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costanza2k1
12-18-2008, 02:18 AM
Steelers D-linemen holding back on one issue
BY JIM WEXELL
For The Tribune-Democrat

PITTSBURGH — Casey Hampton goes up against Kevin Mawae this week in Tennessee, and Hampton knows a little bit about the Pro Bowl center for the Titans.

“He’s crafty,” Hampton said. “He holds, knows the little tricks.”

But Hampton doesn’t expect Mawae to be called for holding. And why should he? The Steelers haven’t drawn an offensive holding call in 24 quarters. The last was called on Washington Redskins left tackle Chris Samuels in the fourth quarter of the Nov. 3 game.

In that span, the Steelers have been called for offensive holding eight times.

Every member of the offensive line except Chris Kemoeatu has been flagged during that stretch, as have two tight ends and wide receiver Hines Ward – twice.

“We don’t get held,” Hampton said with a straight face. “That’s the bottom line. They don’t hold us.”

Even Hampton himself has been called for holding more in the past six games – once – than the Steelers’ opposition.

“I’m telling you, we don’t get held, man,” he said. “I mean, they play their best game against us every week. They just block us so well. They never hold us.”

As the group of reporters surrounding Hampton began to laugh, the big man held his deadpan.

“They’re great athletes. They get their hands inside and do their job,” he said.

Chris Hoke laughed about his teammate’s comments. So did Aaron Smith.

“I don’t even know what holding is anymore,” Smith said. “Look at what they’re doing to James Harrison. They’ve got one guy holding him by the neck and another guy holding his legs. I guess I don’t have a true understanding of what’s holding.”

Neither, apparently, do the officials. TV replays last Sunday once again picked up an opposing left tackle holding Harrison around the neck as the Steelers’ star pass rusher came low and hard around the corner.

“I’ll let the ref know after the play that I’m being held,” said Harrison. “But he’ll say ‘Well, it’s so-and-so’s job,’ or ‘It’s this guy’s job.’ I even had a guy look me dead in the face, that saw me getting yanked down, and I asked him for the hold call and he just dropped his head and looked away like I wasn’t even talking to him.

“I don’t like it, but if they don’t call it, there’s nothing I can do about it. I can complain or whatever, but it’s not going to help. It hasn’t helped me the last two, three weeks.”

Harrison didn’t get a sack against the Ravens on Sunday and fell behind DeMarcus Ware in the NFL race by five.

Harrison, who has 15 sacks, also trails Joey Porter (17) and John Abraham (15.5), but his 94 tackles, seven forced fumbles and an interception that makes him the top contender for the Defensive Player of the Year Award, according to Colts coach Tony Dungy.

“If I had to vote right now, I’d vote for James Harrison,” Dungy told Sirius Radio on Tuesday. “He’s like a Randy Moss or Dwight Freeney. You have to game plan for him in terms of how you’re going to block him in the passing game. So he puts that on the table even before the game starts, and then he does other things: He drops in pass coverage, covers tight ends. They move him around and he’s not just a one-dimensional pass rusher. He’s a linebacker that also rushes and he’s been the most dominant player on the best defense in football, and, shoot, by next Sunday they may have the best record in football.”

Even though no one’s holding them.

Notes: Undrafted free agent Patrick Bailey was voted by writers the winner of the team’s Joe Greene Great Performance Award, or Rookie of the Year, for his 12 special teams tackles. … Ryan Clark was voted winner of The Chief Award for his cooperation with the media. … Clark missed Wednesday’s practice with a foot injury. Also sitting out were Harrison (foot), Troy Polamalu (foot), LT Marvel Smith (back) and LaMarr Woodley (knee). Held out of practice for a rest were Willie Parker, Aaron Smith and Hines Ward. … Aaron Smith was voted AFC Defensive Player of the Week by the NFL.

Scarletfire1970
12-18-2008, 06:37 AM
This just pisses me off. How difficult is it going to be to beat Indy in the playoffs (if it comes to that) with our best pass rusher being held all game long? Because you know they aren't going to call it against Indy. Manning is going to have a field day. We gotta hope the weather is really bad in Pittsburgh that day I guess.

stlrz d
12-18-2008, 08:47 AM
The Steelers haven’t drawn an offensive holding call in 24 quarters. The last was called on Washington Redskins left tackle Chris Samuels in the fourth quarter of the Nov. 3 game.

That is absolutely ridiculous. Not one holding call in SIX games.

Well, Mel Blount is the reason DBs can't make contact after 5 yards. Maybe this Steelers D will be the reason O lines are allowed to hold?

Scarletfire1970
12-18-2008, 09:01 AM
The Steelers haven’t drawn an offensive holding call in 24 quarters. The last was called on Washington Redskins left tackle Chris Samuels in the fourth quarter of the Nov. 3 game.

That is absolutely ridiculous. Not one holding call in SIX games.

Well, Mel Blount is the reason DBs can't make contact after 5 yards. Maybe this Steelers D will be the reason O lines are allowed to hold?Just offenses that play against the Steelers. And the Steelers O still isn't allowed to hold.

This is how we lost the Jags playoff game last year.

Oviedo
12-18-2008, 09:15 AM
This just pisses me off. How difficult is it going to be to beat Indy in the playoffs (if it comes to that) with our best pass rusher being held all game long? Because you know they aren't going to call it against Indy. Manning is going to have a field day. We gotta hope the weather is really bad in Pittsburgh that day I guess.

So true. I also share the fear that in the desire to get a offensive glamour team into the Super Bowl the NFL will continue to ignore the blatant holding that is going on and let someone like Manning go pass happy. The NFL refs have become the NHL refs in the "clutch and grab" era of the late 90's where they= are blatantly trying to manipulate the outcome of games.

RKSteel
12-18-2008, 09:50 AM
That is unf**king believable. The blatant holding that goes on against the Steelers D is unreal.

I guess the NFL doesn't want JH setting the single season sack record with 35 sacks, or more importantly, they don't want him killing their QBs. This is the real reason for no-holding.

Remember last year or the year before when every teams QB was injured, not good for the NFL. I recently read an article, (Trib or USA Today) that showed almost every team's QB has started this year. I'm sure once Brady got injured, the order came down to protect the QBs.

feltdizz
12-18-2008, 11:05 AM
This is why I think our O is better then advertised. We get called for holding a lot.... and the only time the refs stop calling it is in the 4th quarter and that is when we finally drive down to win the game.

I'm positive the NFL has put out a memo to not call holding on players blocking JHarrison...
I truly believe he would have 30 sacks right now.

No holding in 24 quarters? Amazing.

NW Steeler
12-18-2008, 12:30 PM
This just pisses me off. How difficult is it going to be to beat Indy in the playoffs (if it comes to that) with our best pass rusher being held all game long? Because you know they aren't going to call it against Indy. Manning is going to have a field day. We gotta hope the weather is really bad in Pittsburgh that day I guess.

So true. I also share the fear that in the desire to get a offensive glamour team into the Super Bowl the NFL will continue to ignore the blatant holding that is going on and let someone like Manning go pass happy. The NFL refs have become the NHL refs in the "clutch and grab" era of the late 90's where they= are blatantly trying to manipulate the outcome of games.

I don't know if I buy into that "conspiracy theory" of getting an offensive "glamour" team into the SB. The Steelers draw a HUGE TV audience, and the SB will get great ratings if we play in it. That said, I would hope that the Steelers are sending their concerns to the NFL front office so that there can be some fairness/balance with the calls in the upcoming games.

NorthCoast
12-18-2008, 01:24 PM
One does need to question if, at the beginning of the year, Harrison was getting the holding calls what has changed in the last six games?

1) Harrison has inexplicably lost his ability to overcome his blocks.

2) Teams have finally figured out a blocking scheme that has neutralized his rush.

3) There is a league conspiracy against him (or maybe pass-rushers in general).

It might be interesting to know the trends in holding calls over the year. Maybe a stat junkie can find this info either overall in the league or by team.

I have to admit that some of the 'blocks' I have seen against Harrison look alot like clotheslining.

SidSmythe
12-18-2008, 02:38 PM
I don't care how good anyone is...
You play the best Defense in the NFL, you are going to hold them sometime!!

This is bullcrap!

ramblinjim
12-18-2008, 02:46 PM
The Steelers haven’t drawn an offensive holding call in 24 quarters. The last was called on Washington Redskins left tackle Chris Samuels in the fourth quarter of the Nov. 3 game.

That is absolutely ridiculous. Not one holding call in SIX games.

Well, Mel Blount is the reason DBs can't make contact after 5 yards. Maybe this Steelers D will be the reason O lines are allowed to hold?


I "joke" with my friends about anti-Steelers bias when it comes to calls with the Ref's but that point about no holding calls for 24 quarters is absolutely ridiculous.

Wasn't it Joe Green that used to deck offensive linemen for holding him when he wasn't getting the calls. Should we let James Harrison start just destroying people??

feltdizz
12-18-2008, 03:11 PM
How can the #1 D not draw a holding call in 6 games? That right there proves the obvious...
the refs are picking and choosing when to kill drives...

imagine if teams were called for holding? I think the NFL has thought about it and decided it would be too lopsided seeing 10 sacks a game.

steelsnis
12-18-2008, 03:55 PM
I GUARANTEE that there will be at least one holding call against Tenn. this weekend. Has to be. Now that people are writing about it and people are talking about it something will get done. I'd also bet that the Steelers have contacted the league about it as well.

Hell, even in the replay on NFL Network, they included a play AND replay where Harrison got yoked up around the neck and Nantz said "is that holding???" and Simms replied "Yes it is..."

I think Flacco completed a pass for a 1st down on that play too.

D Rock
12-18-2008, 05:50 PM
so other teams aren't getting drives killed by holding penalties...just our defense suffocating them.

it makes the number one defense look that much better.


...but that doesn't mean I want to see them keep getting no-calls.

steelnavy
12-19-2008, 12:48 PM
Does anybody have Wexell's email? In another post, I was asking if anybody had access to penalty stats and nobody can find anything on the net. If Jim has access, maybe he could/would take a gander at opponents holding penalties called in games other than the Steelers. If these teams regularly get called for holding EXCEPT when they play the Steelers best defense in the league, the refs have to be playing a little game with penalties.

If he wants to write about this topic, then THAT is something to bring up!

ANPSTEEL
12-19-2008, 01:55 PM
2) Teams have finally figured out a blocking scheme that has neutralized his rush.




the ravens not only lined up the TE on his side most of the game, but replaced the TE with a OT (specifically, Adam Terry #78).

That is a pretty big commitment to one player- not only assigning two blockers to a LB, but removing one skill player each time to do it.


As far as the lack of holding penalties go, it is stupefying that any NFL team could go 6 games w/o a single holding penalty against it. This fact is magnified, all the more, when you consider that the Steelers have been in the top 5 all season long- in respect to sacking the QB.


James Harrison has pretty much joined the MMA, (stealing phrase from another thread) with all of the "Side Naked Chokes" he receives each game, that go uncalled.

When you consider:

- lets use an average of 70 offensive plays per game
- 420 total offensive plays
- lets say 50% of those are passing plays which increase the likely hood of holding by, lets say 50%
- So 210 running plays
- 210 passing plays (multiplied by the factor of 1.5) = 315

- So in affect it has been 525 plays without a holding penalty being called.

Even if you don't want to use the increased factor of 1.5 on passing plays- it is still next to impossible to go 420 plays with out one single holding penalty being called against the opposing team.

6 different games, multiple different crews- holding can be called on any play- yet not once in 420 plays has it happened.

Something is up-

RKSteel
12-19-2008, 02:27 PM
Something is up- Does the NFL want James "I Don't Smile" Harrison, blue collar, hard working guy owning the single season sack record.

No, its wants high profile, media friendly players chasing the record.

stlrz d
12-19-2008, 03:21 PM
Does anybody have Wexell's email? In another post, I was asking if anybody had access to penalty stats and nobody can find anything on the net. If Jim has access, maybe he could/would take a gander at opponents holding penalties called in games other than the Steelers. If these teams regularly get called for holding EXCEPT when they play the Steelers best defense in the league, the refs have to be playing a little game with penalties.

If he wants to write about this topic, then THAT is something to bring up!

Very interesting point.

Chemsteel
12-19-2008, 03:29 PM
I have been told that the major reasoning is game time and offensive scoring. If they called holding on Harrison everytime he is held the game would be over 4 hours long. The NFL also wants more scoring than what is evolving.

How many holding calls are made on Dwight Freeny?

The Steelers know that calls not being made is a testament to their skill and defensive prowess.

I know it is not fair but Roger Goodell is not a partciularly fair man but all business.

ANPSTEEL
12-19-2008, 03:44 PM
I have been told that the major reasoning is game time and offensive scoring. If they called holding on Harrison everytime he is held the game would be over 4 hours long. The NFL also wants more scoring than what is evolving.

How many holding calls are made on Dwight Freeny?

The Steelers know that calls not being made is a testament to their skill and defensive prowess.

I know it is not fair but Roger Goodell is not a partciularly fair man but all business.

Chem-

I absolutely respect your opinions, and look forward to reading your posts....


I get "if holding were to be called, every time holding occurred" is not feasible; the game would decline to a flag fest- or every team would be down to their 3rd team QB.

but, over the same 6 games- the Steelers have been flagged for holding apx a dozen times.

If the refs are going to be "arbitrary" about calling penalties-

they should be arbitrary, equally. otherwise, things look mighty fishy.

just an observation.

Chemsteel
12-19-2008, 03:55 PM
I have been told that the major reasoning is game time and offensive scoring. If they called holding on Harrison everytime he is held the game would be over 4 hours long. The NFL also wants more scoring than what is evolving.

How many holding calls are made on Dwight Freeny?

The Steelers know that calls not being made is a testament to their skill and defensive prowess.

I know it is not fair but Roger Goodell is not a partciularly fair man but all business.

Chem-

I absolutely respect your opinions, and look forward to reading your posts....


I get "if holding were to be called, every time holding occurred" is not feasible; the game would decline to a flag fest- or every team would be down to their 3rd team QB.

but, over the same 6 games- the Steelers have been flagged for holding apx a dozen times.

If the refs are going to be "arbitrary" about calling penalties-

they should be arbitrary, equally. otherwise, things look mighty fishy.

just an observation.

I hear you ANP. Everybody in the Front Offices knows what is going on as do most of the Players. Don't forget that the Game Officials are directly tied to the NFL Offices and directly to Goodell.

When Dan Rooney and Art II write a letter to the Commissioner concerning their objections to refeere preferences then what I have been told is heresay.

ANPSTEEL
12-19-2008, 04:29 PM
I have been told that the major reasoning is game time and offensive scoring. If they called holding on Harrison everytime he is held the game would be over 4 hours long. The NFL also wants more scoring than what is evolving.

How many holding calls are made on Dwight Freeny?

The Steelers know that calls not being made is a testament to their skill and defensive prowess.

I know it is not fair but Roger Goodell is not a partciularly fair man but all business.

Chem-

I absolutely respect your opinions, and look forward to reading your posts....


I get "if holding were to be called, every time holding occurred" is not feasible; the game would decline to a flag fest- or every team would be down to their 3rd team QB.

but, over the same 6 games- the Steelers have been flagged for holding apx a dozen times.

If the refs are going to be "arbitrary" about calling penalties-

they should be arbitrary, equally. otherwise, things look mighty fishy.

just an observation.

I hear you ANP. Everybody in the Front Offices knows what is going on as do most of the Players. Don't forget that the Game Officials are directly tied to the NFL Offices and directly to Goodell.

When Dan Rooney and Art II write a letter to the Commissioner concerning their objections to refeere preferences then what I have been told is heresay.

hmmm...
so, are you saying, in affect, that the NFL is really- just entertainment???

i don't doubt that there is a tacit understanding between the League, Owners, and Officials - that every holding call, can not be called. I would also assume that, that agreement would stipulate that only the most egregious / flagrant holding penalties be called.

but the statistical probability of 0 for 420, on a penalty that actually occurs on almost every play, is essentially zero.

I love watching the Steelers, and truly hope the game isn't a charade, but things like this make it more and more difficult to believe.

your thoughts????

Chemsteel
12-19-2008, 04:57 PM
ANPSteel wrote:


so, are you saying, in affect, that the NFL is really- just entertainment???

It certainly is not entertainment when you are playing.

Art Modell has been credited with creating a more business approach in the NFL and upgrading team valuations. He was, in part, a big factor in the large TV packages and setting the stages for the NFL Network.

Football has become a great spectator sport and there is nothing more rewarding than being a Pittsburgh Steeler Fan. Entertainment is nothing more than relief from your ennui but being a Pittsburgh Steeler Fan is more. It is a passion. To the owners it has become a business but that is OK with me. Their passion has been team values but holding up this http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/00/Superbowl_Trophy_Crop.jpg/137px-Superbowl_Trophy_Crop.jpg can change an owners mind.

ANPSTEEL
12-19-2008, 05:12 PM
ANPSteel wrote:


so, are you saying, in affect, that the NFL is really- just entertainment???

It certainly is not entertainment when you are playing.


forgive me if I insinuated anything to the contrary.

I have absolutely no doubt that the players are not directly involved in anything that may or may not go on, regarding the manipulation of the game.

and you are 100% correct about the passion of Steeler fans. I am certain that all other teams have some degree of envy- when it comes to the historic performance of the team and zealotry of the fans! (exception being the cowboys- that team/fans are on the polar opposite)