View Full Version : the "James Harrison" rule

03-17-2011, 01:28 PM

NFL Should Just Name It 'Harrison Rule'
By Len Pasquarelli
Sports Xchange
Posted Mar 17, 2011

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The league will dismiss the notion that Steelers OLB James Harrison is the reason for the new emphasis on suspending repeat offenders, but those on Mondayís conference call feel it will be known as the "James Harrison Rule."

Not since 1974, when the NFL enacted the "Isaac Curtis Rule" to preclude wide receivers from essentially being mugged all the way down the field, has an NFL rules change been so attached to an individual player.
No, the name of Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison wasn't mentioned even once during a Wednesday morning conference call with the media to preview the agenda for next week's annual league meeting in New Orleans. But rest assured, the Steelers' star, who was fined over $125,000 in 2010 for what the NFL considered excessive or illegal hits, was clearly the elephant in the room.

And while neither NFL vice president Ray Anderson nor Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay, chairman of the influential competition committee, singled out Harrison for note while discussing rules changes or point of emphasis for 2011, the seven-year veteran was certainly on everyone's mind.

The league will attempt to debunk the notion that Harrison was the principle reason for the point of emphasis. But anyone who participated in the conference call would agree that the "James Harrison Rule" will become the common nomenclature for the attention paid to toughening sanctions against players for hits deemed as illegal.

Anderson in particular emphasized the need for "more aggressive protection of 'defenseless' players," and strongly suggested that suspensions for repeat offenders may be far more prominent in '11. Anderson said there is "clear acknowledgement" the NFL needs to be more aggressive in meting out punishment for the hits and said the action has the "strong support" of the competition committee.

The league's defensive player of the year in 2008, and a third-place finisher for the award last season to teammate Troy Polamalu, Harrison escaped suspension in 2010. He and other players -- there were no contact-related suspensions last season -- may not be so fortunate in 2011.

Anderson allowed that one reason for the lack of suspensions in 2010 was that the league felt that it might not have clearly communicated its intentions or sufficiently educated players.

"Everyone will be very clearly on notice that a suspension is very viable for us," Anderson said, suggesting suspensions will be "an effective discipline."

Harrison and others will not start the 2011 campaign with a "clean slate," either. The league will go back two years, Anderson said, to define repeat offenders.

Not surprisingly, given the recent reports on concussions and head injuries, and the long-term ramifications of both, much of the conference call and the football-related discussions in New Orleans, will center on player safety. McKay revealed that the competition committee will formally propose several changes for kickoffs: moving the kickoff to the 35-yard line (it was pushed back to the 30-yard line in 1999); mandating that kick coverage defenders line up no deeper than the 30-yard line, to shorten their head start; placing touchbacks at the 25-yard line; and outlawing the use of the "wedge" altogether for kickoff returns.

It marks the second rules change involving kickoffs in three seasons. In 2009, the NFL forbade "wedge" blocking patterns involving more than two players.

The competition committee has for the last several years focused on kickoffs as being a dangerous play with the potential for serious injuries. Said McKay: "It is a real concern."

In another competition committee move, the group proposed that all scoring plays be reviewable, and eliminated a third potential review challenge.

There are, McKay and Anderson agreed, fewer proposals involving rules changes than in past years. McKay said that, after meeting in Naples, Fla., for the past week, as is typically the case before the league's annual caucus, the competition committee agreed the game "is in pretty good stead."

Whether James Harrison remains in pretty good standing, at least throughout the 2011 season, remains to be seen.

Len Pasquarelli is a Senior NFL Writer for The Sports Xchange. He has covered the NFL for 33 years and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee. His NFL coverage earned recognition as the winner of the McCann Award for distinguished reporting in 2008.)

03-17-2011, 01:30 PM
sh!t they may as well just watch our gametape and make a rule against everything we do. Isaac Curtis rule my a$$, that is the Mel Blount rule.

03-17-2011, 01:33 PM
At this rate, between this and the change about not being able to hit the quarterback in the act of throwing, I could care less if a new CBA is reached. This is turning into a game that I don't care to watch or spend money on if it continues much further......

It's an absolute shame what they're doing to the league.

03-17-2011, 01:35 PM
Yup...Mel Blount rule, Hines Ward rule, James Harrison rule

03-17-2011, 01:35 PM
sh!t they may as well just watch our gametape and make a rule against everything we do. Isaac Curtis rule my a$$, that is the Mel Blount rule.

Agreed... a few years back they made the "Hines Ward rule", so guess they thought they needed to add a defensive name as well.

Dee Dub
03-17-2011, 02:07 PM
Yup...Mel Blount rule, Hines Ward rule, James Harrison rule

Dont forget the "Rooney Rule". And of course the ever popular....

"Neil O'Donnell Rule"..........he ruled the Toilet Bowl.

03-17-2011, 02:26 PM
If you can't beat them join them. Max offense. Draft Baldwin in Round 1 and just score a ton of points.

03-18-2011, 11:37 AM
The UFL needs to get back on track and someone should sign James Harrison for $100M and allow him freedom to hit whoever he wants, whenever he wants.

03-18-2011, 12:11 PM
the change about not being able to hit the quarterback in the act of throwing,

Wait.... what????

03-18-2011, 04:23 PM
This doesn't address appeals. Seems as if it's still arbitrary as to who will or won't get suspended and if the league is the reviewer then it's as if the cop who gave you the ticket is also the judge when you get to court. There should be some independant review board for all suspesions.

And did I read that right - they are moving the ball up 5 yards to ake it easier to kick it into the endzone AND giving an extra 5 starts on a touch back?

03-18-2011, 05:52 PM
the change about not being able to hit the quarterback in the act of throwing,

Wait.... what????

thread about that here viewtopic.php?f=2&t=16913 (http://www.planetsteelers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=16913)

Mister Pittsburgh
03-19-2011, 09:48 AM
Kimo Von Oelhoffen Rule after he took out Palmers knee accidentally.

03-19-2011, 06:58 PM
If you can't beat them join them. Max offense. Draft Baldwin in Round 1 and just score a ton of points.
I know you're secretly in love with Goodell and your precious 18 game season...but at least try to hide it a little better. :wink:

03-19-2011, 09:16 PM

03-22-2011, 04:15 AM
Steelers Linebacker James Harrison Weighs In On NFL Lockout

by Michael Bean ē Mar 21, 2011

It's been interesting to watch James Harrison become increasingly vocal on social media platforms this past year. It began early last season when Harrison chimed in on all the fines levied against him by the NFL for his allegedly illegal hits. Known for his quiet disposition off the field and general distrust of the media, Harrison has surprised me by joining the ranks of athletes who take their message directly to fans rather than through traditional media channels.

Deebo, as his teammates call him, prefers Facebook over Twitter for his social media interactions. You can find Harrison's official page here. His most recent post had to do with the NFL Lockout and how he views the labor impasse between the league and its players. Here's a snippet of what he had to say:

Just because the value of a football playerís job is not the same as the value of bus driverís job doesnít mean the rights of the two workers should be any different ... Why is this now supposed to be different for football players? ...

If you are a bus driver and all of a sudden the owners say "Hey Joe....by the way....we are cutting your pay 20% across the board and you have to work not 8 but 12 hours a day because the bus company owners are just not making enough money. Sorry about that." Then the bus driverís union asks to see the ownerís books to prove that the company isnít making enough money. Especially when everything you see and read shows you that the owners are making more money than they ever have. The bus company owner says "I donít think so. Just take the pay cut and shut up." Would you tell that bus driver that he should just suck it up?

Like he did when commenting on being fined for illegal hits, I thought Harrison was articulate and well-reasoned with his analysis. The CBA negotiations, of course, are not quite that simple, but nevertheless, he makes some good points and does so in a rationale way. Not bad for a guy who's perceived to be one of the most menacing and violent players in all of sports.

http://pittsburgh.sbnation.com/pittsbur ... gotiations (http://pittsburgh.sbnation.com/pittsburgh-steelers/2011/3/21/2064102/james-harrison-steelers-nfl-lockout-cba-negotiations)