James Harrison hit knocks Eric Decker out of the Broncos-Steelers game

You make the call: Was James Harrison's hit on Eric Decker a dirty hit?

1/9/12 in NFL   |   Pat   |   5229 respect




James Harrison's hit on Eric Decker took him out of the game, and ended his postseason with an MCL injury. Harrison has been flagged, fined and reprimanded for dirty hits in the past, but this one resulted in no penalty whatsoever.

Most of the criticism of Harrison as a dirty player has come from his helmet-to-helmet hits, and that's understandable. Harrison's hit this year on Colt McCoy effectively ended his season a week prematurely. He has been fined over $200,000 in the past 2 seasons alone.

So what does Harrison do? He goes low against Decker.

Technically, it was exactly what the NFL has been asking him to do. He finally learned how to avoid targeting the head, and Decker was definitely in no risk whatsoever of getting concussed.

But is this any better?

Roaming the defensive backfield in coverage against Tim Tebow and the Broncos, Harrison had a bead on Decker after he made the catch, and dove straight for his knee. There was no attempt whatsoever to wrap him up, or make anything resembling a textbook tackle. Harrison just went straight for his knee.

Especially in the replays, it's clear that Harrison had plenty of time to aim for the midsection, wrap Decker up and make a strong tackle. It could still have been a devastating hit without risking a serious knee injury. Injuries like these can end a career.

So, you make the call. Was this a dirty hit? Should Harrison be fined? Or was this totally clean, and an example of exactly what Harrison should be trying to do?


Big thanks to Injury Duty for the video.
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1/12/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

When he goes high on a guy like he did to McCoy, he gets fined and suspended.  So he goes low, the guy gets hurt, and that's dirty too.  So where the hell is Harrison supposed to tackle someone?  Apparently he's not allowed to put his hands on any offensive player.  Last year during a game against the Raiders at Heinz Field, Harrison sacked the QB at the goal line by shoving him down by the SHOULDERS, never touching the helmet, and was flagged for roughing the passer!  He got there as the ball was being released, yet they flagged him for the hit even though the hit was legal.  So clearly it doesn't matter what part of a player's body he targets, it's no good.

1/12/12   |   derms33   |   17642 respect

 maybe he's just a racist

1/12/12   |   DailyDoseOIrony   |   1 respect

What I notice is how he walked away from the hit on Decker. No concern. No checking in. Just walked way. Didn't even look down at Decker.

If he didn't hit to injure, he certainly didn't care if he hit to injure or not.

All that precautionary stuff aside, I do believe he hit to injure. He had to adjust his point of impact quickly in order to hit at the knee...which he clearly does. He could have hit much harder by continuing at speed and putting his shoulder into the mid-section. That's old school, not going out of your way to aim for the weakest link.

And Tebow would never say it, but I think Harrison's hit ticked him off. His passing accuracy and confidence jumped way up instantly afterwards, as if his anger overcame his lack of confidence. I wouldn't be suprised if some of Harrison's team-mates thanked him for losing the game for them.

1/9/12   |   Tiger_Pride2   |   3286 respect

The NFL forced him to go low.

1/9/12   |   beerstudk   |   1538 respect

Pat wrote:
 Watch the replay. You can't honestly say that's the only play he had. Just watch it again. And again, if you need to.

Sorry man, he dove and was only just able to hit Decker below the knees with his forearms. If he didn't do that he had no chance at making the tackle.

1/9/12   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

beerstudk wrote:
I agree, but on this particular hit he couldn't get him at the midsection.  The only play he had was to take out his knees.  It's unfortunate that Decker was injured, but unless we start putting the QB's in skirts and giving the other skill players flags to wear along their waists it isn't going to stop.  And the day they do that, will be the day I start following volleyball and soccer.

 Watch the replay. You can't honestly say that's the only play he had. Just watch it again. And again, if you need to.

1/9/12   |   beerstudk   |   1538 respect

WhoDat12 wrote:
I don't know why all of a sudden NFL defenders have become allergic to the midsection of other players. Get your hat across the numbers and make a solid tackle. You don't have to go for the Madden Hit Stick every time you make a tackle. The purpose of tackling is to stop the ballcarrier, not to get on Sportscenter, not to threaten someone's career.

I agree, but on this particular hit he couldn't get him at the midsection.  The only play he had was to take out his knees.  It's unfortunate that Decker was injured, but unless we start putting the QB's in skirts and giving the other skill players flags to wear along their waists it isn't going to stop.  And the day they do that, will be the day I start following volleyball and soccer.

1/9/12   |   w_g_walters   |   222 respect

When I was learning the game, this was exactly what I was taught to do if it looked like we couldn't make the tackle with the arms. I have no problem with this.

As for the fumble, look at the endzone shot just before he hits the ground. You can see green just between the ball and the arm. This means the ball was loose, so it should have been ruled a fumble.

1/9/12   |   derms33   |   17642 respect

JBrenn wrote:
 With a reputation like Harrison's, do you fight fire with fire? Do you give up the 15 yards (and maybe an ejected player) to take him out, and ensure the well-being of the rest of your team? If his own "mission" and intent is to hurt people, then, in my opinion, there is no reason not to protect your guys - using any means necessary.

 exactly...taking him out is the only way  this idiot will learn...and the NFL should applaud the player who does it, not fine him, heck if he got fined the rest of the QB's, WR,s and RB's in the league will prob pay the fine

1/9/12   |   JBrenn   |   44 respect

derms33 wrote:
 per the norm he went to injury a player, he says that what he does and he continues to do it.  I said it a hundred times, opposing players need to cut block him every time until he learns, but nobody will so it'll continue, and I think it will continue in another uniform next year.  He clearly doesn't get it.  He can barely read so the rules have to be explained to him.  However, just to offer a different side, when he hits 'em high he gets fined, when he hits 'em low its dirty, I am not sure what he's supposed to do, but as u said, he made 0 attempt to wrap him up

 With a reputation like Harrison's, do you fight fire with fire? Do you give up the 15 yards (and maybe an ejected player) to take him out, and ensure the well-being of the rest of your team? If his own "mission" and intent is to hurt people, then, in my opinion, there is no reason not to protect your guys - using any means necessary.

1/9/12   |   WhoDat12   |   2252 respect

If you suscribe to Ndamukong Suh's school of thought, it was only a dirty hit if Harrison's mother called it a dirty hit.

1/9/12   |   kobe_lova   |   61212 respect

No.

1/9/12   |   WhoDat12   |   2252 respect

I don't know why all of a sudden NFL defenders have become allergic to the midsection of other players. Get your hat across the numbers and make a solid tackle. You don't have to go for the Madden Hit Stick every time you make a tackle. The purpose of tackling is to stop the ballcarrier, not to get on Sportscenter, not to threaten someone's career.

1/9/12   |   ABCarowhina   |   3 respect

Intent = Dirty

1/9/12   |   beerstudk   |   1538 respect

Pat wrote:
 This wasn't a split second play. Harrison was tracking Decker the whole time.

And again... zero attempt to wrap him up. It's one thing to go low, but it's an entirely different story when you're lining up and spearing dudes in the knee. Sure, it's not a head shot, but there's no reason to go from one extreme to the other.

He was playing a zone, he wasn't tracking Decker he was tracking Tebow.  It was the only play he could make that would result in a tackle/incomplete pass, which is what he's paid to do, and in football people get injured....FACT.  On top of that, it was a legal hit.  Would you be making as big a deal if it wasn't James Harrison?  I think that his reputation precedes him unfairly.

1/9/12   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

Dan_B wrote:
Not a Harrison fan, but I don't think that hit is dirty whatsoever. Every Pop Warner football player is taught to get as low as you can to make tackles--and that is what Harrison did here. It may also have been the only way he makes the tackle, given the angle. In a split second, Harrison doesn't have time to think, "How can I injure this guy." All he has time to consider is how to get the guy to the ground. 

I agree with the sentiment that more leg injuries will be part of the trickle down of Roger Goodell handcuffing defensive players.  

 This wasn't a split second play. Harrison was tracking Decker the whole time.

And again... zero attempt to wrap him up. It's one thing to go low, but it's an entirely different story when you're lining up and spearing dudes in the knee. Sure, it's not a head shot, but there's no reason to go from one extreme to the other.

1/9/12   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

Not a Harrison fan, but I don't think that hit is dirty whatsoever. Every Pop Warner football player is taught to get as low as you can to make tackles--and that is what Harrison did here. It may also have been the only way he makes the tackle, given the angle. In a split second, Harrison doesn't have time to think, "How can I injure this guy." All he has time to consider is how to get the guy to the ground. 

I agree with the sentiment that more leg injuries will be part of the trickle down of Roger Goodell handcuffing defensive players.  

1/9/12   |   derms33   |   17642 respect

 per the norm he went to injury a player, he says that what he does and he continues to do it.  I said it a hundred times, opposing players need to cut block him every time until he learns, but nobody will so it'll continue, and I think it will continue in another uniform next year.  He clearly doesn't get it.  He can barely read so the rules have to be explained to him.  However, just to offer a different side, when he hits 'em high he gets fined, when he hits 'em low its dirty, I am not sure what he's supposed to do, but as u said, he made 0 attempt to wrap him up

1/9/12   |   WhoDat12   |   2252 respect

Not a fan of the hit, but James Harrison has a well earned reputation as a headhunter, so he went low on Decker.  I guess to Fuhrer Goodell, a torn ACL, a torn MCL, torn patella tendon, fractured patella is better than having a concussion. I guess.

1/9/12   |   The_Real_Stoney   |   24908 respect

I didn't like it, but unfortunately the league would rather see leg injuries like this instead of guys taking a shoulder pad to the chest or head.