10-28-2012, 08:10 AM
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Harrison's latest harsh words on Goodell
Silverback unloads on Goodell in USA Today - hope this is a sign he is feeling better
James Harrison is still seeking to regain his groove as a menace to quarterbacks after missing the first three games of the season following arthroscopic knee surgery, but the Pittsburgh Steelers all-pro linebacker is already in mid-season form when it comes to admonishing a favorite target: Roger Goodell.
Harrison told USA TODAY Sports that he doesn't believe the NFL Commissioner would be welcomed by players in the Steelers locker room, with bad blood lingering from discipline the league has handed out in recent years....
He says the ongoing battle between Goodell and the four players resisting discipline for their alleged roles in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal -- with Tuesday's appeals hearing postponed and pending court cases -- crystallizes the sentiment that the commissioner wields too much power.
"You can see the writing on the wall," Harrison said. "At first it was just the Steelers, now there are other teams having problems. It wasn't an issue when it was just the Steelers.
"We were the only team that voted no on the CBA, for the reason of how much power it gave a certain individual," he added, referring to the ratification vote by players after the collective bargaining agreement was struck in July 2011. "We didn't feel it was going to be good for that to be in the deal. As you see, it has not worked out well."...
Asked if he has discontent with union leadership for agreeing to a CBA that didn't address the Commissioner's power in a way he deemed suitable, Harrison said: "I don't know about our union leadership. If it's my son and I'm bargaining, I wouldn't have agreed to signing a deal that players would have such a problem with."
One of the NFLPA's executive board members, quarterback Charlie Batch, is a Steelers teammate who was involved in negotiations. Harrison doesn't have a problem with the information coming from Batch -- "As a team, we were like ridiculously 'no' against the deal," he said -- but said that he believes some union reps for some teams were either too eager to end the lockout or misinformed....
The linebacker's displeasure with Goodell is such that he contends that he rejected a request from the NFL to donate a game jersey to be auctioned for charity.
He said, "I will walk through hell in gasoline drawers before I let you have my jersey."