Originally Posted by Dodens Grav
Harrison actually wasn't fined for the Campbell hit. Which, unfortunately, validated the fact that it wasn't a penalty to begin with, and took away a pick six from Ike Taylor.
Runners do not have helmet t helmet protection because they are in a defensive position. Anybody with the ball, whether it be a RB, QB, WR, TE, or even a lineman that picks up a fumble, is considered a runner. A runner has accountability for his own protection; if he doesn't want to get hit in the head, he has to avoid the hit. This is the theory behind the defenseless player (ie. a WR before he secures a ball or a QB in a throwing posture). Far from BS, and far from league spokesmanship, just good old fashioned common sense there.
Regarding the Taylor hit, I still don't remember it, but I'm not going to deny it, and I see that he was fined, so that answered the main question of the thread.
Somebody said Massaqoui was a runner; he was not. He never even caught the ball before Harrison drilled him, which is a prerequisite for a defenseless receiver to transition into a runner. This is why Ryan Clark's hit on Willis McGahee back in the 08-09 playoffs wasn't a penalty, because McGahee had become a runner. This is made explicit by the fact that the ball on the ground was ruled a fumble, meaning that McGahee had already secured possession and was attempting to advance the ball as a runner.
That doesn't make any sense. If it's incumbent upon the runner to protect his own head, and it's his responsibility to avoid the helmet-to-helmet contact, why isn't the runner ever fined for the contact when it happens, instead of the defender?
The other thing that doesn't make any sense is using the phrase "good old fashioned common sense" in reference to the NFL administration. Common sense would dictate eliminating all
helmet-to-helmet hits, at least if your stated goal is to reduce head injuries. Instead, you cannot lead with your helmet, except in prime time, and on the third Thursday of every month, unless it's a handsome QB you're aiming at, and his arm is moving forwards or into his jock strap, or he's dating someone who is attractive, or...