Morning Links (and Daily Thread)…

A quick daily look at what’s happening around Steelers Nation. And consider this your open thread for discussing the days events and, well, anything else that comes to mind about the Black and Gold.

– It’s obvious this James Harrison stuff isn’t going away anytime soon, especially since the former defensive player of the year apparently considered retirement after he was hit with a $75,000 fine. On Wednesday, Roger Goodell issued a statement that warned players and coaches about illegal hits. The statement:

“One of our most important priorities is protecting our players from needless injury,” Goodell said in comments distributed by the league. “In recent years, we have emphasized minimizing contact to the head and neck, especially where a defenseless player is involved. It is clear to me that further action is required to emphasize the importance of teaching safe and controlled techniques, and of playing within the rules. It is incumbent on all of us to support the rules we have in place to protect players.”

I’m sure I could add something talking about why that’s bullshit (like how ball carriers are still allowed to be clocked in the head, and that’s legal), but I’m out of energy on this topic.

Anyway, on to the links…

– If you haven’t watched it by now, you really need to check it out. ESPN’s Mark Schlereth absolutely loses his shit when talking about all of this. [ESPN]

– Seriously. Guys. James Harrison is not going to retire. [One For The Other Thumb]

– Craig Wolfley weighs in on the fines. [Craig Wolfley's Blog]

– And for your random YouTube of the day: Ben Roethlisberger to Mike Wallace. Touchdown.

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  • ryan

    Wait a second… James Harrison really isn’t retiring? Because I was convinced that, after all the media arm-waving, he was as good as done. Weird.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    How many times have we been first overall in DVOA?

  • HoosierSteeler?s

    So…. when is the league going to explain how Offensive players who have the ball or are moving toward the ball are going to be ejected and suspended if they lead with their helmet into a defensive player?

    Until that is equally addressed I don’t buy for a second that this is only about “player safety,” it sounds like “punish defensive players for bad press about injuries.”

    • Bob Costas

      Yeah, people are sure getting worked up over nothing. The NFL has the best PR department in the world. Nothing will change but they just want to make sure that they look like they are doing something

      • RoB D

        Talk to me after we lose a playoff game because of numerous “tackling in an intimidating manner” flags . I think they are deadly serious about changing the nature of the game. Some think its just a PR exercise. I don’t

    • Canadian Steeler

      Listening to Ray Anderson on Rich Eisen’s podcast today, I still got that impression. He essentially saw the hits on TV and immediately had a knee-jerk reaction. He goes on to say that any contact to with the forearm, shoulder or helmet that AT ANY POINT OF THE TACKLE contacts the offensive player’s helmet will, and should be penalized. What I got from this was that if a guy wraps up around the torso and pushes up to the point where contact is made with the helmet, it will be penalized.

      I realize they’re trying to make sure people form tackle by wrapping up, but how the hell is what he described avoidable right now? I’m inclined to agree with Dikta that as long as players have helmets and facemasks, they will lead with their heads. If you really want to prevent high tackles and promote wrapping up, get rid of pads and helmets. Rugby works just fine and has fouls for not wrapping up or tackling high. But of course, noone wants this, and you can’t really blame them. If you take a look at the picture at the top of the Rick Reilly article, it looks to me as if Massaquoi is positioned in such a way that there’s nowhere for Harrison to tackle, unless he goes low for the knees (which is probably more of a cheapshot, if you ask me).

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Is there a single thing that Goodell has done that has increased your respect for him?

  • Cols714

    The James Harrison retiring thing was pretty funny. Why do media outlets run with stories like that are so obviously not going to happen. If Harrison said he was going to run for president would that also be news? Wait, don’t answer that…

    Look, I get that the NFL is hypocritical with the hits and the fines and the suspensions. But I do appreciate that they are at least trying to do something about the concussion problem. I think it’s a real threat to the sport. But I don’t understand how Harrison got fined the most for probably the weakest of last week’s hits. He didn’t lead with his helmet in either occasion.

    He better watch out this week though. The refs will be watching him and the rest of the Steelers closely at Miami. Especially since it’s the national game at that time slot. I’d put the over/under at 2 personal fouls on the Steelers for hitting too hard this weekend.

  • John S.

    Rick Reilly had a pretty obnoxious column.

    I swear reading it was I started feeling like Schlereth.

    • RoB D

      I don’t get the Rick Reilly thing..He’s like the CarrotTop of sportswriting.

      • ryan

        Carrot Top is offended.

        • Gretz

          Rick Reilly makes seven figures a year. Think about that. I try not to, but I want you to think about it.

          • Kyle

            I wonder if Reilly gets as worked up about hockey injuries or if he’s too busy still cashing checks from the Gretzky bio he wrote.

  • Randy Steele

    I think the players and the NFL should work the definitions and solutions of helmet-to-helmet strikes and flagrant hitting fouls among themselves behind the scenes. I’m already tired of all the noise about it.