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Old 12-12-2011, 10:53 AM   #1
Raw Steel
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Default Peter King calls out Wallace; Says Harrison should not be suspended

Quote:
Mike Wallace's effort, or lack thereof, blocking on plays he's not involved in.
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/peter_king/12/12/Week14/index.html#ixzz1gL8Tw4G4

Quote:
James Harrison should not be suspended, but he should be fined. I've watched his scary helmet-to-helmet hit on Colt McCoy 15 times now, and I've listened to his defense. Which is this, basically: Once McCoy tucked the ball under his right arm and began to run, and left the pocket, McCoy appeared to be a runner, and thus could be hit in the helmet by a tackler. (Crazy rule, that runners can be hit helmet-to-helmet in the open field and quarterbacks can't be if they exhibition any intention of passing.)

McCoy, by my count, took five strides with the ball tucked under his arm, and when he and Harrison were about one stride apart, McCoy quickly pulled out the ball and tossed it to a receiver for a completion. I agree with what Harrison said postgame -- when he was coiling to hit McCoy, the quarterback appeared to be a runner.

But the NFL rule does not refer to time when talking about hits on a quarterback. In other words, the rule doesn't say if a quarterback looks to be a runner and at the last second throws a pass, and then is hit in the helmet, it's perfectly legal. The rule simply says you cannot hit a quarterback helmet-to-helmet. And in this case, Harrison clearly had the chance to make his aiming point lower. He could have hit McCoy shoulder pads to ribs, but he chose to aim higher than that. McCoy didn't curl up either.

So while I do not blame Harrison for thinking McCoy was a runner, and I believe it is wholly unfair to indict him for this hit as a cheap shot, I do blame him for where he aimed and where he hit him. There was no need to aim for the helmet. None. The play should result in a good-sized fine -- but it does not rise to the Suh-stomping level of a suspension, even with Harrison's history of NFL fines and discipline.
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