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fordfixer
01-02-2010, 11:45 AM
Steelers OLB Harrison will flop if its needed

By Mark Kaboly, MCKEESPORT DAILY NEWS
Saturday, January 2, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 60441.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_660441.html)

The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison was assured by officials during the preseason that if he was held during a game that a penalty flag would be thrown.

Call him naive, but Harrison believed what the officials were telling him ... until the holds kept coming and few flags followed.

So to combat that, Harrison decided to take matters into his own hands - or at least that's what Cleveland tackle Joe Thomas believes.

After the Steelers lost to the Browns a few weeks ago, Thomas said Harrison is getting a reputation for flopping when the outside linebacker thinks he is being held.

"It's something Harrison has been doing," Thomas told The Cleveland Plain Dealer. "It seems like he didn't do it last year. Now, he's kind of perfected it. I don't know if he has a reputation yet, but I know after this year he will."

The only two holding calls against Thomas this year were against Harrison.

"Basically, as you push him by, he'll just throw his arms up in the air and his feet and try to make it look like you threw him down," Thomas said.

Harrison did not deny Thomas' allegation but instead explained his mindset.

"Tell Joe he can say whatever he wants to say, if you hold me, I will do whatever I can to get that call," Harrison said Wednesday, making his first public comment on the issue.

Harrison said that the lack of holding calls are getting worse compared to a year ago.

"I bet I can go to the league office, and you can (find) at least three or four holds a game (on film) over the course of a season," Harrison said. "What's that 50-something holds a year that they didn't call?

"What else you want me to do? I am having guys grabbing me around my neck and slamming me to the ground, and they are not called. They said they were going to enforce that rule."

Defensive end Brett Keisel, who plays on the same side of the Steelers defense as Harrison, doesn't agree with Thomas' assessment.

"(Harrison) doesn't flop," Keisel said. "He gets held every play. He may get one call a game. Joe is the worst holder in the league, so I don't know what he is talking about."

Whether it is him getting held or seeing more double-teams, Harrison's numbers have evaporated over the past month.

Through the first 10 games, Harrison had 10 sacks and 18 hurries. Since them, he has no sacks and only four hurries.

"He is getting triple-teamed and chipped and things like that," Keisel said. "He is a great player. That is why offenses do what they do."

Harrison, who set a franchise record with 16 sacks in 2008, isn't worried about his decreased stats.

"It is more than a compliment than anything," Harrison said. "They feel like they need two or three guys to block me. If you do that, then they are going to leave somebody else on the back end, and that's (fellow outside linebacker LaMarr) Woodley, and he has done a great job."

Woodley has 6.5 sacks over the past five games and has taken the team lead in the category away from Harrison. Woodley has 91/2 of his 111/2 sacks over the past seven games and has at least a half sack in each of those games.

"Other people have to step up, and that has been Woodley," Keisel said.

Woodley, meanwhile, came to Harrison's defense on the flopping allegation.

"Maybe when they hold him, it isn't a flop," he said. "Maybe they are holding on to him and pulling him down."

Mister Pittsburgh
01-02-2010, 12:09 PM
I would like to hear the officials and NFL league offices explain the reason for all the non calls other than they either A) want to keep all the QB's healthy so they will allow cheating, or B) they want to present the NFL as a very exciting high scoring game so they will overlook rules to allow this to happen. The Steelers should send in tapes to ESPN if they feel it is blatant cheating.

Personally, I think watching our defense dominate last season was far more entertaining than Ben and the gang piling up record breaking passing stats.

steelblood
01-03-2010, 09:34 AM
What bugs me is when the OT is water skiing behind him with two hands on his neck/shirt/arms and then the QB gets that extra second, and it leads to a big play (like Greg Jennings TD in the Packers game). I don't mind holding not getting called on every play. But, I can't stand the obvious ones not getting called.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
01-03-2010, 10:01 AM
I don't understand these calls too. It doesn't only happen against Harrison. You can grab all the jersey you want as long as you stay in side the defenser's frame. The frames is shoulder pad to shoulder pad. However, you also have to be withing your frame. Meaning you have to be square to the defender. If the defender is moving you need to maintain the square contact...That is why it is so important to move your feet. In that "choke block" the hand location & grabbing is legal but not if the defender is out side of your frame. Even if you don't grab the jersey at all but still try to hook him with an open hand...It is still holding. If you maintain a shoulder split on the defender and stay with him an official will allow it. But the "choke block" we see all the time on Harrison has a OL outside Harrison's shoulder trailing after he rips. The officials should allow for the rip move and time for the OL to counter but if he holds it through the play it should be a flag.

If this wasn't a flag than OL should be able to hand check two defenders in pass blocking on each side. That gets flagged every time and OL know enough just to get one because if they stick their hands out on two rushers to slow them down and even then come off one and let the other one go...It is a penalty. Anyone in here who played OL knows the play I'm talking about. You are man-on-man blocking and the send an overload blitz to your side. You know one is free but they both are coming in your 2 gaps. You know you can get both of them slowed down by just sticking you hand in each of their chests and then come off one to engage the inside blitzer. You are hoping that slowing him down enough alows the QB to get the ball out. They call it everytime even if you do it with an open hand and don't grab. Unless the NFL rules are different...That's a hold.

NorthCoast
01-03-2010, 10:12 AM
Here's the problem. If you really enforce the rules, our OL goes back to being the sorry pass-blocking line we saw a couple of years ago. It is very suspect that the same people who were getting calls left and right a few years ago are now just so much better. Our offense is benefiting from the rule just like all others.
What I don't like to see is inconsistency in calls. There were a few times Starks was called for a hold when his man was falling to the ground and Max just laid on him. Seen the same play not called during a later game the same day.

BATMAN
01-03-2010, 10:33 AM
It's as if the NFL doesn't want a dominate sacker in the league. They are trying to make the quarterback a desk job. Qb's are supposed to stand back there and the refs are protecting them from being touched.
Shady Brady stands back there with a football in one hand and a coffee in the other. He's not even allowed to have dirt on him.


We would have had many different outcomes of the game if Harrisons holds would have had the flags thrown.