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Old 12-21-2012, 01:10 PM   #1
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Default James Harrison: I now hit guys in the knees

James Harrison: I’ve lowered my target, now I hit guys in the knees

Posted by Michael David Smith on December 21, 2012



Steelers linebacker James Harrison became the poster boy for the NFL’s crackdown on hits to the head of defenseless players last year, and after multiple fines and a suspension, Harrison says he got the message.

Unfortunately for the Steelers’ opponents, that message isn’t necessarily one that’s going to make them any safer. Harrison said on Mike and Mike in the Morning that now instead of trying to hit players in the head, he’ll hit them in the knees.

“I’ve really lowered my target area to where it’s down around the knees,” Harrison said. “Situations come along where you could tackle the guy high. I don’t do that anymore. I tackle the guy low.”

Harrison said, however, that he doesn’t think that makes life any easier on opposing players. Harrison referenced his hit to the knee of Broncos receiver Eric Decker in last year’s playoffs, a hit that caused Decker to suffer a sprained MCL, as the kind of hit he makes now that he wouldn’t have made before he was suspended last season — and a hit that Harrison doesn’t think makes the game any safer.

“I could have tackled him high, but if I had hit him high, I probably would have gotten a helmet-to-helmet or something and gotten fined,” Harrison said. “So I hit him low and strained his MCL. . . . They’re saying it’s a life-threatening injury to hit a guy in the head and he gets a concussion and so on and so forth, but I think a life-threatening injury is to go low on a guy and blow out his ACL or whatever, and he’s not able to come back the way he was before. Now he can’t make a living, he can’t feed his family, he can’t do what he does. That’s life-threatening to me.”

Harrison has long expressed doubts that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and others in the league office are sincere about their desire to make playoffs safer.

“It’s for player safety — at least that’s what they say,” Harrison said. “But the way I see it is that it all comes down to something different. You say you want to make the game safer but yet you turn around and want to add extra games. How is that making us safer?”

That’s a good question. And whether Harrison lowering his target makes the game safer is also a good question.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...-in-the-knees/
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: James Harrison: I now hit guys in the knees

At least hes honest
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: James Harrison: I now hit guys in the knees

soon the NFL will start fining defenders for low hits. then fine them for hits in the midsection when they realize you can break someone's ribs doing that. then, well might as well just ditch the pads and play flag football.
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: James Harrison: I now hit guys in the knees

The #1 cause of players having to retire/leave the sport: knee injuries.

Ironic that in order to prolong players' careers, the NFL is essentially forcing them to do the exact opposite.

[Yes, head injuries have prolonged effects, but knee injuries are the most common reason for players' careers to end.]
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: James Harrison: I now hit guys in the knees

Targeting the knees is just wrong all the way around.
When I see someone do this I automatically think that player
has intentions on taking someone out of the game.
Put Kevlar in everyones helmets and let them go back to a tradition,
bustin' heads.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: James Harrison: I now hit guys in the knees

Quote:
Originally Posted by WVABE View Post
Targeting the knees is just wrong all the way around.
When I see someone do this I automatically think that player
has intentions on taking someone out of the game.
Put Kevlar in everyones helmets and let them go back to a tradition,
bustin' heads.
the only place james can aim for and not get fined. i lost count of how many times he aimed for the chest / numbers area and the ballcarried reeled and lowered his head before impact. result = hit to the helmet
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: James Harrison: I now hit guys in the knees

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Arians View Post
the only place james can aim for and not get fined. i lost count of how many times he aimed for the chest / numbers area and the ballcarried reeled and lowered his head before impact. result = hit to the helmet
That is true but James is also being targeted by the commieisioner.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: James Harrison: I now hit guys in the knees

Its legit that he lowers his target and gets knees rather than head. Its a violent game and if anybody saw "Head Games" by former Harvard Football player Christopher Nowitzki, you will see that brain injury in NFL is serious.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2239400/

I dont know the answer, but there is a concussion problem in the NFL and it appears long term. The realization and congressional hearings on it pretty much forced Goodell to do something. Sadly, you can end a guys career from a knee shot, but possibly save his life by not repeatedly concussing him.

Watch the movie!!! you will appreciate what a tough line there is between making the NFL and not being ruined for life mentally.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: James Harrison: I now hit guys in the knees

Seriously I do not know what the answer is. Helmet to helmet hits are very dangerous and hits to the knees are career ending injuries. In the NFL's effort to increase scoring they have loosened rules regarding the secondary and that has led to "the Hit" as opposed to the bump and run type defense played. With PI's called as often as the refs do the DB now try to dislodge the pass at the moment of the catch. Players are no better than players years ago in areas like intellect, fierceness, and tenacity, but they are better trained and are stronger and faster and usually bigger than their counter parts of 5, 10, 15 years ago. Equipment to be me has to be improved drastically first and deliberate and dangerous hits do need to be outlawed. But the way the NFL is doing it they do not take into consideration the fraction of time a player has to react. With much wealth comes risk and most if not all these players would not have it any different.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: James Harrison: I now hit guys in the knees

This doesn't really surprise me coming from Harrison...

I understand he's trying to make a point but it's a stupid thing to say. NFL fans reacted to Bountygate the way they did because they think players intentionally trying to injure to clear the field of competition is wrong, and it is wrong.

If James Harrison wants to say things like this and then goes out an actually injures a star player by diving at his knees, whether the hit was intentional or not, it might kill his career and put a black mark on Steelers football.

It's hard to tell what the answer is. I'm as much a fan of Rodney Harrison style secondary play as any Steelers fan here but helmet to helmet is obviously really dangerous and diving at knee caps is pretty crummy, too.

I do think the `defenseless receiver` thing could get lifted as long as it's not helmet to helmet missiles.
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