Harrison pleads innocent on latest hit
By Scott Brown
Monday, November 29, 2010
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- James Harrison said he did nothing wrong on the play that resulted in a personal foul penalty yesterday and will be reviewed by the NFL this week.
The Steelers' outside linebacker said some unlikely sources will back up his claim that he made a legal hit when he belted Ryan Fitzpatrick in the chest as the Bills quarterback released a pass in the Steelers' 19-16 overtime win.
"The whole (Bills') offensive line," Harrison said. "Ain't never had that one. That's a first."
Harrison said he does not expect the NFL to fine him for the play. His greater concern is that such a penalty will eventually cost the Steelers a game.
Yesterday's game pivoted a couple of plays after Harrison was called for roughing the passer for the third time in the past five weeks.
The Steelers were leading, 13-0, and firmly in control before Fred Jackson caught a slant pass and turned it into a 65-yard touchdown. Three plays earlier, Harrison slammed into Fitzpatrick on second-and-10 from the Bills' 20-yard line.
He was penalized for leading with his helmet on the hit.
"They're making these calls and when it comes down to it, it's a possibility that it could cost us the game," Harrison said.
Harrison and coach Mike Tomlin were clearly upset about the call after it happened.
Tomlin did not comment on the officiating after the Steelers had to sweat out their eighth win of the season.
"I'm not even going to talk about it," he said.
Harrison said just as with Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell a week earlier, he made sure he did not land on Fitzpatrick.
He did not get fined for his roughing-the-passer penalty against the Raiders. The three-time Pro Bowler said he should not have been flagged for it yesterday.
"I guess referees are getting to a point where they're afraid not to make a call," Harrison said.
Scott Brown can be reached at email@example.com