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hawaiiansteel
10-20-2010, 09:02 PM
Roger Goodell: Coaches will be liable if players violate NFL's new policy on violent hits

October 20, 2010

http://media3.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/photo/2006/08/08/PH2006080800953.jpg


NFL commissioner Roger Goodell warned teams on Wednesday that he will hold coaches accountable for ensuring their players comply with rules that prohibit illegal hits to players' head and neck areas.

Goodell issued a memo to all 32 clubs outlining the league's increased discipline for players who violate those rules, which include the possibility of suspensions even for first-time offenders.

"Coaches are expected to teach playing within the rules," Goodell told teams in a memo. "Failure to do so will subject both the coach and the employing club to discipline."

The new emphasis on increased discipline has come under heavy criticism from players across the league who said the NFL is handcuffing their aggressiveness. After the league fined three players (James Harrison, Dunta Robinson and Brandon Meriweather) a total of $175,000 on Tuesday for illegal hits last weekend, many players argued the league was unfairly punishing players. (Although there has been little complaint about the $50,000 fine levied to Meriweather.)

Goodell sent a video that he mandated teams show to players that he said illustrates illegal hits and legal hits that rely on techniques players embrace.

"You can play a hard, physical game within the rules," Goodell told players.

Harrison was excused from Steelers practice on Wednesday after he questioned whether he might retire because he was so angry with what he felt was an unjust $75,000 fine levied on him.

-- Sean Leahy

http://content.usatoday.com/communities ... ent-hits/1 (http://content.usatoday.com/communities/thehuddle/post/2010/10/roger-goodell-coaches-will-be-liable-if-players-violate-nfls-new-policy-on-violent-hits/1)

Sugar
10-20-2010, 09:09 PM
I wonder how much of this was aimed at Coach Tomlin. He stressed a few times before the actual fine that Harrison played good football and that the hits were not fineable because they were the way the game is supposed to be played.

RuthlessBurgher
10-20-2010, 09:17 PM
"You can play a hard, physical game within the rules," Goodell told players.


I agree with this statement in general, but totally disagree with the punishments levied.

The Harrison hits and the Dunta Robinson hits were hard and physical and within the rules. The Meriweather hit was not. Meriweather should have been fined and/or suspended for malicious head-hunting. Harrison and Robinson should have been praised for doing what they could to separate the man from the ball...those hits were physical but not malicious. They league is fining the outcome (the unfortunate injuries that occurred) rather than the acts themselves (hard hits within the boundaries of the rules).

BURGH86STEEL
10-20-2010, 09:37 PM
"You can play a hard, physical game within the rules," Goodell told players.


I agree with this statement in general, but totally disagree with the punishments levied.

The Harrison hits and the Dunta Robinson hits were hard and physical and within the rules. The Meriweather hit was not. Meriweather should have been fined and/or suspended for malicious head-hunting. Harrison and Robinson should have been praised for doing what they could to separate the man from the ball...those hits were physical but not malicious. They league is fining the outcome (the unfortunate injuries that occurred) rather than the acts themselves (hard hits within the boundaries of the rules).

It is going to be very difficult to determine where the league draws the line. Will be difficult for the players to make the adjustment. Will be difficult for the refs to determine when to throw flags. Players will probably be the easiest to influence. The NFL is in a fix. I don't know how they can come up with a proper solution that satisfy everyone.

BradshawsHairdresser
10-20-2010, 11:03 PM
"You can play a hard, physical game within the rules," Goodell told players.


I agree with this statement in general, but totally disagree with the punishments levied.

The Harrison hits and the Dunta Robinson hits were hard and physical and within the rules. The Meriweather hit was not. Meriweather should have been fined and/or suspended for malicious head-hunting. Harrison and Robinson should have been praised for doing what they could to separate the man from the ball...those hits were physical but not malicious. They league is fining the outcome (the unfortunate injuries that occurred) rather than the acts themselves (hard hits within the boundaries of the rules).

It is going to be very difficult to determine where the league draws the line. Will be difficult for the players to make the adjustment. Will be difficult for the refs to determine when to throw flags. Players will probably be the easiest to influence. The NFL is in a fix. I don't know how they can come up with a proper solution that satisfy everyone.

I do. Put little frilly skirts on them and have them play two-hand touch.

That's where we're headed. Goodell and Co. are flaming morons. How 'bout we get up a petition to start a REAL pro football league?

hawaiiansteel
10-21-2010, 02:26 PM
I do. Put little frilly skirts on them and have them play two-hand touch.

That's where we're headed. Goodell and Co. are flaming morons. How 'bout we get up a petition to start a REAL pro football league?


this is the next step:

http://www.dxffl.com/dxffl/database/uploads/det%20news%208-4%20article%20pic.jpg

Djfan
10-21-2010, 02:43 PM
The NFL is in a fix. I don't know how they can come up with a proper solution that satisfy everyone.


You're right, but it is a fix that they didn't need to walk into. The situation didn't need legislation. The NFL opened a can of bees here, and the only fix is to close it and say "That was a bad path to go down. Let's not go there."

Because NoGoodell is a putz, he won't say that. But, he should.

skyhawk
10-21-2010, 02:58 PM
I do. Put little frilly skirts on them and have them play two-hand touch.

That's where we're headed. Goodell and Co. are flaming morons. How 'bout we get up a petition to start a REAL pro football league?


this is the next step:

http://www.dxffl.com/dxffl/database/uploads/det%20news%208-4%20article%20pic.jpg

:lol:

BURGH86STEEL
10-21-2010, 04:53 PM
The NFL is in a fix. I don't know how they can come up with a proper solution that satisfy everyone.


You're right, but it is a fix that they didn't need to walk into. The situation didn't need legislation. The NFL opened a can of bees here, and the only fix is to close it and say "That was a bad path to go down. Let's not go there."

Because NoGoodell is a putz, he won't say that. But, he should.

The concussion issue was something the league had to address. That's because the federal government got involved. One thing lead to another and that is where we are today.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
10-21-2010, 06:32 PM
^^ What is the fed's involvement here?

And why would they need to get involved in the NFL at all, what is their dog in this fight?

BURGH86STEEL
10-21-2010, 06:58 PM
^^ What is the fed's involvement here?

And why would they need to get involved in the NFL at all, what is their dog in this fight?

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8 ... o-congress (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d813c29ef/article/goodell-defends-nfl-policies-on-head-injuries-to-congress)


Now, the NFL is never going to come out and say that they are doing this because of congress. The reality is that NFL is late in dealing with the issue of concussions. The league could had been more proactive years ago. Injuries are injuries whether they happen to arms, legs, the brain, or anywhere else. There were no standards in place in terms of recovery time from concussions. Now there are some standards and tests in place. Those standards may not be accurate or good enough. Not enough is known as of today. More studies should shed better light onto the situation. Like most injuries, it could boil down to how quickly an individual recovers. It's why I believe the NFL is doing what it can to limit concussions. They could be going about dealing with this issue the wrong way. I don't believe fining players is the only solution to the problem.

I believe that many fans and players are overreacting to this issue. Players will be able to hit one another. They will need to be more careful when and how they collide with one another. As was stated on NFL network, offensive players bear some responsibility in keeping themselves safe. Reading defenses properly and knowing when to sit down in zones will limit collisions. QB's making better decisions by not leading their WR's into defenders should help.

I don't know what will happen if the article below has any truth to it. I luv the sport as much as anyone. Will just have to wait to see where all this leads.

http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Best- ... 9t-Matter/ (http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Best-of-the-Burgh-Blogs/Pulling-No-Punches/October-2010/Play-or-Get-Played-Why-the-James-Harrison-Hit-Really-Doesn-039t-Matter/)

Shawn
10-21-2010, 07:11 PM
I think it's entirely possible to tackle physically without launching yourself like a projectile missle into someone's head.

BURGH86STEEL
10-21-2010, 07:19 PM
I think it's entirely possible to tackle physically without launching yourself like a projectile missle into someone's head.

I agree with you. I also think there will be situations where it is unavoidable. How and when they make that determination will be difficult.

ikestops85
10-21-2010, 09:31 PM
I think it's entirely possible to tackle physically without launching yourself like a projectile missle into someone's head.

Of course it is. The problem is you are not tackling someone in a fixed position. So while you might be aiming for one part of their body they move and you end up hitting their head. This really isn't a hard concept.

Granted, you do have the hits like Merriweather's and I think everyone agrees that one was bad. People have been arguing for days on Harrison's hit. So if nobody can come to an agreement on the hit how are the players supposed to know what they can and can't do?

I saw a little segment on the NFL Network with Rich McKay from the competition committee. He showed a play from the Ravens/Jets game from earlier in the year. It shows Sanchez throwing a pass to Dustin Keller. Keller gets hit hard by Ray Lewis and drops the ball. McKay says "See, you can still play physical without hurting anyone."

I really start to laugh. First of all, why did Keller drop the ball. My guess the reason is Ray Lewis HURT him with the hit. Otherwise he would have held on to the ball. So pain is okay ... the league just said so. Now, will that hit cause any permanent damage to Keller. Probably not but we don't really know. It could have done something to throw his back out of alignment. Maybe that hit causes arthritis down the road. So the question is "where does this end"?

When the idea is for one group of players to try and get another player on the ground before he crosses a line on the ground. That player in turn has others who are allowed to hit people to prevent them from getting said player on the ground. So with this as the concept why are people surprised that injuries, some of them severe, occur?

Instead of trying to use judgemental calls to regulate players why not improve the equipment the players wear. If I remember my basic physics correctly Force = mass times acceleration.

Obviously if we reduce the force players hit one another with we should reduce the severity of the injuries. Since we really can't effectively change mass let's look at acceleration. Players today are faster and stronger today than they were 20 years ago. The training regiments are more stringent and more emphasis is placed on diet in order for players to get stronger.

So we need to attack acceleration. We have players today who refuse to wear thigh pads because it will slow them down. Since this is our objective why not put bigger and softer pads on the players? Make it mandatory that players wear all pads. That they have to wear the concussion resistant helmets. Players won't like it because it will slow them down but then again, this is our objective. If you slow them down they obviously won't be able to accelerate as fast.

End of Sermon

Kid
10-21-2010, 09:57 PM
it needs to start with the offensive players. these guys need to be taught to run straight upright at all times and never lower their shoulders or head to brace for the hit. once that is established, i am all for any blows to the head or neck with any part of the defenders body.

hawaiiansteel
10-22-2010, 01:11 AM
I think it's entirely possible to tackle physically without launching yourself like a projectile missle into someone's head.


Shawn, you are not the only one concerned...


Gorman: Indifference toward brain trauma bothersome

By Kevin Gorman
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, October 22, 2010


Somehow, we got sidetracked this week from one of the most serious issues in sports when certain Steelers portrayed themselves as victims instead of perpetrators of headhunting in the NFL.

Instead of focusing on the concussions suffered by Joshua Cribbs and Mohamed Massquoi, our attention has been diverted by the plight of poor James Harrison since the $51 million linebacker was fined $75,000 for his helmet-to-helmet hits on the Cleveland Browns receivers.

But this isn't about legal plays and fineable offenses.

The story that has been superseded is the one involving head injuries suffered through helmet-to-helmet hits. What bothers me is the level of indifference toward brain trauma by NFL players, especially when you hear comments like those of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who said he "would rather have a concussion than a blown-out knee."

That's not meant to single out Roethlisberger — who clarified that he meant a minor concussion, and would rather have neither injury — but instead a widespread mentality in the NFL. Just because players sign up for a sport involving violent collisions doesn't allow for recklessness.

Or, more to the point, utter ignorance.

What concerns Dr. Mark Lovell, founding director of the UPMC Sports Medicine concussion program and developer of the IMPACT test that has become the industry standard for treating concussions, is the misconception involving the dramatic difference between brain trauma and other injuries.

"We try to dispel this myth that the brain is like a muscle; it's not," Lovell said. "If you're an athlete, you grow up with some mentality of playing hurt. The problem is when people apply that same logic to the brain, because the brain is like an organ. You've got to make a brain injury different than any orthopedic injury. Players have to understand the brain is not like a knee.

"It bothers me when I hear people say they'd rather have a head injury than a knee injury. The brain is the organ that controls the rest of the body. If your brain isn't working well, you've got major problems."

Lovell served on the NFL's Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee — recently renamed the Head, Neck and Spine Committee — from 1993 until six months ago, when he became a consultant to the NFL Players Association. Lovell returned Wednesday from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where he was a speaker at the "Ice Hockey Summit: Action on Concussion," which covered the science of concussions, their impact on children and the reaction of pro sports leagues to devastating injuries.

"The two sports are different ... but a concussion is a concussion," Lovell said. "The brain doesn't know what sport it is playing."

Neither do some NFL players, who give the bloodthirsty crowds the gladiator-like games they want. Whether the helmet-to-helmet hits by Harrison, New England safety Brandon Meriweather on Baltimore tight end Todd Heap and Atlanta cornerback Dunta Robinson on Philadelphia receiver DeSean Jackson Sunday were within the rules is inconsequential. If the NFL is serious about protecting its product, it has to protect its players.

ESPN analyst Merril Hoge, a member of the NFL's Head, Neck and Spine Committee, told the DVE Morning Show Thursday that playing fundamental football and using proper form tackling could reduce concussions. Hoge, a former Steelers running back whose career was ended by post-concussion syndrome, was adamant that Harrison needs to focus on hitting through the hips and numbers instead of helmets when trying to tackle.

"Both of those hits — I watched it on tape for hours — he had to take his head and forearms to thrust it up through the head and shoulders of that wide receiver," Hoge said. "He had the same amount of time to hit that target area, bring his shoulder pads and hit him — and hit him with the same viciousness that he hit him with there, only fundamentally sound.

"That's it. It's not, 'Make the field bigger.' It's not, 'Put leather helmets on their heads.' It's not, 'Bad quarterback play' — which is embarrassing. It's not these excuses. It's not a witch hunt, but 'Play football fundamentally sound.'"

What it will take is for NFL players to use their brains.

Or, at least, what's left of them.

Kevin Gorman can be reached at kgorman@tribweb.com or 412-320-7812.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 05558.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/print_705558.html)

feltdizz
10-22-2010, 03:29 PM
NFL owners recently threatened the union that, if the lockout goes into effect next March, the league wouldn't cover health care benefits for its players until a new collective bargaining agreement is in place. So Roger, you care about the welfare of DeSean Jackson in October, but not five months from now if he's paying for his own doctor's appointments because he's suffering from post-concussion syndrome? You're going to tell us that with a straight face?

Some advice for Mr. Goodell: It's time to admit that your players have gotten too big and too fast. We knew this day was coming for 30 years. We're here. We have 260-pound linebackers who can run 4.6 40s, safeties who hit like Mack trucks and 375-pound offensive linemen who can wipe anyone out for a year if they fall on them the wrong way. This isn't about a style of play; it's about evolution. If you care about player safety as anything beyond an easy way to ingratiate yourself to media members who don't know any better, then stop worrying about the small picture (changing the rules on the fly during the season so it looks like you did something) and concentrate on the big picture (cutting back to 15 games, adding more byes and making sure your players still have their health benefits in April after you lock them out because the league and the players can't figure out how to split eleventy kajillion dollars in a fair way). And sorry for the tone, but this entire subject leaves me ... JACKED UP!!!!!!!!!!

Bill Simmons...

Anytime I quote this guy I have to add that I can't stand him..... but he is spot on with this.

DukieBoy
10-22-2010, 06:25 PM
The NFL is gonna pi$$ off alot of players (not that it hasn't already happened)....

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-nflfines

hawaiiansteel
10-23-2010, 11:40 PM
Goodell continues to manipulate media

By Bill Simmons
ESPN.com


Q: Have any of the writers at ESPN actually played football? There is no way that this "too violent" issue has any legs without the constant hand-wringing by the ESPN writers. It looks like the rest of the offensive players will get to wear the same red shirts as the QB. This game is lost. You should add, "Take the OVER at all costs due to the fact that there will be poorer tackling and at least three personal foul calls for each team" to your gambling manifesto. No one tells teams, "Stop running crossing routes or seam patterns and your receivers won't get flattened." Complete ridiculousness. NFL is about to jump the shark.
-- Rob, Bentonville

SG: Agreed. I thought this week was mildly horrifying: The NFL changed the rules on the fly without telling the players ahead of time. Don't the players need a heads-up first? If I told my daughter, "If you hit your brother, you have to go to your room for 10 minutes" and made that the rule in our house, then she hit him and I locked her in her room for five hours, you would think I was a jerk and a bad parent. Wasn't that the NFL with this week's excessive fines? Now defensive players aren't allowed to crush receivers going over the middle? Really? (Note: Only Brandon Meriweather's cheap shot on Todd Heap was truly indefensible.) The whole thing reminds me of what happened after Janet Jackson's nipple popped out during the Super Bowl, and everyone overreacted. Actually ...

Q: My buddies and I were recently talking about Janet Jackson's Super Bowl halftime show: It was awesome while it happened but completely destroyed half-naked girls appearing on cable. After that incident, BET stopped showing NC-17 rap videos, MTV canceled "Undressed" and Oxygen quit airing its softcore porn shows. So Nipplegate was awesome when it happened but completely ruined the future, much like Weezer's album "Pinkerton" (which was and still is underrated) was great but spawned a bunch of whiny emo bands. What are some other examples?
-- Jordan, Fargo

SG: You want another example? How 'bout the terrific writing on concussions by the New York Times' Alan Schwarz and the New Yorker's Malcolm Gladwell making everyone rethink the wisdom of football players returning too soon after concussions and changing the way teams approached that specific injury, only now it's swung too far and made the NFL think it can control every impulse or reaction of football players. These guys have spent their entire careers being taught, "If anyone goes over the middle, you deck them" and being glorified on segments like "Jacked Up" -- in which multiple announcers cackled in delight during a weekly montage of players getting laid out with hard hits, and ohbytheway, this was only two years ago, and ohbytheway, some of those same announcers who cackled in delight have now ascended Mount Pious (my friend Dameshek's term) and excoriated people like Meriweather and James Harrison for doing things that, ohbytheway, would have absolutely been shown on "Jacked Up" -- and now we're telling these guys, "Wait, you can't do that anymore! BAD! STOP IT!" It's ludicrous.

I keep going back to the "bad parent" analogy and Roger Goodell, who's done a masterful job manipulating the mainstream media these past few years, benefitting mostly from the fact the previous regime was out of touch. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I think Goodell is a total hypocrite for pretending to care about the welfare of his players as he's pushing for an 18-game regular season that would lead to more injuries, more concussions, more collateral damage, more everything. Hey, Roger: If you cared about the welfare of the players, you'd shorten the season to 15 games and add another week of byes. Right? But hey, that would cost owners money. Instead, you'll continue to position yourself as the Sheriff of Player Safety, puff out your chest, crack down on hard hits and swagger around like you're Tim Olyphant in "Justified." Meanwhile, if the players' union doesn't agree to your 18-game schedule, we're headed for a lockout.

Oh, and you know what else is great? NFL owners recently threatened the union that, if the lockout goes into effect next March, the league wouldn't cover health care benefits for its players until a new collective bargaining agreement is in place. So Roger, you care about the welfare of DeSean Jackson in October, but not five months from now if he's paying for his own doctor's appointments because he's suffering from post-concussion syndrome? You're going to tell us that with a straight face?

Some advice for Mr. Goodell: It's time to admit that your players have gotten too big and too fast. We knew this day was coming for 30 years. We're here. We have 260-pound linebackers who can run 4.6 40s, safeties who hit like Mack trucks and 375-pound offensive linemen who can wipe anyone out for a year if they fall on them the wrong way. This isn't about a style of play; it's about evolution. If you care about player safety as anything beyond an easy way to ingratiate yourself to media members who don't know any better, then stop worrying about the small picture (changing the rules on the fly during the season so it looks like you did something) and concentrate on the big picture (cutting back to 15 games, adding more byes and making sure your players still have their health benefits in April after you lock them out because the league and the players can't figure out how to split eleventy kajillion dollars in a fair way). And sorry for the tone, but this entire subject leaves me ... JACKED UP!!!!!!!!!!

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/st ... 1022_part2 (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmonsnfl2010/101022_part2)

hawaiiansteel
10-25-2010, 12:44 AM
guess Tomlin didn't want to get fined...


Harrison passes on making big hit on Dolphins' Brown

By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, October 25, 2010

http://files.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2010-10-24/harrison-a.jpg

James Harrison
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Steelers linebacker James Harrison said he knows how to play football only one way.

Still, Harrison said he gave pause before attempting to line up Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown for a tackle early in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game at Sun Life Stadium.

To go for big hit or not to go for the big hit?

Harrison passed.

Brown turned a short toss from quarterback Chad Henne into a 5-yard gain.

"The one where Ronnie Brown was coming across the middle, and I started to go in there and hit him," said Harrison, who recorded four uneventful tackles in the Steelers' 23-22 win in his first game after being fined $75,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit against Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi. "It looked like he might have been sliding down, sort of like the same situation with Massaquoi.

"I had a chance to put my head in there, but it looked like he was crouching down, and I didn't want to get a helmet-to- helmet, so I just put my face in there. Luckily, he went down and didn't scamper for another 10, 15 yards."

Otherwise, Harrison said he played his normal game. He insisted he didn't allow the national controversy surrounding his hit against Massaquoi affect how he played against the Dolphins.

"I wasn't trying to send a message," Harrison said. "No extra motivation than it is any other game. I was just out there playing the game the way that I've been taught to play since I was 10."

In his first public comments since appearing on several national radio shows last week, Harrison repeated that he didn't try to intentionally hurt Massaquoi. He said the helmet-to-helmet contact was unavoidable.

"That hit with Massaquoi was something that was uncontrollable," Harrison said. "The guy ducked and crouched down on me. My angle was all ready to hit him around his waist area. We hit helmet-to-helmet. Yet they want to fault me for that. I'm a pro athlete, true. I can adjust, but I can't adjust to something at the last minute. That's unreal."

Asked if he believes he will win his appeal with the NFL regarding his $75,000 fine, Harrison replied: "I don't know if it will be overturned, but if you look at the play, there's no way you can say I was trying to hurt the guy."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 5984.html# (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_705984.html#)

hawaiiansteel
10-25-2010, 09:42 PM
Updated: October 25, 2010, 1:45 AM ET

NFL sends second hit memo to teams

ESPN.com news services


WASHINGTON -- The NFL sent head coaches memos before this week's games listing their players who were called for two or more unnecessary roughness penalties since 2008 -- yet another step in the league's effort to cut down on illegal hits.

NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson sent each coach the names of only his own players who have multiple infractions, league spokesman Greg Aiello said Sunday.

Anderson is a member of the league's competition committee and one of its loudest voices calling for improving player safety.

The lists were sent Friday.

"The purpose was to provide an opportunity for the coach to give extra caution to those players to abide by the safety rules," Aiello wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "It was part of our effort to give fair notice to help players stay within the rules."

Aiello would not give the total number of players identified in the memos.

After a series of illegal hits last weekend, the NFL imposed larger-than-usual fines on three players: Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison was docked $75,000, while New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather and Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson lost $50,000 each.

No players were penalized for illegal hits to the head over the 13 games on Sunday, giving the league every reason to believe its message got through.

"I've seen a change in players' behavior in one week," NFL officiating chief Carl Johnson was quoted as telling NBC on "Football Night in America."

In the past, players were either fined or ejected for illegal hits. But the NFL is ramping up the punishment, saying it will make sure there is stricter enforcement of rules that have been in place. The league also warned that, starting with this Sunday's games, violent conduct will be cause for suspension.

Harrison played along, returning to the field after a tumultuous week in which he received a fine from the NFL and briefly threatened to retire. He called it business as usual -- well, except for one particular play, when he saw Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown coming across the middle.

"I had a chance to put my head in there, and it looked like he was crouching down," Harrison said. "I didn't want to get a helmet-to-helmet [hit]. I didn't put my face in there, and he went down, and luckily he didn't scamper for another 10 or 15 yards."

Commissioner Roger Goodell sent teams a memo on Wednesday "to emphasize the importance of teaching safe and controlled techniques" related to "contact to the head and neck." A video was sent to the 32 teams explaining what hits are considered legal and illegal.

In Cleveland's victory over Super Bowl champion New Orleans, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita thought he saw instances of defenders going low when they might have had clean shots higher up.

"Now you've got guys whose ankles are going to be taken out and knees are going to get blown up," Fujita said, "so it's kind of a Catch 22 if you ask me."

The NFL also will consider after this season a policy in which a player who knocks out an opponent for a certain number of games could be suspended for a corresponding number of games, according to an NFL official.

DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, issued a statement regarding the crackdown on Saturday that focused on the league's position on health care if there is a lockout next season, worker's compensation and disabled veterans.

"The issue of player safety is bigger than just hits on Sunday," Smith said in the statement. "Players understand the difference between aggressive, split-second actions and dangerous play. In addition to this sudden new emphasis on player safety, players call on the NFL to fulfill its obligation to health care in a lockout, end nasty litigation against nearly 300 players' workers compensation cases and stop saying 'no' to the disability benefits of NFL legends.

"While there are a range of punishments available as part of the on-field discipline system, the NFLPA will ensure the NFL strictly adhere to the existing rules and disciplinary process. We will also enforce the return to play guidelines and safety protocols and practices that occur out of the public eye.

"Our mission is to remain aggressive on player safety both on and off the field."

However, as if to illustrate the point that head injuries can't simply be willed out of a violent sport, there were some more Sunday.

Arizona rookie quarterback Max Hall left the Cardinals' game at Seattle in the third quarter after he received what the team announced was a "blow to the head" on Chris Clemons' blindside sack.

In Atlanta, Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud collided helmet-to-helmet with Bengals running back Cedric Benson, and DeCoud needed help getting off the field after that one. No penalty was called, and Falcons coach Mike Smith said DeCoud was not allowed back in the game.

Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press was used in this report.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5722954

hawaiiansteel
10-26-2010, 08:05 PM
Ed: Tomlin Takes a Few Shots at NFL

TUESDAY, 26 OCTOBER 2010 15:18 WRITTEN BY ED BOUCHETTE


Mike Tomlin is not happy with the way the NFL is treating his players, apparently. He did not name names but he was asked about his players possibly “pulling back” on tackles Sunday because they feared the NFL crackdown.

Ray Anderson, the NFL’s VP of football operations and resident hanging judge, lauded Harrison because he “heeded our emphasis” and said “There certainly was one play, on a hit on a running back, that James Harrison may have taken a shot at the running back going down, and Harrison let up . . . I applaud James for restraining himself.’’

Tomlin said he did not see any of his players “letting up.’’

“I didn’t see anything of that nature. If I appear short, it’s because it’s somewhat insulting to me to assume we’re doing anything under any normal circumstances other than trying to play within the rules. That’s how our guys play; that’s how we coach. Number one, first and foremost, is it conducive to winning? That’s what our intentions are when we step in stadiums to play, whether it’s last weekend or three weeks ago or a month ago. Or a month from now.”

Tomlin also chided the NFL because he said its officials are not blowing whistles in a timely manner anymore.

“You let me know when you hear a whistle,’’ Tomlin said at his press conference today. “That’s one of my contentions. There’s been a de-emphasis on the whistle, as far as I’m concerned, in the National Football League and I don’t agree with it. We talk about player safety, yet we don’t blow whistles at the end of football plays. So that’s kind of a misnomer when you’re talking about the whistle. What we want to do is play till the action ceases.”

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