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Old 10-17-2010, 10:50 PM   #1
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Default Bires: Harrison puts hurt on Cleveland

Bires: Harrison puts hurt on Cleveland
By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times

Sunday October 17, 2010 11:33 PM

Years before he developed into one of the NFL’s most ferocious and feared defenders, James Harrison claimed he was the meanest of all Steelers.

He said that during the 2004 season when he backed up Joey Porter, himself a meanie who prided himself on talking tough and playing tougher.

Since taking over for Porter at right outside linebacker three years ago, Harrison has lived up to his bravado. He’s been the NFL’s best defensive player since the start of the ’07 season, and he’s certainly been the meanest.

Surely, Harrison won’t get any arguments from the Cleveland Browns. Not after what happened Sunday when he single-handedly blasted the Browns’ hopes of an upset into smithereens.

Not only did he knock out the Browns’ most valuable player with a vicious hit, he took out another offensive weapon as well.

Early in the second quarter of a 28-10 Steelers’ runaway, Harrison drilled Joshua Cribbs, who was running with the ball out of the Wildcat formation.

Play was stopped while Cribbs lay motionless on the ground.

“I thought James killed him,” Steelers linebacker James Farrior said.

Fortunately, Cribbs wasn’t seriously hurt. But his day was done. He spent the rest of the game on the sideline with a concussion.

Later in the second quarter, Harrison did the same to wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi.

While trying to catch a short pass, Massaquoi had the ball knocked from his grasp and his senses knocked silly by another violent hit from Harrison.

Play was stopped again as the Browns’ medical staff attended to Massaquoi.

Fortunately, Massaquoi wasn’t seriously injured either. But like Cribbs, he had sustained a concussion and sat out the rest of the game.
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“It’s football,” Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley said.

“Things happen sometime. I don’t think James was celebrating because he knocked out two guys. That’s a serious situation. So it wasn’t like he was on the sideline bragging about it. That’s just how he plays football.”

Woodley was right. Harrison wasn’t bragging about knocking Cribbs and Massaquoi for a loop. But he did say that “I want to hurt people.”

Harrison went on to explain that there’s a difference between injuring a player and hurting him.

Injuring a player, he said, is when you intentionally hurt someone with a hit that causes a serious injury.

Hurting someone is what he did to Cribbs and Massaquoi, both of whom could be back on the field next week.

“He’s a beast,” Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward said of Harrison. “I’m glad he’s on our side.”

After the game, some of the Browns wondered if either of Harrison’s knockout hits was an illegal helmet-to-helmet blow.

The referees didn’t call a penalty on either of them.

Harrison claimed there was nothing illegal about them. So did his coach.

“Legal hits, not fineable hits,” Mike Tomlin said. “He played good football. James is always ready to deliver for his teammates.”

On Sunday, Harrison delivered again for the Steelers.

He led the team with 10 solo tackles. He recorded 1 1/2 sacks. And he delivered two brutal hits that added to his legend.

He didn’t knock out just one of the Browns. He took out two.

There’s no defender more productive or meaner than James Harrison.

Mike Bires can be reached at mbires@timesonline.com
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: Bires: Harrison puts hurt on Cleveland

I always compared him and his mean streak to Greg Lloyd. Never thought I'd say it, but Harrison puts Lloyd to shame. Silverback is a serious terror in this league and should play up to that standard for some years to come. A true Steelers linebacker. He fits our mentality to a TEE. People say he was cut many times from Balty & us. I read Harrison's book and I'm glad he turned his life and attitude around because he was cut because of things like attitude and drive. Now, he's the most driven person on the defensive side of the ball. Amazing player that has strength like the Incredible Hulk.
"I believe the game is designed to reward the one's who hit the hardest. If you can't take it, you shouldn't play!" -Jack Lambert
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Bires: Harrison puts hurt on Cleveland

Harris: Harrison's hits intimidate Browns
By John Harris
Monday, October 18, 2010

Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison likes to deliver pain.

"I want to hurt somebody,'' Harrison said late Sunday afternoon after doing exactly that twice in the Steelers' 28-10 win over the Cleveland Browns. "If you hurt somebody, they'll be back the next play. I don't want to see anybody injured. An injury will keep you out. But I'm not opposed to hurting anybody.''

Wide receiver Josh Cribbs is nobody's "anybody.'' Cribbs is the Browns' most talented offensive player, a dangerous gamebreaker who has returned three kickoffs for touchdowns against the Steelers since 2006. A former college quarterback, he's key to the Browns' Wildcat attack.

Cribbs made a mistake before the game. He boasted that he and his teammates weren't afraid of the "big, bad Steelers,'' as he called them. An unfortunate choice of words, it turned out.

Harrison was at his intimidating best yesterday. He tied for game-high honors with 11 tackles while adding 1.5 sacks, 3 quarterback hurries, 1 forced fumble and 1 pass defensed.

All that was missing was Harrison sporting Jack Lambert's snarling, no-front-teeth look.

The air exploded out of Cribbs' mouth when Harrison crashed into him after he took a direct snap at the 9:27 mark in the second quarter. Cribbs was immediately out, according to Harrison, who felt Cribbs' body go limp.

Cribbs' fumble was recovered by guard Floyd Womack as the awed Heinz Field crowd let out a collective "Oooooooh ...''

So did Harrison's teammates.

"When we see those type of hits, we all get excited and jump up and down just like the crowd,'' defensive captain James Farrior said. "We're all fans then. Everybody's human, and you're out there watching. When you see stuff like that, it's intimidating.''

Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons, who matched Harrison's 11 tackles, was also impressed.

"That was something I've never really seen before up close and personal," Timmons said. "That was crazy. Words can't really (describe) those type of collisions. I saw a knockout before, but not back-to-back in the same quarter like that.''

Wide receiver Hines Ward, whose game is predicated on catching passes over the middle, is grateful Harrison plays for the Steelers.

"He's a beast,'' Ward said. "You see a guy like that -- knocking guys out like that -- he's a man on a mission. He set the tempo for everybody else.''

Seven minutes after knocking out Cribbs, Harrison lined up wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi in his sights. A short toss from rookie quarterback Colt McCoy to Massaquoi was akin to wearing red into a bullring as Harrison crashed into the helpless receiver at top speed.

The ball fell to the ground, incomplete. Massaquoi also fell before slowly regaining his feet. Like Cribbs, he was diagnosed with a head injury and didn't return.

"No, I wasn't worried about being fined,'' Harrison said about his brutal hit on Massaquoi. "That was a good, clean, legal hit. Right place at the right time. To be honest with you, I laid off of him. I could have put a lot more into it.''

While Harrison didn't engage in a rant about how the NFL has gone soft and is one step away from putting dresses on quarterbacks, he didn't back down from defending his rough-and-tumble playing style.

"It doesn't matter,'' Harrison said of whether his tackle on Cribbs was helmet-to-helmet. "He's running (with) the ball, so that's a legal hit.

"It geeks you up, especially once you find out the guy's not really hurt, you find out he's going to be OK. It geeks you up. It geeks everybody up.''

Along with scaring the heck out of the other team.

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Bires: Harrison puts hurt on Cleveland

God I love our linebackers.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: Bires: Harrison puts hurt on Cleveland

he earholed them good

Good to see Tomlin backing him up

“Legal hits, not fineable hits,” Mike Tomlin said. “He played good football. James is always ready to deliver for his teammates.”
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