bought from an Army surplus store (we had 98 acres) then we'd come in and make model cars. At school we played sports or a brutal game of tag where someone was sure to get hurt every time. Now the elementary school that my young brother in-law goes to is talking about doing away with all sports and chasing games at recess. Wtf?

As for Harrison, he was just saying it how it is. Sure he didn't need to specify where he's hitting them, but after all that is the only place you can hit somebody and ensure that you don't get find for a player that ducks when you go to hit them in the chest. Anybody who's not a Steeler fan is going to say that it's stupid for him to say that or that he's doing it on purpose trying to blow out knees, but that's not the case. He's not willing to continue to take a hit in the pocket book just because somebody shifts as he's about to hit them, so he tackles the only way that he can 100% avoid that problem. Don't blame him, blame the dumbass who made the rules which actually encourage players to hit in the knees by giving frivolous fine's for any hit that is "too hard" or allegedly is helmet to helmet.