View Full Version : Suspensions likely coming for repeat flagrant hit offenders

03-16-2011, 12:16 PM
NFL talks hits, potential rules changes
ESPN.com news services
Updated: March 16, 2011, 11:48 AM ET

The NFL will be more aggressive in suspending players next season for illegal hits, and also could make changes to instant replay and kickoffs.

Ray Anderson, the league's chief disciplinarian, said Wednesday during a conference call that repeat offenders or players committing flagrant illegal hits will have a much greater chance of being suspended during the 2011 season.

No suspensions were handed down in 2010 even after the NFL's crackdown on such hits, in part because "we were operating under the principle unless you have given sufficient advance notice of what the results could be, you need to be more lenient."

The league's competition committee will propose at next week's owners meetings moving the kickoff up to the 35-yard line and bringing a touchback out to the 25. It also will propose making all scoring plays reviewable by the replay official.

In addition, the full NFL schedule will be released in April as scheduled, regardless of the lockout.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.


03-16-2011, 12:44 PM
Here's another article on that RB,...it's funny that PFT also included a pic of Harrison with their article. :wft

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... spensions/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/03/16/flagrant-hits-on-defenseless-players-will-result-in-suspensions/)

Flagrant hits on defenseless players will result in suspensions

Posted by Michael David Smith on March 16, 2011, 11:27 AM EDT

The NFL Competition Committee wants to put players on notice: The league plans to get even more stringent in protecting defenseless players — and suspending players who take cheap shots at their opponent.

Competition Committee Chair Rich McKay and NFL Executive V.P. of Football Operations Ray Anderson both stressed on a media conference call today that they’re recommending that the owners get even tougher with hits on defenseless players. That includes expanding the definition of what constitutes a “defenseless” player, and suspending players for particularly egregious hits.

“When warranted, suspensions will be an effective discipline for us. We don’t want to go there but we will do that,” Anderson said. “We need to be aggressive in disciplining.”

Although no individual players were mentioned by name, it’s clear that repeat offenders, like Steelers linebacker James Harrison, are going to get particular scrutiny.

“In 2011, if there are repeat offenders or flagrant violators, we are going to hold them aggressively accountable, even if it means suspension — some folks believe that suspension is the real messenger in terms of serious enforcement,” Anderson said. “Some of the hits we had this year, particularly if it’s a repeat offender, that person and that club should know that having that person sit out a game — or multiple games in certain circumstances — is very much on the table.”

McKay said that when the Competition Committee met recently, “Much of the focus was on the safety rules.” In particular, the Committee is recommending that the owners vote next week on an expansion of the defenseless player rule to protect quarterbacks in the process of passing, receivers in the process of catching, runners who are already in the grasp of a tackler, returners fielding a kick, players on the ground at the end of a play, kickers and punters, quarterbacks at any time after a change of possession, and players who get hit by blindside blocks.

The Committee also wants to emphasize the prohibition on launching, which it defines as players leaving their feet, springing forward and hitting an opponent with his helmet or facemask.

Owners are expected to approve the Competition Committee’s recommendations at next week’s league meeting.

03-16-2011, 01:00 PM
The problem is that the league is not consistent or even good at determining what is considered FLAGRANT.

They considered Harrison's hit on Massaquoi flagrant but it CLEARLY was not. Harrison was going low and Massaquoi went low at the last second and they hit helmets. That cannot be the fault of the defender.

The Sodfather
03-16-2011, 01:16 PM
That cannot be the fault of the defender.

It is to Goodell's Gestapo.

03-16-2011, 04:19 PM
Football was a much manlier sport some 40-50 years ago. Today it's looking just a bit more androgynous each and every week.

03-16-2011, 04:26 PM
I was hoping we were done with all this BS. :HeadBanger

03-16-2011, 07:22 PM
Looking back, after taking off the black & gold sunglasses...there were a couple of hits there from Harrison that were somewhat unnecessary & perhaps a wee bit dangerous.

Consistancy is the key.

Chadman will cop the Harrison fines if they start fining those hits consistantly around the NFL.

03-16-2011, 07:53 PM
Looking back, after taking off the black & gold sunglasses...there were a couple of hits there from Harrison that were somewhat unnecessary & perhaps a wee bit dangerous.

Consistancy is the key.

Chadman will cop the Harrison fines if they start fining those hits consistantly around the NFL.

Fines are one thing, but they are talking about suspensions now.

Perhaps they drafted Worilds not because they thought Harrison would be retiring soon, but because they foresaw that he may be getting suspended a lot.

03-16-2011, 08:02 PM
I will not support any decisions until they begin to differentiate between most of the hits that drew fines and hits like the Merriweather hit on Heap.

That is the one hit that stands alone from this past season as malicious. Until the league treats hits like that on a much different scale than the typical "two guys collided and helmets hit so we must take action" hits then the execution will be flawed IMO.

03-16-2011, 09:44 PM
Devastating Hits In NFL Could Lead To Prosecution In The Future

Monday, March 14 2011 1:00 AM
Written by: N. Jeremi Duru

http://www.thepostgame.com/commentary/2 ... ion-future (http://www.thepostgame.com/commentary/201103/devestating-hits-nfl-could-lead-prosecution-future)

Last week, Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara checked the Canadiens’ Max Pacioretty into a metal stanchion separating the two teams’ benches, concussing Pacioretty, cracking one of his vertebrae and sparking an investigation that could land Chara in criminal court. It’s not clear how many NFL players pay attention to the NHL, but those who don’t would be advised to take note.

Last season, the NFL famously cracked down on “devastating hits.” These hits were once tolerated and even celebrated, but are now severely punished. And with the mounting evidence of NFL players’ concussive damage, the crackdown seems justified. As the league’s most fearsome defensive players contemplate whether labor strife will wipe out the 2011 season, they will surely spend at least some of their idle time thinking about the devastating hits policy, how it will impact their styles of play, and how much money they stand to lose if they violate it. Those players who are aware of the Chara investigation may reasonably add an additional worry into the mix: the possibility that a devastating hit in the NFL could trigger criminal prosecution.

I can hear you now: “Impossible.” The NHL has a history of criminal prosecutions for in-game conduct, but no NFL player has ever been prosecuted for activity occurring during a game.

True, but the conduct that has previously prompted criminal prosecution in the NHL is far more similar to some of the devastating hits we saw in the NFL last season than what we saw from Chara last week.

Take the infamous Marty McSorley case, which immediately springs to mind when the topic of criminal prosecution in sports comes up. In 2000, McSorley, then playing for the Bruins, slashed the Canucks’ Donald Brashear across the helmet with his stick. Brashear fell to the ice, hit his head and had to be removed on a stretcher. McSorley was penalized and suspended for the remainder of the season, but in addition, he was prosecuted and convicted of assault with a weapon. NHL players slash each other all the time, and when caught they are sent to the penalty box, but the prosecutor’s charges focused on the site of impact and the apparent intent to injure, and those factors moved the court to convict.

“Brashear was struck as intended,” the presiding judge wrote in his opinion, “[McSorley] slashed for the head.”

If there is a legal principle borne of the McSorley case, it goes something like this: “Conviction is potentially appropriate when, during the course of play, an athlete breaches the game’s rules by intentionally using a potentially dangerous piece of equipment to target the head of an opponent who is seriously injured as a result of the blow.”

Chara insists he did not intend to injure Pacioretty and that he certainly did not intend to ram Pacioretty’s head into the stanchion. It is a feasible claim, and one which the NHL obviously accepts, as evidenced by the league’s decision to not suspend Chara for a single game. So Chara’s check doesn’t seem to evoke the McSorley principle. But an NFL player leading with his helmet and unleashing a devastating helmet-to-helmet hit -- assuming intent to injure -- certainly does.

Although a helmet is certainly not a hockey stick, when worn on the head of an athlete who can run forty yards in 4.4 seconds, it’s hard to imagine a jury or judge viewing it as any less dangerous. And with the way NFL
players sometimes woof about their intent to injure (e.g., Bart Scott announcing before the Jets-Patriots playoff game last season that Wes Welker’s “days in a uniform will be numbered”), intent may not be tough to prove.

If the NFL stages games this fall and a player who endures a devastating hit walks off the field, you can expect a fine or a suspension. In this new world of heightened attention to devastating hits, however, if the player who is hit is seriously injured or worse, don’t be shocked if the law gets involved.

03-18-2011, 03:33 AM
Will Steelers soften their stance?

March, 16, 2011
By James Walker

The Pittsburgh Steelers were last season's poster children for the NFL's increased policing of big hits. As the league's most physical defense, Pittsburgh players were getting fined or suffered questionable flags regularly during their run to Super Bowl XLV.


Charles LeClaire/US Presswire

Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison received more than $100,000 in fines from the NFL last season.

On Wednesday, NFL vice president Ray Anderson said in a conference call that the league will be even more stern in disciplining players next season, especially repeat offenders. That is not good news for Pittsburgh.

But will the Steelers soften their stance? Pittsburgh's biggest strength is its physicality and aggressiveness. It's a major part of the team's identity and storied history.

The Steelers led the league in run defense by a wide margin last season and intimidated quarterbacks with an NFL-best 48 sacks. But according to Anderson, many of those big hits that resulted in fines and personal fouls could lead to suspensions in 2011, which would hurt Pittsburgh in subsequent games.

The Steelers were not shy about venting their frustration. In February they seemed to enjoy using the league's biggest platform -- the Super Bowl -- to call out the NFL. Linebacker James Harrison, last season's most-fined player, suggested the league provide pillows on the field for players he tackled. Harrison's teammates joined in the fray throughout Super Bowl week, complaining how the league has softened.

Unless the Steelers themselves decide to play softer, we could be heading for another collision course. It's hard to change a team's identity overnight. So expect more controversy, fines and verbal jousting between Pittsburgh and the NFL in 2011.

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_ ... eir-stance (http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/25737/will-steelers-soften-their-stance)